Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Is Google a Free Speech Opportunist?

Roberts, Jeff John. "Is Google a Free Speech Opportunist?" GigaOm, October 20, 2012. 

From the article: "Rumors are swirling that the federal government is about to sue Google over claims that the company rigs its search results. Google has responded by invoking its right to free speech — but not everyone is buying this.

Tim Wu, a prominent law professor at Columbia, is not convinced that Google is invoking its First Amendment rights in good faith. He suggests that Google and other big companies are cynically invoking constitutional freedoms as part of a corporate deregulation agenda.

“We’re living in a golden age of First Amendment opportunism,” said Wu, speaking Friday at a Penn Law School conference titled The Evolving Internet.”

In Wu’s view, search results are not really speech in the first space. Instead, he argues, Google’s algorithms are closer to other automated communication tools like navigation devices or even car alarms." Read more