Don’t expect an army of web companies to rush to Google‘s defense in China v. Google. The lines are drawn but Google will stand alone, according to internet law expert and Harvard Professor Jonathan Zittrain.
Other companies, Zittrain argues, are too timid to go toe-to-toe with China, especially with the web’s biggest market at stake. That decision to remain neutral seems like a no brainer — at least from the short-term, dollars and cents perspective — but there’s an argument to be made that Google could eventually emerge as the victor. Zittrain hypothesizes that if Google holds its posture and China ultimately evolves into a truly free society, then the citizens of China will pledge allegiance to Google and reject the other brands that effectively sold-out with self censorship.
Our Skype interview with Zittrain after the break.
Google provides search and advertising services, which together aim to organize and monetize the world’s information. In addition to its dominant search engine, it offers a plethora of online tools and platforms including: Gmail, Maps, YouTube, and Google+, the company’s extension into the social space. Most of its Web-based products are free, funded by Google’s highly integrated online advertising platforms AdWords and AdSense. Google promotes the idea that advertising should be highly targeted and relevant to users thus providing...
Jonathan Zittrain is a law professor of Harvard Law School and currently serves as faculty co-director of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University. Formerly, he was also a professor at the Oxford Internet Institute (of Oxford University). Zittrain is the author of “The Future Of The Internet And How To Stop It.”