Interview for Digicult magazine (Italy) about Google and "GWEI
Marco Mancuso: Talking about Google you define it as (I quote) "a form of dictatorship in the net economy" and you very well describe it as a "world of (technical) efficiency and richness (of contents and services) and obviously speed, a shining world starting from the interface design to services like News and search images." At the same time Google is undoubtedly a monopoly in the High Tech world and that it's acting as a real (and virtual) corporation. What's your opinion about Google's success and its communication strategy towards other search engines or IT multinationals like Microsoft, AOL etc…
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Paolo Cirio: Google is a parasite of an obvious software algorithm for indexing the web. The technology that Google uses must be in the public domain, similar to the main internet's protocols and standards.
Mk: In your presentation you very well describe another hidden and complex mechanism: Google's database that works to collect and archive users' personal data which is one of the most efficient internet profiling way. Do you honestly think Google can sell this data to other companies for its marketing strategies?
Paolo: Yes, the data mining is the next big business of digital communications. Indeed the cross-referencing of data of our behaviours on search engines - websites visited, shopping with electronic payment and tracking of our mobile devices, will be the boom of smart marketing; and the end of privacy. Google already know everything about our life by analyzing our queries on their search engine and going through our private messages on their Gmail services. The only way to avoid this process is to do strange things and to behave highly unusually. The more noise you inject into their data base, the more difficult it is for them to understand who you are. To be free means to be unpredictable.
Mk: How can Google be really dangerous in your opinion? I mean, do you think Google and the other big online infotainment companies will use and manipulate our knowledge and free information like big television companies do?
Paolo: Usually people have the power over the internet. So Darwins's law of adaptability to the environment of a technology or a corporation is determined by what the people like. It's a question of time. I hope that with GTTP Ltd, Google will become open source and self-organized by its community, in a very democratic way – similar to the original idea of the internet.
Mk: You talk about hacking Google's self-referencing and acting as parasites working against Google's strategy to appropriate users' content and returning small quantities of money earned with Google's advertising services back to publishers. How did you technically work on GWEI? Can you explain to me how it works?
Paolo: The software I developed is a set of robots that works on a large network of websites. In abstract, it is a generator of human behaviour, and it is activated when someone visit one of our "trap" websites. So when it is triggered, it clicks and does impressions on hidden phony blogs with AdSense banners. So, each time someone visits a website of our network, s/he doesn't see a banner or have visual feedback from the site, but covertly the robots converts that visitor by simulating real unique humans, as source of a real unique computer with a real unique connection clicking on a hidden network.
Mk: Do you think a dictator can be funny? Do you think there's a parallel between Google and… for example… the Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi?
Paolo: Yes, both are funny only in order to bring consensus. But Berlusconi has the fashion of a evil dictator and a genius of scam. Instead, Google communicates trust and fun to the people by the charm of being good and honest. Both have the monopoly of information.