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Google: personal assistant, or global overlord?

Once again, bloggers ask: is Google moving toward the dark side?

Culture

Is Google evil after all?

The Internet behemoth's corporate motto famously instructs it to eschew evil. But setting a high bar like that almost inevitably makes people wait for you to miss it.

The company has been brought to task before over politics, privacy issues and its growing corporate dominance of the Web world. The latest incident to spark a backlash is an interview that CEO Eric Schmidt gave to the Financial Times, discussing Google's ambitions to "organize your life."

"The goal is to enable Google users to be able to ask the question such as 'What shall I do tomorrow?' and 'What job shall I take?'" Schmidt told the paper. One tool for doing that, he said, will be the .

"We are very early in the total information we have within Google," Schmidt is quoted as saying. "We cannot even answer the most basic questions because we don't know enough about you. That is the most important aspect of Google's expansion."

Blog community response:

"Slowly, it is dawning upon many of us that Google is just another ruthless company competing in a ruthless winner-takes-all market, where 'don't be evil' often means 'don't be stupid'."
--MediaVidea

"In Eric Schmidt's mind, Google is still a dorkily utopian outfit that's making the world better through technology. The search engine's chief executive needs to get out more: Google's growing power makes even the most well-meaning of plans look ominous."
--Valleywag

"The messages may be mixed, but the intent seems to be focused: 'Total Global Domination'. But without being evil."
--Search Engine Watch

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