Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Google: Being Evil For the Power Elites

Google's legendary motto is "Don't be evil." They've been coasting on that myth even as they've collaborated with the Communist Chinese government to oppress their dissidents in exchange for access to 1.2+ billion potential customers and now they are apparently silencing critics of the corrupt United Nations:

Lee is the editor-in-chief, Webmaster and pretty much the only reporter for Inner City Press, a pint-sized Internet news operation that's taken on Goliath-sized entities like Citigroup since 1987.

Since 2005, he's been focusing almost entirely on stories that deal with internal corruption inside the U.N., posting several stores online almost daily.

He's been especially interested in the inner workings of what could be called the practical-applications arm of the international organization, the United Nations Development Programme.

Many of Lee's stories were featured prominently whenever Web users looked for news about the U.N. using the powerful Google News search engine, a vital way for media outlets both large and small to get their articles read.

But beginning Feb. 13, Google News users could no longer find new stories from the Inner City Press.

"I think they said, 'If we can't get this guy out of the U.N., let's disappear him from the Internet,'" Lee said.

Over the last couple of years, Lee has proved to be a constant — and controversial — thorn in the U.N.'s side.

Though his writing is clunky, his methods unorthodox (and often highly annoying) and his news judgment sometimes more than a little off the mark, Lee has hit his share of bullseyes and became an outlet for whistleblowers inside the U.N.

In 2006, for example, he drew attention to human-rights abuses by the Ugandan People's Defense Force during a U.N. disarmament program, including incidents in which four people were killed and over 100 homes destroyed.

In November 2007, during a press conference in which Google announced its partnership with the UNDP to achieve anti-poverty goals, Lee earned a less-than-friendly response when he asked why the Internet company hadn't signed a global human-rights and anti-censorship compact —elements in the U.N.'s Millennium Development Goals.

[Google spokesman Gabriel Stricker told FOXNews.com that "Google generally does not sign petitions or join coalitions but prefers to support public-engagement and advocacy efforts through the work of Google.org and by leveraging our products, such as Google Earth."]

It was this incident, says Lee that put him in the crosshairs. Lee said he felt certain that the Internet company and the international agency had now joined forces to make his work less accessible to the public.

"I've been covering almost U.N. stories, three to four a day, for two years, and for the last two years there's been no problem at all," Lee said. "Then that Friday, I received the e-mail. There's something a little skeezy here. I think that Google got involved with the U.N. on these Millennium goals and thought, this is the United Nations, if they tell you some small Web site is a thorn in their side and there's a credible reason you could remove them from your news service, you do it."
As far as the services it provides - premier quality search and tons of free goodies like Gmail and Blogger - Google is the tops, but like many gazillionaire tech outfits, they are operated by elitist "One Worlders" who owe no allegiance to their home countries and consider themselves above jingoistic patriotism, preferring to think of themselves as Anointed Demigods and us poor rabble as pitiful children requiring their alms which flow as manna from their beneficent touch.

Perhaps Google should cop to their attitudes and proclaim that they're "As evil as we want to be."

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