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EU challenge Google

12 January 2006

European Information Society architects are challenging the great giant. First Galileo was announced, which hopes to remove reliance by the EU on US sattelites. Now the huge market share being enjoyed by Google is to be challenged by something more sophisticated and diverse than anything they have to offer (allegedly).

Ever since the EU's 1993 White Paper on Growth, competitiveness, and employment the fight has been on to secure a distinctly European strategy for the technology age.

Aside from the clear challenge to US companies in the search engine market, this may be significant for the diversification of lanuguage content on the web. Even if Quaero fails, any threat it poses may encourage Google and larger net publishers to focus on addressing the needs of the growing non english-speaking Internet population.

This fits in with article 4 of the declaration made at the end of the recent WSIS summit in Tunis:

    "in addition to building ICT infrastructure, there should be adequate emphasis on developing human capacity and creating ICT applications and digital content in local language, where appropriate, so as to ensure a comprehensive approach to building a global Information Society".

Who's getting rich from COVID-19?

Boris Johnson's government stands accused of 'COVID cronyism', after handing out staggering sums of money to controversial private firms to fight COVID-19. Often the terms of these deals are kept secret, with no value-for-money checks or penalties for repeated failures which cost lives. And many major contracts have gone directly to key Tory donors and allies – without competition.

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Peter Geoghegan Investigations editor, openDemocracy, and author of 'Democracy for Sale: Dark Money and Dirty Politics'

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