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The Internet Innovation Alliance is a broad-based coalition of business and non-profit organizations that aim to ensure every American, regardless of race, income or geography, has access to the critical tool that is broadband Internet. The IIA seeks to promote public policies that support equal opportunity for universal broadband availability and adoption so that everyone, everywhere can seize the benefits of the Internet - from education to health care, employment to community building, civic engagement and beyond.

The Podium

Blog posts tagged with 'Google'

Tuesday, March 30

Common Ground Against Regulation

By Bruce Mehlman

Google and Verizon have not always seen eye-to-eye when it comes to the regulation of the Internet, but they have found some common ground. From a joint editorial by the two companies in the Wall Street Journal:

The Internet has thrived in an environment of minimal regulation. While our two companies don’t agree on every issue, we do agree generally as a matter of policy that the framework of minimal government involvement should continue.

The FCC underscores the importance of creating the right climate for private investment and market-driven innovation to advance broadband. That’s the right approach and why we are encouraged to see the FCC’s plan.

Monday, March 22

Leaving China

By Brad

Via CNet, word has it that after fights over censorship — and a major cyber attack — Google is preparing to pull out of China:

After months of negotiations over whether it can run with or without restrictions, it seemed that Google was getting ready to make a decision in the near-term future. However, according to a Financial Times report last week, Google is now “99.9 percent” certain that it will shut down

The rumored date for Google’s departure is April 10.

Update, courtesy of Ars Technica:

Google has officially stopped censoring search results in China, but in a somewhat roundabout way. no longer works as a search portal—instead, visitors are being directed to Google’s service based out of Hong Kong, where taboo topics are not regulated by the Chinese government.

Whether China will simply block Internet users in the mainland from accessing Google Hong Kong remains to be seen.

Wednesday, March 17

Step Aside, Google

By Brad

According to the analysis firm Hitwise, Facebook has for the first time toppled search giant Google from its perch as the most-visited website in America. CNN Money reports;

Facebook accounted for 7.07% of U.S. Web traffic that week, while Google received 7.03%.

While this is definitely good news for Facebook, it comes with one major caveat:

The study compared only the domains and—not, for example, Google-owned sites like

Thursday, March 04

Today in Bold Predictions

By Brad

Mobile Internet has certainly made major gains in recent years, but can smart phones and other wireless devices supplant traditional desktop computers in the next three years? According to John Herlihy, Google’s European sales chief, the answer is yes. Reports Silicon Republic:

“In three years time, desktops will be irrelevant. In Japan, most research is done today on smart phones, not PCs,” Herlihy told a baffled audience, echoing comments by Google CEO Eric Schmidt at the recent GSM Association Mobile World Congress 2010 that everything the company will do going forward will be via a mobile lens, centring on the cloud, computing and connectivity.

Wednesday, March 03

There’s a Lawsuit For That

By Brad

Google’s major push in the lucrative smart phone market with its Nexus One has not escaped Apple’s attention. Case in point: The lawsuit filed by Apple yesterday against HTC, the Taiwanese company that manufacture’s Google’s phone.

Thursday, February 25

King of the Hill

By Brad

Earlier in the week, word surfaced that the European Union would be conducting an antitrust investigation into Google. While it turns out the investigation talk was premature — the EU has released a statement clarifying no investigation is happening yet — GigaOm believes that trouble could be coming soon for Google:

The bigger question, of course, is whether Google deserves to be the subject of an antitrust investigation — whether in the European Union or anywhere else — and the uncomfortable answer is that it probably does (Google has also been more than happy to egg regulators on when Microsoft was the target). That’s not to say the company should be subjected to a five-year-long saga of drawn-out court challenges and posturing by federal authorities and regulators, the way Microsoft was. It’s simply a recognition of the fact that Google is a very different company now than it was even three or four years ago. Its market power is almost unparalleled, particularly in search-related advertising, which is to the web economy what steam power was to the industrial revolution.

Monday, February 22

Unintended Consequences

By Brad

CNN looks at the role the U.S. government accidentally played in the recent Google hack from China:

The news here isn’t that Chinese hackers engage in these activities or that their attempts are technically sophisticated—we knew that already—it’s that the U.S. government inadvertently aided the hackers.

In order to comply with government search warrants on user data, Google created a backdoor access system into Gmail accounts. This feature is what the Chinese hackers exploited to gain access.

