If Google kept selling the phones without resolving the issue then they would be subject to fines. How is complying with local laws a Dangerous Foreign Policy act?
The article also says that Google won't be working with their business partners on new phones. The article spins this as demanding to "work with" Turkey, which strikes me as an overstatement in service of the argument that Google is discriminating against smaller countries.
The author does seem to believe that Google should be compelled to do a maximum amount of business in every possible market until the State Department steps in. It's the authors contention that doing less than this is a Dangerous Foreign Policy Act.
Whether or not you see this as merely a company pulling out of a market where they don't like the regulations or a Dangerous Foreign Policy is another question. I assume that the author sees is as the latter due to Google's immense size and power.
And yes, if Google is breaking US and international anti-trust laws, “forcing” people to do things is generally the remedy of last resort.
I find it much more believable that this is a simple pressure play.
Edited to be more substantive.
Anyway, less facetiously, while some Turkish-specific i18n bugs will need special focus I suppose most of them will not need anything more than a the normal developer team gives them. For example when I was developing a solution that also needed to be available in Greenlandic there were some bugs related to the language, but I did not actually need to speak the language to be able to solve the bugs. I doubt they will really need a team of developers just to solve the Turkish language bugs.
The answer is most likely that profit > laws, so they did what they could get away with as long as they could. In my opinion those fines should be backdated to the day the EU found them in violation and they decided to limit the resulting changes to a single region.
Well yes, because free trade, globalization, equality and other buzzwords.
The reality is that historical big companies have always sparred with nation-states. Usually the EIC, but occasionally other firms.
They went roughly 50/50. "Won" in China. Lost in America.
OPEC said "no oil for you" and it worked. And no one invaded or otherwise compelled them to sell oil to people they didn't like.
This is like world history as told by Dreamworks.
And yes, it ultimately drove the west to start developing it's own oil resources and become less reliant on OPEC products, but that worked in the wests favor, as you would expect internal development of a Googledroid replacement to go for Turkey. Seems to be going okay for China.
And the EIC ultimately lost influence in China and India and was no more. So it might be in a company's best interest to play nice with nation-states
Having said that, maybe there was a better solution they could have implemented instead. Something like this should only be the very last choice on the list after exhausting all other options.
The very first article of the Dutch constitution actually says that people have to be treated equally in equal cases. If you live in a country with a similar principle, do you know how this works with someone refusing to do business with you? If they sell to your peer, wouldn't they have to have a reason for not selling to you (i.e. to indicate that the case is unequal)?
A reason like creditworthiness or "looking like you won't pay the bill" may or may not be sufficient, I'm not questioning which reasons may be used. I'm just wondering if it's true that a shop can indeed refuse someone for no reason at all.
For those who are curious about the phrasing, source (in Dutch unfortunately): https://wetten.overheid.nl/BWBR0001840/2018-12-21
Is that supposed to apply to the Dutch government? Or to everyone? Constitutions normally say what the government can and can't do; they don't normally directly tell ordinary citizens what they can and can't do.
The US Constitution has a Bill of Rights, which applies to everyone in the sense that everyone has those rights, but which only applies to the government in the sense that the government is the one the Constitution says can't violate those rights. For example, the 1st Amendment says the government can't infringe freedom of speech. It does not say that everyone is guaranteed the same platform to speak from, nor does it require particular private entities to provide a speaking platform to anyone who asks for it.
Saying "people have to be treated equally in equal cases" sounds like the same kind of thing: if the US Constitution had such a provision, I would expect it to work the same as the 1st Amendment, i.e., requiring the government to treat people equally in equal cases, not requiring private entities to do so. But the Dutch Constitution might work differently, which is why I asked.
This leads us to (IMO) ridiculous legal cases where a baker refuses to serve a gay couple, or a toy store with Christian owners refuses to abide by some employment laws.
You can’t force a foreign company to sell on Dutch soil _at all_ if they don’t want in, period.
Yes you can, for example in cases of racial segregation.
But this refusal seems to be based on anti-trust regulation and it seems that Turkey won't be able to further penalize Google for this. People seem to be upset that a company can refuse to comply with the law and showing a sovereign government the finger.
But there is even a precedent for this: Google also refused to cooperate with Chinese search censorship and retreated from that market.
The threat of Monopoly by Google in Turkey is gone - so congrats? You shouldn't force a company to provide you the opportunity to by their product (outside of certain circumstances regarding protected classes in the US).
It doesn't sound that's all there is here.
Perhaps a Yandex app store?
Or perhaps this is about data residency?
But also the author here is arguing that Android is a state asset and the choice to restrict usage to a country is the job of the government.
Seems like a silly idea to me.
