Google, What If The President Was A Mom?
If the President of the United States Was Female, Would Google Still Resist Complying With the Administration's Subpoena?
Google: Guts or Gall?
The search media industry has been focusing on Google's controversial decision to use the issue of privacy as rationale for not cooperating with the Bush White House subpoena. The White House has demanded this information as it defends the 1998 Child Online Protection Act, being challenged by the ACLU.
For those who have been outside of a wireless hot spot over the last few weeks, the White House is requesting a random sample of 1 million Internet addresses accessible through Google and a random sample of 1 million Google search queries for a one-week period.
What if Big Brother Was Big Sister?
Google has been uncooperative with the administration's subpoena while AOL, Yahoo and MSN have all complied with the demands. Why? Nicole Wong, an associate general counsel for Google stated, "Google is not a party to this lawsuit, and the demand for the information is overreaching." They plan to fight the government's position "vigorously."
Bush supporter, Jack Samad, SVP with the National Coalition for Protection of Children and Families advocacy group said search engines should help the Bush administration defend the law. Mr. Samad expressed disappointment on Google's stance. "Young people are experiencing broken lives after being exposed to adult images and behaviors on the Internet," Samad said. "I'm disappointed Google did not want to exercise its good corporate branding to secure the protection of youth. I think (complying with the subpoena) would substantiate the basis of COPA if they get a free exchange of information on youthful use of the Internet."
Grappling With Giving Gigabytes To The Government
A leader in the search field on Madison Avenue, David Berkowitz, director of marketing at Viewpoint and author of Inside the Marketers' Studio believes that the issue of gender would change everything if the president was a mother, particularly how it is being played out in the press, "Google believes its position is living up to its public persona, while the Bush Administration believes they should not take "no" for an answer," Mr. Berkowitz said. "Right now, it's an intense match on each side and in the media. [If the president was a woman], the public debate and legal positions on each side would be much more diplomatic",he said.
It's bizarre that the headlines surrounding this issue have to do with a societally cancerous topic. Pointing the spotlight on it is healthy in making people aware, though in another way, does it also invite higher interest in continued net-exploitation? Given that the arguments are being voiced all over the net, does it provide twisted individuals with ways to circumvent detection? Could all the publicity send a signal and instructions of what to do as evidenced by today's (wee-bit) sarcastic leading paragraph on Silicon Alley Today, "If you don't regularly anonymize your Google cookie and purge your personalized search history, now might be a good time to start..."
The issue of the Commander in Chief being female changes things on numerous levels, though is this all that surprising given what we know from a recent Pew Internet Study which indicates wide differences in how men and women use the net. According to a new report, "Men and women have very distinct reasons for going online. Men tend to retrieve information, such as weather, news, sports scores, and financial information. They also download software, listen to music (or download it), research products, look for jobs, find out how to repair something, or educate themselves on a topic. For women, the Internet is first and foremost a communication vehicle, with e-mail a prime reason for usage. Women also look for health, medical and religious information, and support for health or personal problems."
Written in 1949, George Orwell's book "1984", did not include feminism and its implications on culture in his dark tale. His projection of what a government-dominated media "we're watching you" thought-police did not account for the fact that Big Brother might actually be Big Sister.
With just 10 years of knowledge regarding how new media technology impacts us as a society, this situation represents just a fraction of the questions that will arise Search integrates further into our lives. David Berkowitz clarifies the issue before us, "The search engine becomes the ineffable partner, the one who's always responding to you on target, based on how you initiated the conversation."
We envision that once the Google/Bush issue is resolved in the courts, there are numerous other privacy issues still to be raised, like:
1. Consumers searching consumers
2. Consumers searching businesses
3. Consumer searching governments
4. Businesses searching consumers
5. Businesses searching businesses
6. Business searching governments
7. Governments searching consumers
8. Governments searching businesses
9. Governments searching governments
Remember when your Mom used to ask you a question which you didn't know the answer to? For example, if you were asked, "Where is the peanut butter, or the milk, or cookies, or remote control? How many of us wouldn't have said at one time, "Search me!" Well, Google might suggest you think twice before you answer in this fashion. They might also suggest you have your attorney present as well.