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Hypocrisy, Thy Name is Sergey Brin…

The following is a guest blog post by FairSearch Spokesman Mark Corallo, Public Affairs Director for the Justice Department from 2002 to 2005.

File this one in the category: “Did he really say that with a straight face?”  Billionaire Google co-founder Sergey Brin is actually worried that Internet freedom is under attack.  But not from his gargantuan search engine monopoly, heavens no! Internet freedom is threatened by the entertainment industry, Facebook and Apple, he says.

Cue the weeping violins…Poor Google.  All they really ever wanted was to do good in the world.  And if manipulating the search market to crush any competition was the means to that end, then that’s just something we have to accept.  Or if making billions of dollars by allowing the sale of unsafe, counterfeit prescription drugs to senior citizens and teenagers is one of the costs of making the world a better place, then we’ll just have to accept it (unless you’re just some unenlightened prosecutor at the US Department of Justice who sees a crime there and forces Google to pay a $500 million forfeiture to avoid a corporate indictment that would put you out of business).

Somebody please turn up the violin music and maybe add a visual of a rainbow and some puppies.  I’m going for sympathy here people… Poor, poor Google.  Think of all of the selfless acts it’s undertaken on behalf of making the world a better place.  When you think about it, isn’t Google the corporate equivalent of that early ‘70s Coke commercial with all the hippie kids singing, “I’d like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony?”  So why would anyone ever question Google’s motives when it comes to their competition?

Folks, shouldn’t we just take Mr. Brin at face value when he expresses concern about the freedom of the Internet being threatened by the evil forces of musicians & movie makers who want to protect their songs and movies from being stolen via illegal downloading, iPods and Facebook?  Shouldn’t we just ignore the fact that Google gives preference to its products in the search results thus disadvantaging legitimate competition, pushes competitors to the bottom, and has zero transparency when it comes to their algorithm — leaving Congress, the Federal Trade Commission and the European Commission to ask serious questions about Google’s anti-competitive business practices?

Or should we point Mr. Brin to three little words in the dictionary: “pot,” “ kettle,” and “black?”

Now sing with me people: “That’s the real thing…”