Have you been sitting around, bored out of your mind and wondering what nefarious and mind-blowingly ridiculous things your favorite little search engines have been up to lately? Here’s a quick roundup in case you haven’t been paying attention to all the ethical aspects of our collective internet obsession…
Yahoo recently claimed to have simply been obeying Chinese law when handing over personal details of Wang Xiaoning, a Chinese man who had been openly critical of the Chinese government. Wang Xiaoning was subsequently sentenced to ten years in prison. His horrific crime was promoting democracy through the use of an online forum. In response to this, and other incidents, Yahoo is being sued in a U.S. court for aiding and abetting torture in China. Yahoo’s response to the lawsuit? The users knew the risks they were taking when they violated Chinese law.
My take on this? Yahoo should never have set up shop in China in the first place. Yes, they should have to obey Chinese laws if they’re operating over there, but when will it be time to refuse to do business with oppressive regimes?
The National Legal and Policy Center, a U.S.-based ethics group, is appealing to Congress to prevent Google from allowing pirated movies to appear on YouTube. They’re really, really upset about it too. My take on this one? Copyright violations and pirated movies? Ye gads the world is going to hell in a handbasket. If this is the worst thing you’re doing, you’re still better than anyone else. I’m always first in line for a pirated version of absolutely anything. So, if you have anything good, let me know.
In news that’s so weird you think it must be a hoax, Google is currently being sued for $5m by an American man (figures) named Dylan Stephen Jayne who says that, when his social security number is viewed upside down, it forms a scrambled version of the word “Google” and thus his life is in danger. His complaint to the court was also handwritten. This man is most likely distantly related to me, since crazy hijinks of this type seem to run rampant through the Joyce genes. Also, when I write out the first letter of my 12 favorite punk bands, it forms an anagram of “Jayne is crazy” so I guess this is my last post, seeing as I’ll soon be gunned down. Um, I think my take on this has thus been made quite obvious. This guy could take make a freight train take a dirt road.
Microsoft is seeking seeking $100,000 in damages per domain name in a typo-squatting case against Anthony Peppler. Peppler could be on the hook for as much as $9.5 million. Apparently this horrible man has purchased domain names that are “confusingly similar” to MSN domains. For example, if you’re an idiot and you misspell MSN, you might go to one of Peppler’s domains. Apparently it’s a bad idea to confuse consumers. My take on this? If you’re typing in an MSN-related site, you deserve to get tricked. Peppler should take it one step further and create software that pops a fist out of the user’s computer screen to punch MSN users in the face too.
Let me know if I’ve missed any other egregious misuses of public trust…