Look, I don’t even pretend to grok the technical issues underlying the “net neutrality” debate. After a friendly geek explained to me how the Verizon-Google deal works, I wanted to make sure I’d gotten the gist of it. “You mean, Google has just changed its slogan to ‘Only be evil when there’s real money on the table?’ ”
“You’ve got it,” said my friend.
The new version is not such a thrilling slogan – a little bit like “We don’t torture people, we just provide deniability and impunity for torturers.” But Google, like Obama, has been fortunate in finding a competitor unspeakably worse.
Microsoft’s slogan seems to be, “Be unspeakably evil for no particular reason.” Helping Vladimir Putin and his gang of kleptocrats and secret policemen crack down on civil society, for example. Even when the civil-society outfits have – unlike almost anyone else in Russia – bought licenses for all the Microsoft products they use, the cops still come in and cart away all their computers (and data, of course, and private information). And Microsoft supports the process in the name of fighting “software piracy.”