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posted by takyon on Monday October 15 2018, @09:25AM   Printer-friendly

Republican Senators Demand Answers about Google+ Cover-up

Senators Thune, Wicker, and Moran Letter to Google

takyon: Three Senators have written a letter to Google CEO Sundar Pichai requesting responses to several questions about the recent Google+ breach.

Also at Reuters, Ars Technica, and The Verge.

How Google's China Project Undermines its Claims to Political Neutrality

Submitted via IRC for chromas

How Google's China project undermines its claims to political neutrality

The company's official position on content moderation remains political neutrality, a spokeswoman told me in an email:

Google is committed to free expression — supporting the free flow of ideas is core to our mission. Where we have developed our own content policies, we enforce them in a politically neutral way. Giving preference to content of one political ideology over another would fundamentally conflict with our goal of providing services that work for everyone.

Of course, it's impossible to read the report or Google's statement without considering Project Dragonfly. According to Ryan Gallagher's ongoing reporting at The Intercept, Google's planned Chinese search engine will enable anything but the free flow of ideas. Even in an environment where American users are calling for tech platforms to limit users' freedoms in exchange for more safety and security, many still recoil at the idea of a search engine that bans search terms in support of an authoritarian regime.

And that's the unresolvable tension at the heart of this report. Almost all of us would agree that some restrictions on free speech are necessary. But few of us would agree on what those restrictions should be. Being a good censor — or at least, a more consistent censor — is within Google's grasp. But being a politically neutral one is probably impossible.

See also: Senator Says Google Failed to Answer Key Questions on China

Related: Leaked Transcript Contradicts Google's Denials About Censored Chinese Search Engine


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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 15 2018, @04:00PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 15 2018, @04:00PM (#749104)

    So "Senators Demand Answers" about some tech company (which they do not understand) and the breach (which they do not understand) of a platform (which they do not understand) so they can ... well ... ask mark Zuckerberg more softball questions?

    Yes, yes, Zuck has nothing to do with this, but the senators who demand answers probably don't know that. And they still may not know it (or understand it) once they are told. Tell them to ask some guy named Larry (but not Curly or Moe).

    Normally I would advise my senator to ask his children (or grandchildren), but I doubt even they would know (or care) what Google+ is. So we'll have another inquiry into something the government wants to regulate but doesn't comprehend.