Nobody can doubt the pervasive influence Google has in our daily lives. For most people the Internet giant has become the primary gateway to the Web.
No doubt many of its services are useful, but what is the real impact of a company whose audacious mission is " to organize the world‘s information and make it universally accessible and useful?"
Scott Cleland has been doing some serious thinking about Google. His book, "Search & Destroy: Why You Can't Trust Google Inc," is the result.
In the book, officially launched Tuesday, May 10, Cleland argues that Google's centralization and power over the world's information is corrupting both Google and the Internet.
"Google's business model, privacy lip service, outrageous privacy violations, and extreme secrecy tells us that Google's attitude is 'Privacy for me, radical transparency for thee," writes Cleland.
Cleland told USA Today's Byron Acohido his reason for writing:
"The goal of my book is to make more people aware of the threats Google poses to privacy, property, competition, and even democracy — so that the system can address them appropriately."
Or as the book concludes:
"Actions speak louder than words. Google dispenses soaring rhetoric about serving users, but Google's actions are all about influencing and controlling users. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.
"Forwarned is forearmed: Google's real mission is to remake the world in its own image through hidden influence, manipulation, and central planning. And Google's immense unaccountable power is so destructive precisely because Google is shockingly political, unethical and untrustworthy."
Google's spokesman Adam Kovacevich has taken to attacking the messenger rather than addressing the criticisms Cleland has raised, as in this interview with Fox News' Eric Shawn:
"Everyone knows that Mr. Cleland stopped being a neutral analyst years ago and is now paid by Microsoft and AT&T to criticize Google full-time."
Sure, Cleland is no a friend of Google, but that is because of his serious and meticulous research. His book is well worth reading.