Broadband

by Karl Bode


Filed Under:
india, lobbying, net neutrality, zero rating

Companies:
facebook, google



Google Lobbied Against Real Net Neutrality In India, Just Like It Did In The States

from the only-a-little-bit-evil dept

While Google is still seen as (and proclaims to be) a net neutrality advocate, evidence continues to mount that this is simply no longer the case. Back in 2010 you might recall that Google helped co-write the FCC's original, flimsy net neutrality rules with the help of folks like AT&T and Verizon -- ensuring ample loopholes and making sure the rules didn't cover wireless at all. When the FCC moved to finally enact notably-tougher neutrality rules for wired and wireless networks earlier this year, Google was publicly mute but privately active in making sure the FCC didn't seriously address the problems with usage caps and zero-rated (cap exempt) content.

While the company pretends this isn't a notable turnaround from previous principles, the evidence is on the table for all to see.

As India has been exploring net neutrality rules it's again apparent that, if not at least leaning into the anti-neutrality rule camp -- Google sure as hell is not helping. Both Google and Facebook have come under fire recently for their zero rating efforts overseas, which include exempting some select partner content from usage caps, and setting up walled garden fiefdoms under the banner of selfless altruism. Critics charge that these plans create vast inequalities in connectivity and violate Internet openness, and that if the companies' really want to help the poor, they can help subsidize truly open Internet access.

While Facebook has responded to this criticism by insisting that all of its critics are extremists should they dare question Facebook's noble intentions, Google's again chosen a more subtle route; staying mute on the subject publicly but quietly working behind the scenes to weaken the final rules:
"Google joined hands with Facebook to try and prevent the Internet and Mobile Association of India, which represents some of the largest Internet companies in India, from taking a stand that counters Zero Rating. According to emails exchanged between IAMAI’s Government Relations committee members, of which MediaNama has copies, Vineeta Dixit, a member of Google’s Public Policy and and Government Relations team, strongly pushed for the removal of any mention of Zero Rating from the IAMAI’s submission, as a response to the Department of Telecom’s report on Net Neutrality. Please note that Google hasn’t responded to our queries, despite multiple reminders...
Apparently Google was preparing to launch its own zero-rated effort in India but put those plans on hold once it saw Facebook taking a public relations beating. And while Google's been very careful to even avoid having any of its positions on the record, these e-mails show it pushed India's wireless carriers to make sure they all were on board supporting zero rating:
"Dixit’s email to the IAMAI government relations committee, while reasoning that there is no consensus on Zero Rating, asked for its removal from the submission, saying: “We would like to register strong protest against this formulation and would request you to remove this (Zero Rating) from the submission."
So yes, this is basically Google's net neutrality modus operandi now: publicly say as little as possible (while harvesting press and public acclaim for being a net neutrality "supporter") while privately undermining real neutrality. As we've discussed with both AT&T's sponsored data and T-Mobile's Music Freedom, such a model gives preferential treatment to larger companies while making life immediately harder for smaller outfits, independents and non-profits. And Google's ok with that. Worth remembering the next time Google (or a press outlet) proclaims that Google's still a noble champion on the net neutrality front.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Aug 2015 @ 3:27pm

    Corporations: Always looking out for number one, because fuck you.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Anonymous Coward, 24 Aug 2015 @ 4:11pm

      Re:

      You mean because Wall Street, don't you?

      Now Wall Street defitantely says, fuck the poeple, go profit!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 24 Aug 2015 @ 4:11pm

      Re:

      The smart ones realize that unless you've got a monopoly on whatever it is you're offering(or your customers are masochistic idiots), looking out for your customers is looking out for #1, because a company whose customers have gone elsewhere due to being mistreated is one that's not going to be around very long.

