Worried about monopolies? Here’s one of the bigger ones in the making that you might want to mull over a bit. A recent report in the Wall Street Journal is saying that Google might have a part to play in an emerging takeover bid for Yahoo.
Still, it’s important to keep in mind that sources were not named although the report is pretty specific about the facts that at least two companies have talked with Google about getting some assistance in buying the beleaguered Yahoo. This all comes on the heels of reports that Yahoo will in fact sell that have also driven the stock prices up. All the usual signs that something is lurking on the horizon with the company.
Here’s some more news about repression and how it all works in spite of the fact that the Internet is changing the way dictators inevitably lose their power and die. New reports are saying that Syria is using American software to censor the Internet. At the center of the storm is California’s Blue Coat Systems since at least some of their technology is being used to crack down on the dissidents in Syria that have been protesting against President Bashar al-Assad for months now. The American company is denying any allegations they sold to the Syrians willingly, but there are experts from the Bureau of Investigative Journalism in London that are saying many firms don’t always ask the right questions to avoid persecution for selling to places like Syria.
In other news, The Canada Centre for Global Security Studies at the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs is saying that broadcasters that want to get information into countries that restrict access to the Internet need to tailor their approaches to each individual location. The recent study suggests that just having a wider all inclusive web isn’t necessarily the answer since each repressive regime often has a different way of suppressing information. The study looked at two years of BBC information and how it was censored by the Chinese and Iranian authorities.
We all need to keep an eye on the big names in censorship like the ones mentioned above and even the more sly wolves in sheep’s clothing like the Russian Interior Minister who has proposed a limit on the Internet. Dmitry Medvedev says he only wants to find ways to preserve the Russian culture and protect it from illegal activities like child porn, but there are fears that supporters of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin are looking for more strict control like the one that the Chinese impose. Does anyone remember the Cold War? It seems likely that an ex-KGB officer who happens to be in charge is pining for the good old days.