Google on Public Policy

I should have known it existed, but floating through delicious I just uncovered that Google has a public policy blog.

Google Public Policy Blog

Incredible.

After a quick perusal it seems the blog is partly about the interface between technology and public policy (making me their much, much, much smaller neighbour) and partly about Google’s efforts to lobby for policies that are in its (and so far, the publics’) interests.

For example, the blog tracks Google’s efforts to fight “censorship” which it defines VERY broadly. This is of concern to Google because, as the blog’s authors point out…

“…to industries that depend upon free flows of information to deliver their services across borders, censorship is a fundamental barrier to trade. For Google, it is fair to say that censorship constitutes the single greatest trade barrier we currently face.”

Of course, under this definition, the Canadian content rules (Cancon) may constitute censorship – so Google may already have a few enemies north of the border. Of course, it hardly matters. In a world of online media, infinite websites, and delivery mechanisms like Joost, CanCon rules are probably among the regulatory walking dead. How will regulating content on television and radio matter when I’ll be getting my content via the internet?

Speaking of censoring the internet. The blog also documents Google’s participation in another important fight, the battle over net neutrality. While I already knew Google’s position on this issue, it was interesting to hear their thoughts directly. And hey, when you are taking on the entire cable and telecommunication industry, it is nice to know that at least one multi-billion dollar company is in your corner.

It’s made me wonder… will Google Canada take up arms in pursuit of net neutrality here at home? Someone has to take on Rogers and Bell as they attempt to control and shape our internet experience. Will Google Canada be as active and its parent company?

2 thoughts on “Google on Public Policy

  1. Mike Beltzner

    I sincerely doubt that Google Canada has a political lobbying arm with heavy financial backing, but it might be worth asking the question. They’re growing their presence here.

    What frustrates me is that Canada isn’t thinking of exploiting it’s potential to differentiate from the US on public policy in order to experiment with the different possible models. We’re a micro-economy within the G8, which to my mind makes us ripe for this sort of experimentation. Sadly, fear of US reprisals or inability to compete with US copyright mechanisms seems to be driving our politicians.

    Reply
  2. Mike Beltzner

    I sincerely doubt that Google Canada has a political lobbying arm with heavy financial backing, but it might be worth asking the question. They’re growing their presence here.What frustrates me is that Canada isn’t thinking of exploiting it’s potential to differentiate from the US on public policy in order to experiment with the different possible models. We’re a micro-economy within the G8, which to my mind makes us ripe for this sort of experimentation. Sadly, fear of US reprisals or inability to compete with US copyright mechanisms seems to be driving our politicians.

    Reply

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