      The ones with a monopoly of course don't care, because what are their customers going to do, go to the competition that doesn't exist?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        anonymous me, 24 Aug 2015 @ 4:59pm

        Re: going elsewhere

        Duck Duck Go

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 24 Aug 2015 @ 7:03pm

          Re: Re: going elsewhere

          most things i try duckduckgo for, i end up on google anyway, cause duckduckgo just doesn't deliver what im looking for

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            Sheogorath (profile), 24 Aug 2015 @ 7:13pm

            Re: Re: Re: going elsewhere

            So fucking true, and it's pretty much unusable in Opera Mini along with all the other 'Google alternatives'. I just wish that the positions of Google Search and DuckDuckGo were reversed in terms of usefulness. :(

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 25 Aug 2015 @ 1:42am

            Re: Re: Re: going elsewhere

            Gives me good results, seldom do I have to resort to "The Google."

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Aug 2015 @ 3:45pm

    Bunch of freaking Google shills. You just won't shut up about how awesome Google is and how it can do no wrong, will you? Why don't you freaking marry Google if you love it so much?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 24 Aug 2015 @ 4:38pm

      Re:

      They are a Google shill. You don't see them complaining about how Google is completely funded by piracy. Google paid them to ignore that fact. They only criticize Google for the minor things and here they are even criticizing Google for going in the right direction in the direction of wanting more draconian laws. This post is really a boost to Google's reputation.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 24 Aug 2015 @ 4:56pm

        Re: Re:

        Google is responsible for all the starving artists and Techdirt doesn't care because they are a bunch of Google shills.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Gwiz (profile), 24 Aug 2015 @ 5:01pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Google turned me into a newt.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 25 Aug 2015 @ 4:27am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "Google is responsible for all the starving artists"

          Who's responsible for all the artists who aren't starving? Who was responsible for all the artists who were starving before Google existed as a handy scapegoat for morons?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            That One Guy (profile), 25 Aug 2015 @ 5:08am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Respectively:

            Anyone but Google.

            Still Google. They're so powerful they were causing artists to starve even before they existed.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 31 Aug 2015 @ 12:27am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Why, the RIAA and the MPAA of course. Copyright law. Infringement is even responsible for the humanitarian crisis in Haiti!!! Just Google / Techdirt search it for proof.

            Please note the obvious. This post is sarcasm as was the post claiming Google receives all their money from piracy.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 31 Aug 2015 @ 3:37am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              (That is the RIAA/MPAA and copyright laws are responsible for all the non-starving artists but not for the artists that were starving before Google. What's responsible for that are cassette tapes and the printing press. In fact all technology is to blame).

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        techflaws (profile), 24 Aug 2015 @ 10:03pm

        Re: Re:

        You don't see them complaining about how Google is completely funded by piracy

        Of course not, because it's complete and utter bullshit.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        PaulT (profile), 25 Aug 2015 @ 4:26am

        Re: Re:

        "You don't see them complaining about how Google is completely funded by piracy"

        Because they live in the real world, where this isn't true?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        nasch (profile), 25 Aug 2015 @ 7:56am

        Re: Re:

        Nicely done, you actually fooled several people. :-)

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Aug 2015 @ 4:08pm

    > Apparently Google was preparing to launch its own zero-rated effort in India but put those plans on hold

    That may not be entirely accurate. I think Google was already offering some kind of zero-rating for apps installed from its Play Store on "Android One" smartphones, which launched a year ago.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 25 Aug 2015 @ 7:16am

      Re:

      I have been an Android One user (india) since inception, I did sufficient research before buying the set. I am not aware of what you claim. I don't think it is accurate.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    tqk (profile), 24 Aug 2015 @ 4:32pm

    Google? What's that?

    Never mind. I'll go look it up in Ixquick. "Don't be evil." Yuk, yuk.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Aug 2015 @ 4:34pm

    but techdirt is such a google shill, how could they possibly speak badly of Google.

    Oh, I get it now, Techdirt is a net neutrality shill. They shill on principle and for the public interest. How much is the public paying you Techdirt?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Aug 2015 @ 5:07pm

    Google has issues they want to act like one of the guys but behind your back they're trying to bang your woman , sneaky backstabbing fukwarts

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    R2_v2.0 (profile), 24 Aug 2015 @ 5:10pm

    Lost battle

    Does anyone seriously think Net neutrality has a snowflake's chance in hell? If so, please point me to some other internationally agreed 'level playing field' where strong neutrality has worked because I can't think of a single example. Trade? Nope. Education? Nope. Healthcare? Nope. Sport? Nope.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 24 Aug 2015 @ 5:15pm

      Lost only if you give up at the outset

      Pretty much every battle actually worth fighting is difficult. Very few things that are truly valuable are attainable without effort, and an open internet is one of them.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 25 Aug 2015 @ 4:35am

      Re: Lost battle

      "If so, please point me to some other internationally agreed 'level playing field' where strong neutrality has worked"

      The internet as it's existed up to this point?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 25 Aug 2015 @ 8:18am

      Re: Lost battle

      The UK ADSL market is a good example.