Friday, February 19

Tracing the Attack

By Brad

Last month, Google announced it would be ending its business efforts in China following an apparent cyberattack on the company and others from the nation. Now, the New York Times reports, an investigation conducted in part by the National Security Agency has traced the attacks to two schools in China:

If supported by further investigation, the findings raise as many questions as they answer, including the possibility that some of the attacks came from China but not necessarily from the Chinese government, or even from Chinese sources.

Tracing the attacks further back, to an elite Chinese university and a vocational school, is a breakthrough in a difficult task. Evidence acquired by a United States military contractor that faced the same attacks as Google has even led investigators to suspect a link to a specific computer science class, taught by a Ukrainian professor at the vocational school.

Thursday, February 18

A Big Deal

By Brad

Last summer, Microsoft and Yahoo! announced they would be joining forces in an attempt to better compete with search giant Google. Today, their deal has finally been given the stamp of approval from regulators in both the U.S. and Europe.

Friday, February 12

How People Use the Internet

By Brad

On Wednesday, tech site ReadWriteWeb posted an article on Facebook’s recent partnering with AOL’s Instant Messenger. But when the article—which is titled “Facebook Wants To Be Your One True Login”—started ranking high in Google search results for the term “Facebook login,” something strange happened: Scores of people trying to log in to their Facebook page instead arrived at ReadWriteWeb and believed their favorite social networking site had received a major design overhaul.

The confusion from Facebook users got so bad that Read Write Web was forced to insert a note into the original article:

Dear visitors from Google. This site is not Facebook. This is a website called ReadWriteWeb that reports on news about Facebook and other Internet services… For future reference, type “” into your browser address bar or enter “facebook” into Google and click on the first result. We recommend that you then save Facebook as a bookmark in your browser.

Apparently, for many people Internet literacy starts and stops with search engines.

Wednesday, February 10

Today in Ever-Expanding Google

By Brad

Not content with dominating search and online advertising (not to mention online video), Google has announced it is getting into the Internet Service Provider business. Details can be found on the official Google blog:

We’re planning to build and test ultra high-speed broadband networks in a small number of trial locations across the United States. We’ll deliver Internet speeds more than 100 times faster than what most Americans have access to today with 1 gigabit per second, fiber-to-the-home connections. We plan to offer service at a competitive price to at least 50,000 and potentially up to 500,000 people.

The announcement prompted this response from social networking guide Mashable:

Although it sounds like we’re still some time from seeing Google’s fiber service available on a massive scale, this could represent a massive shift in the Internet ecosystem. Keep in mind that Google has also recently launched its own Public DNS service, as well as an alternative to HTTP that it calls SPDY. The company clearly thinks it can build a better Internet than the one we have today.

If it’s successful, Google will not only know what we do on their plethora of services, but also just about everything else we do on the Web (especially if Google becomes our ISP). Now, perhaps more than ever, the question of whether or not that’s too much power for one company to have is at the forefront.

Monday, February 08

Up is Down

By Brad

A curious side note to yesterday’s Super Bowl extravaganza (congratulations New Orleans!) was the fact that for the first time in 20 years, Pepsi didn’t advertise during the game. As GigaOm reports:

In December, the company said that it had decided to forgo the advertising frenzy that is the Super Bowl for the first time in over two decades (although Doritos, which is owned by Pepsi, will air several ads during the game). Instead, Pepsi said it would spend $20 million funding community renewal events across the U.S. that would be selected through a “crowdsourcing” project similar to Dell’s Ideastorm, in which users get to vote on the various proposals submitted by other users.

Pepsi’s abandonment of the biggest advertising day of the year in favor of a major Internet push wasn’t the only surprise, though, since Google — which has long shied away from traditional TV advertising — did have an ad during the game.

Friday, February 05

The Power of Social Networking

By Brad

When it comes to where people get their news online, a new report finds that Facebook is now fourth behind Google, Yahoo!, and MSN.

Tuesday, February 02

Someone is Always Watching

By Brad

Via Wired comes the story of a Canadian property owner, the illegal removal of trees, and the Google Street View camera that caught the remover in the act.

Monday, February 01

Smart Phone Explosion

By Brad

The runaway success of Apple’s iPhone has not gone unnoticed by the other major tech players. First Palm released its own smartphone, the Pre. Then Google got in on the act with first its Android operating system, then its own smart phone the Nexus One. Now, Gizmodo reports, there are rumors that Microsoft is set to throw its considerable weight into the market with a Zune phone.

Friday, January 29

A Fractured Web?

