Google goes to bed with CIA

You want to know what news sends chills down the spines of the world’s governments? [via]

Not "rogue regimes’" purported saber rattling.

Not even bad economic data coming out of Wall Street.

It's news like this:

"The search giant Google and the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency are investing in a company working to track Web-browsing behavior.

Both companies are funneling money into Recorded Future, a company researching a new Web-browsing analytics tool that could be used to estimate the future browsing habits of people surfing the Web"

Dig this? Google joins forces with the dreaded CIA.

It's 2010 and having the world biggest fleet and air force is not enough to control the world.

There's a softer, subtler way of doing that - through the Internet.

It so happens that the world's biggest and most important software and Internet companies are American - with Google. Inc increasingly seen as in bed with the White House.

And while, ostensibly, every leader of every country likes to talk about the freedom of information, in reality, nobody wants the United States to control the data flow in his or her country, plain and simple.

And those who can are trying to resist Google's dominance - and not just Google's.

Coincidence or not but this month several things happened indicating that some countries have just had enough.

Russia announced that it is working on a "national search engine" to stem Google's assault on the Russian speaking Internet. Allegedly, the government is ready to shed some $100 million to create such an engine.

It is rather curious that in Russia they do already have two very strong local rivals to Google - Yandex and Rambler, but clearly the Russians are alarmed at the increasing synergy between the US government and Google.Inc.

Russia - just like China with its Baidu search engine - are what could be described as information superpowers, with its own strong school of software specialists and long history rivaling the US firms.

But others also want to follow suit.

Another hot-spot of the war with Google is that erstwhile American ally, Turkey.

The search engine giant is currently involved in a dispute with the Turkish government over taxes. And Google-owned Youtube is banned in Turkey, by court order, for disseminating material the court found to be offensive.

Last year, the Turkish government launched a project that will provide email accounts for its entire population. The project goes by the name of Anaposta.

The key reason why Turkey sees Anaposta as a national security project - all the data will be transferring through servers in Turkey, not in the US as Google's Gmail.

Not unlike the governments of yet another US ally - the United Emirates - that just decided to ban the use of RIM's Blackberry.

The reason is the same, essentially - data is flowing and could be stored and analyzed in North America, not in Dubai or Abu Dhabi.

It is common to address the wars between various countries and communications companies as an attempt by governments to stem the freedom of information.

But increased cooperation between the likes of Google and the US government does very little to convince the public that opposition to US online dominance is necessarily a bad thing.

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