Aardvark DailyNew Zealand's longest-running online daily news and commentary publication, now in its 25th year. The opinion pieces presented here are not purported to be fact but reasonable effort is made to ensure accuracy.
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Over the history of the planet, we've seen various empires rise and fall.
Both these periods in history were marked by the massive dominance that one country demonstrated over many other, lesser nations. The culture, laws and beliefs of the dominant country were spread far and wide during these periods... sometimes by peaceful means but often by way of wars and violence.
One might have hoped that, with the fall of the British Empire, the days of empire-building were gone forever but alas, that is not the case.
In recent times we've seen both China and the USA quietly creating little empires of their own. Once again, this has been done through a mix of peaceful actions and armed agression.
However, the 21st century has seen the rise of what is arguably the largest, most powerful and most pervasive empire the world has ever seen: The Google Empire.
Unlike the earlier empire builders, who had to rely on soldiers, missionaries and "feet on the ground", Google has cunningly used the internet to spread its message and engage its enemies across the entire face of the globe.
Before you brand me as just a conspiracy nut, take a good look at this video from the ABC.
Even after we remove the "journalistic license" that infests documentaries these days in a way that is designed to make them more sensationalist and click-baity, the message contained here is sobering.
Google has created an empire that (as I mentioned in an earlier column this week) even challenges the might of sovereign nations.
It was interesting to see the way in which Google has brushed aside the concerns of New Zealand's Minister of Justice in respect to the issue of court-ordered name suppression.
They don't care... after all, what's a puny little country like New Zealand going to do when faced with the might of The Google Empire? This is kind of like the way that early Maori may have rattled their meres in the face of heavily armed advancing British troops.
Hell, we can't even get Google to pay its fair share of tax so what on earth makes the Justice Minister think they're going to listen to our courts? They are omnipotent, we are all but powerless. Nothing good will come of such a battle.
Even more laughable is the way that the NZ government claims to be forging legislation to address the privacy issues associated with drone use (NZ Government's Drone Integration Paper). What a farce... when Google itself is a far, far greater threat to the privacy of NZers and their activities than drones could ever be.
Once again we have a government that is focused on mopping up a few drops of water from the bar of the Titanic -- as the Atlantic Ocean gushes through the gaping hole in the side of the ship.
Perhaps the only comfort we can take from the present situation, where Google effectively has more power over NZers than does the elected government of the nation, is that every empire will eventually falter and fail.
We can only hope that someone is still around to pick up the pieces when that happens.
Are you concerned about the depth of Google's reach into the privacy of the average Kiwi?
Are you outraged that the NZ government seems so powerless to deal with The Google Empire and that, instead of addressing this very real threat to our privacy, they're wasting time, effort and money by pretending that drones are the real privacy threat?
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