By Brad

Investor’s Business Daily explores a possible effect the recent Google-China dispute could have on the Internet as a whole:

China, which has imposed censorship on its Internet users and used filtering software to block Web sites, is determined to have a role in shaping next-generation Internet standards, analysts say. China wants rules governing cyberspace to be compatible with its political aims. In any event, analysts say China probably has the tools to create and manage its own cyberspace, if it so chooses.

We are seeing the world moving away from the global Internet to a series of national networks,” warned Columbia Law School Professor Tim Wu at the New America Foundation on Wednesday.

Friday, January 22

Nerding Out on Search Stats

By Brad

comScore has released its global search stats for December 2009, and while—shocker!—Google still dominated with 87.8 billion searches in December (a 46% increase over last year), Microsoft’s Bing actually saw the greatest growth, with 4.1 billion searches—an increase of 70%.

Thursday, January 21

Search Rivalry

By Brad

According to Business Week, Apple is in talks to make Microsoft’s Bing search engine the default search in the next version of the iPhone. From the story:

The discussions reflect the accelerating rivalry between Apple and Google, now the main provider of Web search on the iPhone. While the two companies have worked as partners in the past and Google Chief Executive Eric Schmidt had a seat on Apple’s board, Apple and Google have more recently begun competing in several markets, including mobile phones. Google sells a smartphone, the Nexus One, that competes directly with the iPhone and it has spearheaded development of a wireless handset operating system that rivals the iPhone OS.

Whether the search-switch discussions are indeed fueled by an Apple-Google rivalry, or are merely a bargaining chip for Apple to get more money from Google, remains to be seen. But at the end of the Business Week piece there is a bit of a bombshell:

Even if it’s consummated, an Apple-Bing deal may prove short-lived. The person familiar with Apple’s thinking says Apple has a “skunk works” looking at a search offering of its own, and believes that “if Apple does do a search deal with Microsoft, it’s about buying itself time.” Given the importance of search and its tie to mobile advertising—and the iPhone maker’s desire to slow Google—“Apple isn’t going to outsource the future.”

Google, Microsoft, and Apple all in the search business? That’s a lot of heavy hitters all vying for a piece of the same revenue pie.

Friday, January 15

Cyber Cold War

By Brad

Earlier this week, Google announced it and other companies had been victims of a major cyber attack from China. Today the LA Times looks at what has become a major problem:

The attacks against the U.S. are ramping up, according to the congressional U.S.-China commission, which noted in October that Chinese espionage was “straining the U.S. capacity to respond.”

The report focused on an attack on one company, concluding that it was supported and possibly choreographed by the Chinese government. The report also alleged that China’s military, the People’s Liberation Army, is responsible for aspects of cyber spying and has created cyber warfare units.

Wednesday, January 13

Google vs. China

By Brad

Yesterday, Google revealed that it had been the victim of a sophisticated cyber attack from China, and that one of the goals of the attack appears to have been accessing the Gmail accounts of human rights activists. In the wake of the attack, Google has announced it will end its controversial practice of censoring search results in China, and may be ending its business ties to the nation altogether:

We launched in January 2006 in the belief that the benefits of increased access to information for people in China and a more open Internet outweighed our discomfort in agreeing to censor some results. At the time we made clear that “we will carefully monitor conditions in China, including new laws and other restrictions on our services. If we determine that we are unable to achieve the objectives outlined we will not hesitate to reconsider our approach to China.”

These attacks and the surveillance they have uncovered—combined with the attempts over the past year to further limit free speech on the web—have led us to conclude that we should review the feasibility of our business operations in China. We have decided we are no longer willing to continue censoring our results on, and so over the next few weeks we will be discussing with the Chinese government the basis on which we could operate an unfiltered search engine within the law, if at all. We recognize that this may well mean having to shut down, and potentially our offices in China.

Reactions to Google’s announcement have, for the most part, been positive. But Sarah Lacy at TechCrunch believes that while the human rights angle is worth applauding, at the end of the day Google’s decision may be more about business:

Does anyone really think Google would be doing this if it had top market share in the country? For one thing, I’d guess that would open them up to shareholder lawsuits. Google is a for-profit, publicly-held company at the end of the day. When I met with Google’s former head of China Kai-fu Lee in Beijing last October, he noted that one reason he left Google was that it was clear the company was never going to substantially increase its market share or beat Baidu. Google has clearly decided doing business in China isn’t worth it, and are turning what would be a negative into a marketing positive for its business in the rest of the world.

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