China still has an overwhelming edge in manufacturing, with Vietnam and Thailand being years away from reaching even 10% of its capacity.
They can easily legally mandate everybody to use "Huaweidroid" and make sure that chipmakers bake in their key fingerprints, so the firmware can't be changed outside of China.
With anything like that unfolding, there will simply be no way out of this for Google, unless they commit to a truly herculean task of starting own manufacturing somewhere else. But even in this case, they will have to commit to competition with now much cheaper "Huaweidroid" based phones
eBay didn't leave Turkey. They've bought http://www.gittigidiyor.com and continuing to operate.
They're still here, just under a different brand. They've bought their fiercest local competitor.
I think they pulled out to avoid paying the fine, but this might prove to be a monopoly exerting tactic as well. There is just no other explanation of pulling out of a market just because you have to un-tie your products now.
Yeah, I'm being provocative. But think about it.
What if it were more profitable for Google to side with the oppressive regime?
A trick question because we all already know what the answer is.
That's of course true, but it's also true of Turkey.
To me, having many actors with limited power is better than having a few with lot of power.
Hang on a second... why does the MS regulation to offer browser choice on first run apply to this already?
I think the author is not talking about what Google has a right to do or not do, nor do any moral obligation to play in which field. The problem being highlighted here is that size simply matters too much.
The fact that Google even has the leverage to blackout an entire country like this--and that it's legally allowed to do so--is the best reason I've seen so far to break up Big Tech. They're playing with fire and undermining the U.S. diplomatic community by mixing public and private interests in a way that supersedes national policy. Both Android and Chrome need to be spun out--at this point they are basically public utilities.
Of course it is legal.. Nobody can tell a company who they HAVE to sell their product to.. But you want to break it up and what then exactly.. ?
> Both Android and Chrome need to be spun out--at this point they are basically public utilities
No, they're not.. And they're not a fundamental right either.
Lots of court cases have forced merchants to sell to minorities to whom they would rather have not sold.
Also policy based and not discriminatory based..
Of course the state can do that.
And then what: future development paid for by taxes, done by public servants who can't be fired? A House Committee on Chrome's WhatWG standards compliance?
Perhaps spun into some sort of not-for-profit, like Firefox. It's a difficult problem. Most options seem bad, but the current situation is bad too.
No, they can't. There are extensive laws, rules, and regulations that prevent elected officials from firing government employees arbitrarily.
> Elected officials can be "fired" by the people, albeit only once every 4 years.
Every 2 years for the House of Representatives, every 6 years for Senators. But that almost never happens; the US Congress has incumbent re-election rates well above 90 percent. US Presidents are limited to two terms, so every so often we are forced to choose a new one.
>In other words, Google has a private sanctions regime against smaller countries.
With this stupid statement, my company must have a private sanctions regime agaisnt half the world
To the point, though: go read the Reuters article linked from TFA. They're not pulling out of Turkey; they're refusing to license software to "business partners" making products for Turkey unless those partners lock search to Google.
Is your company really boycotting half the countries of the world because they have rules in place regarding your business practices?
Google isn't that important to the world. China gets by just fine without it and not having access is mainly a mild inconvenience.
I'm all in favor of vigorous anti-trust enforcement, and I think the Turkish regulators did the right thing. American/European regulators can probably take some pages out of their playbook. But it seems ridiculous to blame a company for choosing which markets it wants to do business in.
Are you claiming everyone on HN loves FB and hates Google? Because that is a pretty strong claim to make. Same goes for the tech press in general, it's not hard to find negative articles about FB and Google on the same website or from the same source.
If you type "matt stoller facebook" into Google Search (the devil's search engine) one of the top results on the first page is a criticism of Facebook... by Matt Stoller:
If you're going to suspect a smear campaign or conspiracy that's fine, but please at least make a basic effort to validate your theory before posting it on HN
Try searching "Matt Stoller Facebook" and then "Matt Stoller Google" on HN.
Deciding not to provide its services is not a use of force from google.
Google only has as much influence as individual users of their services give it.
Which means Google holds a lot of soft power in the eyes of the government.
Thus, many believe that pulling out of a country where your device is one of the sole affordable ways of reaching the internet is tantamount to a human rights violation.
Even accepting your ridiculous premises, none of this makes sense.
A human right is something to kill and die for. If someone breaks into your home, you ought to defend yourself. If a government is censoring you, you are justified in civil war to defend your rights.
But now "human rights" are political speech for "something I want". I want free housing and medical care and internet access, so those things must be human rights.
And to be clear, those are great things. Being able to provide medical care to people is wonderful. But that does not make it a human right.
