Thursday, July 16, 2009

Why Google Wave can be bad for freedom of speech

I'm really excited about Google Wave and can't wait to see how it will work in every day life. But one aspect of it is a bit worrying.

I don't know if you have read 1984. In that book the government is constantly rewriting the past publications (books, newspapers, etc.), so they always seem like perfect predictions at their time proving to the government is always right.

In Google Wave waves are stored on the server and clients are immediately updated when a Wave is modified. Suppose a news organization switches to Google Wave from traditional websites. If it happens then they can constantly tweak their publications, suppress unwanted thoughts from their articles if they prove to be controversial, etc. It would be a true 1984 world: the readers would always see fixed articles and they could not tell if it was the original article or a modified version.

Sure, a Wave has a version history, but it may require special privileges to access and it could even be modified.

Wave is a wonderful tool, but I wonder what such a world look like where the government mandated using Google Wave, so it can constantly tweak its propaganda.

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