It’s fun watching the right people having fun… nothing else explains the allure of the Kennedys, Donald Trump, and the real Housewives. In the tech world we get to enjoy the playful antics of Google. This week we saw the launch of a new virtual Middle Earth on Google Maps, a Dr. Who Themed Google Doodle, plans for Google Glass at prescription strength, and some whacky winter oriented nonsense called Winter Wonder Lab. Ultimately all the wealth, power and fun tracks back to one thing… knowledge. Google has become the way we navigate the Internet… which is great if you live in a country like the US. In places like China, where the Government attempts to stop folk from finding out things they’d rather you not know about, things are different. Although you can still get to Google, there are many sites that you can’t get to via Google since they are blocked by the Evil Lords of China and their Political Nazgul.
The sad and somewhat Ironic fact is that for much less than the effort and cost Google employed on their adorable virtual Middle Earth (in commercial cooperation with the latest Hobbit movie of course), Google could set the information-oppressed people of China (and other evil empires) free. The task is laughably simple, all Google would need do is make Google china (like Google US) encrypted by switching to https rather than http. That would make the task of blocking encrypted results essentially impossible. It wouldn’t stop the Chinese from blocking sites, but since Google knows which sites are blocked, and any cached version of the site stored elsewhere, all they would need to do is redirect a visitor to the cached unblocked version via their results set.
Were Google to actually take on the dark lords like this, it would no doubt casue a furroro in many places. There would be protests and counter measures. However trying to oppose the growth of the Internet, and Google, is pointless. They are just too huge to fight. What’s the worse could happen… Google would be seen as a crusader for freedom (nice change)? After a few news cycles, the new norm would be established and there would be several more cracks in mount doom.