What precisely is the line here? You have the right to defend a home if you have one, but you don't have a right to have it?
Is food a human right, but not housing or medical care? Do you also believe food is not a human right?
If food is a human right (i'm going to assume favorably that you agree with me that it is), what distinguishes food - essential for survival - from medical care, which is also frequently essential for survival in modern culture?
Is it okay to deprive children of - for example - necessary vaccines and allow them to catch, spread and die from preventable diseases, because some children may survive? Near-starvation may also kill some children but not all, so is that OK?
Alternately, if you believe neither food or medicine or housing are human rights - okay? - what makes free speech a human right when those aren't, specifically? How can you exercise your free speech, exactly, if someone takes away your food as punishment for speech they dislike or if they confiscate your home along with the property you use to communicate?
Your definition of human right here is confusing and circular. Almost anything can be worth killing for depending on who you ask, otherwise you wouldn't have people getting murdered by thieves or scorned lovers. What makes it worth killing for or dying for? What makes it justified or not justified?
Obviously there are ways to establish a logical framework here but your post makes it hard to understand what framework you're operating on.
I believe in natural rights. Human rights must be things that are natural and innate to humans. This is a very Google-able thing, and there has been a lot of interesting philosophy on the topic, but I will try and summarize here.
My core belief is that humans are sovereign over themselves. My body is my own. This is where all rights flow from. If I build or buy a house, and you break in, you are violating my sovernty over myself and my property.
On the other hand, if I force you to build me a house, I am violating your sovernty. Therefore it cannot be my right to have free housing , because doing so would violate your rights to not be a slave. If we mutually agree on terms and I pay you to build me a house, that's wonderful. But saying I have a right to make you build me a house is tantamount to slavery.
Natural rights almost always boil down to force. It is wrong for me to force you to do anything, even if that thing is "good" such as providing me with free food or internet. You and I are both autonomous adults and we can either come to mutually beneficial terms or not do business at all.
> How can you exercise your free speech, exactly, if someone takes away your food as punishment for speech they dislike or if they confiscate your home along with the property you use to communicate?
If someone stole your food or your house, that would be a violation of your rights. Again, it comes down to the use of aggression and force. Are you forcing your local grocer to give you food that he doesn't want to give you? That's theft, plain and simple.
And I feel I need to reiterate: it's perfectly fine if you think the government should provide taxpayer funded medicine, housing, food, internet, etc. But just because you think something is good to have does not make it a right. It's the redefinition and watering down of the idea of human rights that upsets me.
In today's world, some of the corporations size and influence allows them to behave the way the want and, I see this as problematic.
Google may not be killing anyone who disagrees with them and, they can freely decide where to conduct business. I have no problem with these points.
However, I see Google's behavior as problematic. Google's response dşffers from country to country. They have a similar problem in EU (more specifically European Economic Area) and, they have implemented a selection screen similar to Microsoft's browser & search engine selection screen. Turkey might not be in EU but, as a country it has every right to level the playing field for the companies (in this case Yandex and Google) in order to increase the competition.
The but Microsoft! response is coming from the change of tone in response to this issue. When Microsoft became the monopoly and pushed Sun Microsystems and other browsers around, the unanimous vote was to divide or somewhat stop them. When Google does a similar thing, response changes with respect to country which Google has a dispute. I find this wrong.
P.S.: I'm a bit tired and English is not my native language. If I messed the writing, please point it out. I'll try to clarify.
They're based there, in case you didn't notice.
> USA has more people in prison than Turkey has.
And is substantially larger, and tends to not lock up everybody that might be against dear leader. For now.
> Recently journalist Max Blumenthal was jailed on false charges.
Definitely not a very good moment in the history of the USA but there are plenty of worse examples and besides the case was dropped.
You really can not compare Turkey and the United States in this way.
> And is substantially larger, and tends to not lock up everybody that might be against dear leader. For now.
Just for the record, the incarceration rate is much higher in USA than in Turkey.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/shared/spl/hi/uk/06/prisons/html/nn2... lists 737 vs. 97 per 100k population (though I can't find a date there), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_incarcera... says 655 vs. 288.
https://www.statista.com/statistics/300986/incarceration-rat... has data from 2019 and says 655 vs. 318. Still more than twice as high in the USA than in Turkey.
In the United States it is large numbers of people that got caught up in the so-called war-on-drugs, in Turkey it is because Erdogan has used the failed coup (if there even was one) as a pretext to lock up just about everybody who he felt might be a threat to his regime.
The war on drugs was created by the Nixon regime as a way to neutralize threatening political movements like Black Power and the Hippie Peace movement.
