Did Mr. Softy Throw Google Bear Under China Bus

The stories from Davos are trickling in and from Jeff Jarvis, BusinessInsider, who spoke with Eric Schmidt, search boss Marissa Mayer, and counsel, and "diplomat” (Schmidt’s joke) David Drummond in a "Davos apartment dolled up with lava lamps" we heard, "“We made a decision that was consistent with our values,” Schmidt said.  And then, “We’re not going to operate differently in China as opposed to the rest of the world,” from Counsel Drummond.  When?  Was that four years ago when Google capitulated publicly to censorship and sharing information with the Chinese Communists, or not until China threatened to make Google a forgotten .com loser?  Now Schmidt is claiming they said "all along they would evaluate the situation," and he says, "people didn’t believe them." 

Secrets And Stories From Swiss Alps

 

Now Schmidt says they have found a "moral need to make sure our systems are safe from attack anywhere.”  Why is that moral?  Why hasn’t selling human right’s activists to the autocratic government been a moral need? 
 
Mr. Softy Pre-Super Kick Under The Bus
 
Since as we mentioned yesterday, Microsoft’s delay in fixing known browser holes let the door wide open for the hack that almost brought down the putative dragon slayer Google.  When asked if Google was "upset" that Google seems to be out in the front lines alone, though many other countries were allegedly attacked, Schmidt avoided the politics, but Jarvis went further, "I went farther and said that Microsoft had thrown Google under the bus and backed up over it. Schmidt repeatedly said that he manages Google, not other companies. “We speak for ourselves.”
 
Drummond the "diplomat" reminds us that lots of other countries have privacy issues, Iran of course, and Turkey, and then from Schmidt, “I believe this is an evergreen story for Google and other online companies.  As the world goes online, every country is going to have a discussion about what’s appropriate and what’s not. And a lot of these organizations [that is, governments] have not really thought through what they’re doing. We have a strong view about transparency.”  Evergreen, transparency?  Has Schmidt been talking to David Plouffe?  Those words don’t fall off the tongue easily around the SV.
 
People’s Republic Of Google
 
"Google is not a country, does not set laws, and does not have a police force — or diplomats.  This is a government-to-government issue" Schmidt said.  Whew, you could have fooled me, I swear I saw Page and Brinn rolling down the 101 in cammies.  I was a tiny bit verklempt by the image, in fact, and had a compelling notion to follow and sign up.  Then I realized, I already serve.
 
Jarvis, thankfully, didn’t stop there and asked what it was like being the 500 pound guerrilla, "Google is fundamentally disruptive because of our innovation,” Schmidt said. “Google, because of our architecture, does things at a larger scale than others can. We are in the information space, which everyone has an opinion on. … You asked me how does it feel from a Google perspective? It feels as if we’re in the right place.” These aren’t crises, Schmidt said. He treated them as a factor in doing business. “It’s constant. It’s because it’s information that [maters].” No comment on "Informationization" however.
 
I’m not sure if this last was for the benefit of Wall Street, where the Google Bear has lost about $100 on each share since this non-crisis started.  The problem remains on exactly what was lifted from Google’s teddy bear search code and who is responsible.  Nothing like a gaping hole in a browser to open Pandora’s box and bring down the Information Age and bring on the "Informationization Age."

In an AP piece on the www.siliconvalley.com, imitations of YouTube and Google are popping up and it appears they were just waiting for Google’s threat to leave to go live.  China has yet to deliver on a promise to issue "ethics" guidelines for competing interests and from the Berkeley China Internet Project at the University of California-Berkeley, the director, Xiao Qiang, says, "the sites risk bumping into problems on both sides of the Google-China standoff: It infringes on Google’s intellectual property and gives access to sensitive topics in tightly controlled China.  I cannot see how these sites can survive very long without facing these two issues."

But in the Christian Monitor, founder of the YouTube knockoff, Li Senhe, says he did it as a public service.  The site Goojje is a "working search engine that looks like a combination of Google and its top China competitor, Baidu. Exactly speaking, Goojje is not a search engine but a platform for finding friends," one of the founders, Xiao Xuan, told the Henan Business Daily on Wednesday."

Xuan guessed that based on the amount of time and work needed to build such a site on top of Google’s data, Goojje had already been ready before the Google-China showdown started — and that the founder or founders chose the name "Goojje" to get attention.

China has emerged from its long sleep getting attention in ways few anticipated.  They are not reluctant to engage, and they don’t seem the slightest bit intimidated by their fledgling status as capitalists to mimic the arrogance and self righteousness of those in the West who have owned the mantle these many years.

 

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