Wednesday, January 13, 2010

What I Belive Prompted Google's Actions Regarding China

I wanted to post this, because it's not something I read from someone smarter than me, it's not something I got from an insider or anything like that... it's my own connection of the dots and while I don't know if it's really as significant as I think it is, I'm proud that my own deductive skills came up with it. So now that you've put up with my Amateurish self congratulation, I'll tell you what I'm talking about.

Earlier a friend on Facebook posted this:

"I'm not seeing the connection between a couple (hundred thousand). Human rights activists in china having their gmails hacked and google deciding to take it's all or nothing stance on censorship. What's going unreported? I just can't seam to connect the dots."

My response was this:
"Okay, this is speculation, but it's based on some fairly solid analysis. It's to do with the question of the security of cloud computing in general.

See, recently I read an article about an Australian university refusing to use Gmail due to the concern that with the new FISA amendments brought out last year along with the PATRIOT act of 2001 that the united states could compel Google to release e-mails of international accounts as the data passes through wires on US soil. This is a serious concern regarding cloud computing that Google will have to address to ensure the security of that sector.

Now, Google KNOWS that some part of the Chinese government is hacking their servers targeting human rights activists. They know that an organization that they do business with is attacking them in a way that could very well lead to crimes against humanity. If they continue to censor information through their search engines that raises questions about loyalties since they are doing this favor that arguably violates human rights for China and no one else. Now apply the United States Intelligence issue to that. How can Google credibly promise other countries that their cloud computing servers are secure from being rifled through by the US when they're actively doing business with an organization that's hacking their information with the intent of humanitarian crimes and arguably complicit in those acts......

Legally it would be impossible to charge them, but this is about customer trust, profit and growth. They need to set precedents to keep that trust, or the future of cloud computing is at risk."

Now, happy supporters of Google who actually believe their "Don't Be Evil" mantra are applauding this savvy move to gain traction in China before exerting influence, but I'm a bit more cynical than that. Google isn't in the happy bunny, feel good business. They're in a business that requires their customers to feel secure letting them hold onto their dirty laundry without letting their landlord sniff the panties. If they cannot do that then they will not maintain their seat as the largest search engine on the internet.