This seems like one of those Illuminati/Knights Templar conspiracy theories. I don't buy it. I'm imagining Nixon's cabinet in a super secret meeting:
Nixon: "Those hippies and negroes. They are growing too powerful. Soon, democrats will dominate every level of government"
Secretary of State: "But what can we do?"
Nixon: smirks and peers over reading glasses directly at the camera
Nixon: "We hit them where it hurts. Tell me, what does the hippy and the negro have in common?"
Secretary of Agriculture: "High rates of homelessness?"
Nixon: "No, the Reefer. We can't outright declare war on US citizens. But we can attack the thing they hold most dear and get the religious right to love us for it."
Secretary of Defense: "Mother of God... a war... on drugs"
Nixon: "Precisely. The hippy and negro cannot resist the draw of the Reefer. Thus, we simply declare war on the Reefer. We can lock them up in prisons where they will harmlessly live out their days, unable to empower the democratic party."
"You understand what I'm saying? We knew we couldn't make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin. And then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities," Ehrlichman said. "We could arrest their leaders. raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did."
>Ehrlichman died in 1999, but his five children in questioned the veracity of the account.
>"We never saw or heard anything from our dad, John Ehrlichman, that was derogatory about any person of color," wrote Peter Ehrlichman, Tom Ehrlichman, Jan Ehrlichman, Michael Ehrlichman and Jody E. Pineda in a statement provided to CNN.
>Ehrlichman's comments did not surface until now after Baum remembered them while going back through old notes for the Harper's story.
>Baum interviewed Ehrlichman and others for his 1996 book "Smoke and Mirrors," but said he left out the Ehrlichman comment from the book because it did not fit the narrative style focused on putting the readers in the middle of the backroom discussions themselves, without input from the author.
How convenient. He was sitting on a massive admission because it "didn't fit the style".
Besides, that statement from some of his children seems surprisingly specific. Nothing about Nixon's policies or Ehrlichman's role in them required Ehrlichman to be derogatory to anyone. Not that it would have been a surprise: he was born in 1925! Lots of white Americans born in that year were all too happy both to discriminate in their private lives and to enact discriminatory policies in public. Ehrlichman's kids must not have been such great fans of his anyway. At the time of the interview, he lived in Atlanta and they were all in the Pacific timezone. Reading the Harper's article, I have more sympathy for him than for them. Let the old man say his piece.
Nixon: "You see, homosexuality, dope, immorality in general. These are the enemies of strong societies. That's why the Communists and the left-wingers are pushing the stuff, they're trying to destroy us"
You might want to read up on some history:
I'm not denying there's a lot wrong in Turkey, but the US isn't all freedom and democracy either.
Same as business revenue, which is mostly fake for the outside world.
And it still has the world's highest incarceration rate. I am not saying it "the same" but using size of the country is a non argument here.
Go to this page, sort by the number of incarcerations per 100,000 population and enjoy the interesting picture:
It's not that different.
And released when the accusers were found the be lying. How does this incident put the US in the same league as Turkey?
Guantanamo - detention and physiological torture without trial.
Hounding of whistler blowers of illegal activity - Snowdon, Manning, Assange etc.
Destabilizing countries around the world - many with democratically elected governments. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_involvement_in_r...)
Now, of course, this is largely directed at other countries citizens rather than US citizens - so that makes it ok.....
In terms of internal US politics - how do you explain George W Bush as president if the US is a meritocracy and not a oligarchy?
Let's be clear - I'd prefer to live in the US over turkey, but it's not all rosy.
I just explained why they aren't. Are you going to explain why you think they are or just include me in your wild conspiracy theories?
Unrelated to the topic of discussion, what massive overreach do you think these organizations are daily perpetrating?
Or are you counting all the documents he downloaded and looked at but didn't publish??? Maybe you are including every book he ever read as well?
Remember the leak as a whole was essentially that the US ( and it's allies ) were hoovering everything up it could - phone and data, via any means necessary - often illegal means, just in case it was useful, with no respect for either national or international law.
Whether you think it was necessary or not, common knowledge or not - it was illegal at the time and people like the director of national intelligence lied directly to congress about it happening.
Yep it's not as bad a Turkey or North Korea - but that doesn't make it ok...
No international law covers state data collection, and none of the leaks said the US hoovered up everything it could. The only illegal US program in the leaks was phone metadata collection. It seems you are remembering documents that don't exist.
> so you are saying about 9-10 docs contained illegal stuff?
I said fewer.
Maybe some proper regulation written by people who know what they're talking about would be a better start no ?
The nuclear option of : 'Oh break them up, they're out of control' is such a fallacy.
Maybe if lawmakers were clued in on what large companies like Facebook, Google actually did, they might just set better rules.