By: Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Photo: WSJ / Techrights

Google is Not Your Friend and It Was Never Your Friend

Google is probably — at least as far as GNU/Linux is concerned — the least harmful among GAFAM and Microsoft by far the worst. Why? Because Google spreads Linux through Android and GNU/Linux through Chrome OS. Of course it also spreads DRM to the Linux kernel, but that’s just one of very many bad things Google does.

The cult of personalities or of brands is very dangerous. Association with brands, personal pride in branding, personification and idol-like worship of muchly-groomed [sic] individuals can become hardly any different or distinguishable from religion. In the arena of government it’s sometimes referred to as “identity politics”…

When it comes to listening devices or bugs (often referred to as “smart” “assistants”) people are given ample ‘choice’ between brands. Which of GAFAM is your ‘favourite’? Pick your poison, the US government will receive and perpetually keep copies of all the audio. Maybe even your local police department will receive it all, without as much as a warrant.

The way I’ve long seen it, Google was evil but a convenient ally against Microsoft monopoly (Windows, Office). It’s hard to imagine a Google that actually promotes software freedom — neglecting GSoC ‘guilt money’ or ‘silence money’ (appeasing people and/or quelling dissent) — and the company’s patent stance is hardly any better. It actively helps the European Patent Office (EPO) and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) with patent maximalism.

If you care about software freedom (or privacy, peace etc.), then Google is not your friend. Its founders are long gone (the actual geeks).

It’s disappointing to see Debian receiving money from Google (not only through event sponsorships), then covering the whole thing up. As for the FSF? It apparently received some perks from Microsoft and Google in a GPL event despite the fact that both Microsoft and Google antagonise the GPL and discourage copyleft adoption. We complained when Google money landed on the EFF’s lap and even some EFF board members cited our complaint; they too were unhappy.


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