How Google Maps cleverly avoids getting entangled in border disputes

gizmodo

Gif courtesy of Gizmodo

You can’t please all of the people all of the time – but when it comes to disputed borders, Google Maps gives it a very good try.

According to this wikipedia page, there are more than 200 disputed borders in the world – territories that are claimed by more than one country. Even the USA and Canada argue about who owns two islands, three straits and one sea. That’s more than 200 opportunities for Google Maps to cause offence …  Read more

Google encrypting Chinese web searches, plans to do so globally to thwart NSA

Photo: Li Xin for AFP/Getty Images

Photo: Li Xin for AFP/Getty Images

The Washington Post reports that Google has begun automatically encrypting web searches carried out in China to defeat government monitoring and censorship, and plans to continue rolling out the program globally to prevent monitoring by the NSA.

China’s Great Firewall, as its censorship system is known, has long intercepted searches for information it deemed politically sensitive. Google’s growing use of encryption there means that government monitors are unable to detect when users search for sensitive terms, such as “Dalai Lama” or “Tiananmen Square,” because the encryption makes them appear as indecipherable strings of numbers and letters …  Read more

Some Google services reportedly blocked in China

Many reports are coming in that Chinese users are having trouble accessing a number of Google’s web products. There is no word on the exact cause of the service disruptions, but The Wall Street Journal noted Google’s Transpareny Report website shows “a precipitous drop in traffic in China starting more than eight hours ago,” although the site doesn’t list the services as completely inaccessible in the country. Google provided a statement to WSJ confirming the interruptions do not appear to be on its end:

“We’ve checked and there’s nothing wrong on our end,” a Google spokeswoman said in a prepared statement.

The Washington Post reported “Users with special VPN (virtual private network) services,” which many Chinese users take advantage of to access banned sites like Facebook, are still able to access Google’s services.  Read more

Google sets differences aside to form ‘Internet Association’ lobbying group with Facebook, Amazon, eBay

The world must be ending—because Google, Facebook, Amazon, and eBay just united for a cause.

The Web’s leading giants apparently formed an “Internet Association” to lobby on Capitol Hill. The Washington Post first detailed the alliance, which former Congressional guru Michael Beckerman leads, while it further noted a full list of parties is not yet known. An anonymous source told the publication, however, that the above four companies are the most notable members.

Beckerman most recently served as deputy staff director to the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee, and he boasts more than 12 years in Washington under his belt.

“The Internet must have a voice in Washington,” explained Beckerman in a press release (PDF). The Internet Association, which officially launches in September, aims to act as the Web’s executive voice.

Google is already copiously betted in various lobbying issues. 9to5Google even reported earlier this week that the folks in Mountain View spent over $5 million lobbying in Q2 2012.

Read more

Facebook busted paying a PR firm to bribe bloggers to smear Google

It doesn’t get any better than this folks. Dan Lyons, who has a contentious relationship with Bursten’s Jim Goldman (especially from his days as a CNBC reporter, above) busted the mystery Google smear campaign wide open.  It turns out, it wasn’t Apple and it wasn’t Microsoft trying to smear Google.  It was Facebook.

I won’t spoil it but knowing how much Lyons loves Jim Goldman, he must be in hog heaven right now. Read more