      BT were forced to offer LLU and that lead to a very competitive ADSL market over here.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Nope, 25 Aug 2015 @ 12:07pm

      Re: Lost battle

      The Internet.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Aug 2015 @ 5:52pm

    Hmmmmmm.... After this article I suspect Masnick's monthly cheque from Google may be "lost" in the mail and Karl's new editor will be Marcus Carab.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Aug 2015 @ 6:23pm

    This comments section is confusing

    I have no idea if half of you people are sarcastic or serious. :V

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Aug 2015 @ 6:56pm

    So you're still okay with Google spying and tracking everyone all over the web for targeted advertising and giving NSA "direct access"?

    Because this scheming is about one-thousandth of the evil that Google does every day. BUT at least you're now on the right track.

    Sheesh.

    EVERYONE noticed the DISTINCT difference. I left obvious bait alone to see what'd happen. You clearly found a popular target, so let's have MORE!

    I LIKE the AC who suggests Google's check hasn't come this month! That may even be true. People DO see through you, Techdirt.


    @ This comments section is confusing by Anonymous Coward
    @ I have no idea if half of you people are sarcastic or serious. :V

    I'm pretty sure those against Google are genuine, and the fanboys just don't know what to make of this sudden change from Techdirt!


    Gwiz wrote: "Google turned me into a newt." -- That's just what I thought. You were a worm before and you love Google for raising you to newt. -- A separate "sheesh" just for you. What are you, thirteen? Feeble and unnecessary "funny" shows inability to deal with facts.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Sheogorath (profile), 24 Aug 2015 @ 7:08pm

      Re: So you're still okay with Google spying and tracking everyone all over the web for targeted advertising and giving NSA "direct access"?

      I LIKE the AC who suggests Google's check hasn't come this month! That may even be true.
      Either present evidence that Techdirt shills for Google or STFU. Reported.
      You were a worm before and you love Google for raising you to newt. -- A separate "sheesh" just for you. What are you, thirteen? Feeble and unnecessary "funny" shows inability to deal with facts.
      Reported for the above flame as well.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 24 Aug 2015 @ 8:34pm

      False Dichotomy

      Once again, your thinking is far to black and white.

      You think Google is evil, net neutrality, and fair use are evil and you think the record companies, strict copyright laws, and kicking puppies are evil.

      Nothing is ever that black and white (except kicking puppies, you're right about that one).

      Google can be good and can be bad and the record companies can be good and can be bad (even if their mouth pieces and business managers and lawyers appear to be the scum of the earth).

      Techdirt doesn't have to be pro-Google or anti-Google. Calling it like it is when Google does something good or bad is just being observant and having an opinion.

      I would gladly donate $20 towards the tuition for you to take a moral philosophy course at your nearest community college if it would at all improve your comments.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 24 Aug 2015 @ 8:36pm

        Re: False Dichotomy

        And I'll pitch in $20 for me to take a writing course.

        "...record companies, strict copyright laws, and kicking puppies are good."

        "...(except kicking puppies, you're wrong about that one)."

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 25 Aug 2015 @ 12:22am

      Re:

      Techdirt agrees with Google, you whine.
      Techdirt criticizes Google, you whine.

      Seriously, if you're only here to turn every article into a fetishized masturbation session where you dream of antidirt infringing the copyright on your asshole, you can go choke your own chicken elsewhere. Preferably using a guillotine.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Gwiz (profile), 25 Aug 2015 @ 6:53am

      Re: So you're still okay with Google spying and tracking everyone all over the web for targeted advertising and giving NSA "direct access"?

      Gwiz wrote: "Google turned me into a newt." -- That's just what I thought. You were a worm before and you love Google for raising you to newt. -- A separate "sheesh" just for you. What are you, thirteen? Feeble and unnecessary "funny" shows inability to deal with facts.


      I guess you are simply too dimwitted to pick-up on the obvious popular culture reference to jumping on the witchhunt bandwagon.

      My apologies if my sense of humor is too sophisticated for you.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        PaulT (profile), 25 Aug 2015 @ 8:25am

        Re: Re: So you're still okay with Google spying and tracking everyone all over the web for targeted advertising and giving NSA "direct access"?

        To be fair, the output of Monty Python is way, way down the list of things of which he's completely ignorant. If only he didn't display his ignorance so loudly and proudly rather than, say, working to not be ignorant. Being so stupid clearly takes some effort, even if he's just a sad, lonely troll rather than an honestly unhinged obsessive.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Sheogorath (profile), 25 Aug 2015 @ 10:38am

        Re: Re: So you're still okay with Google spying and tracking everyone all over the web for targeted advertising and giving NSA "direct access"?

        I'm hardly dimwitted, but I didn't get the reference either. Still, I have the fact that Monty Python's no longer shown on UK TV as my excuse! :D

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          John Fenderson (profile), 26 Aug 2015 @ 6:35am

          Re: Re: Re: So you're still okay with Google spying and tracking everyone all over the web for targeted advertising and giving NSA "direct access"?

          I have to admit I am stunned. The reference, by the way, doesn't come from the TV show but from their most famous movie, "Monty Python and the Holy Grail". If you haven't seen this, you really should. Unless you hate laughing, of course.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Sheogorath (profile), 24 Aug 2015 @ 7:04pm

    And Google is why we can't have nice things. If only its search engine hadn't been so useful as to become almost ubiquitous. :(

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Aug 2015 @ 9:56pm

    google, huh?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Aug 2015 @ 11:40pm

    Googles "Dont be evil" thing is like the androids in the last Alien game.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Aug 2015 @ 2:22am

    You know what? Screw it: Google has become so big that the left hand doesn't know what the right hand does anymore.
    They have so many self contradictory practices, not to mention the wasp's nest they stirred with the Oracle API lawsuit that they lost recently.

    Google should really rein in its lawyers before they manage to damage the company irreparably one day.
    Also its new-found tendency to go for short-term profits.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Aug 2015 @ 3:39am

    Funded By Piracy

    Would someone care to explain the logistics behind how Google is funded by piracy? I'm honestly curious here. I was under the impression that the central principle behind piracy was that you didn't have to pay for anything. If that's true then who's giving Google money?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 25 Aug 2015 @ 4:17am

      Re: Funded By Piracy

      As I understand it, it goes something like this.

      1. 'Pirate' sites make tons of money off of ads(1).
      2. Google both offers these ads(2), and links to them, giving them a cut of the profits.
      3. To protect the massive income stream of money from the pirate site ads, which vastly dwarfs the amount coming from other sources, Google looks the other way and in fact makes sure to prioritize such sites to increase traffic(3) to them, and as a result increase their cut.
      4. Therefore, Google is funded by piracy.(4)

      (1) Ignore for the moment how only seriously dodgy companies would ever offer their ads on 'pirate' sites, and tend to pay pittance even compared to the usual low rates.

      (2) Ignore for the moment how they do not, due to not wanting to open themselves up to legal issues that they don't need, and in fact are apparently ridiculously trigger happy when it comes to pulling ads off of even potential 'pirate' sites thanks to the desire to avoid said legal issues.

      (3) Ignore for the moment how #1&2 make the 'income' from such site insanely low, if not non-existent. Also ignore how said pittance wouldn't even begin to pay a fraction of the legal fees that are regularly incurred by Google thanks to the parasites demanding that Google 'do something' regarding piracy, fees that would only increase if Google was actually trying to increase piracy rates.

      (4) At this point you should be practiced enough ignoring reality that you have a promising career in either politics or the 'entertainment' industry should you wish to take either up.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    nasch (profile), 25 Aug 2015 @ 8:00am

    Don't be evil

    So I guess their public motto is "Don't be evil", while their private motto is "Don't be evil publicly".

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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