Please Welcome our Special Guest Contributor: Google
We, the learned Elders of Google, having resolved to be evil after all, conclude that this “Internet” is more trouble than it’s worth. The following protocols, which are super top secret, are our step-by-step plan for unplugging the series of tubes once and for all.
Protocol 1: Corner the Market
The first thing we need to do is lure everybody into our trap. When people look for stuff on the Internet, we need to be the only place people even think of to go to. At first, we’ll make it a charming little website, but we’ll keep adding cool stuff for free. When our competitors come up with a good product, we’ll offer a better version of it, and give it away. We’ll orchestrate a big investment bubble on the back-end to pay for all that.
By the time we have this sewn up, people won’t even think about “searching”, they’ll think about “googling”. They won’t check their “Email”. They’ll check their…”Gmail”. Their blogs will be at our spot. We’ll aggregate all their news into…Google News. Some people might express concerns about the encroaching monopoly, but they’ll probably do so on their Google web browsers. They’ll be helpless to resist our panoply of free and better stuff.
Protocol 2: Divide and Conquer
The pervasive monopoly is necessary to split the Internet into two zones: the Overnet and the Undernet. The Overnet will be even better than the Internet, adding all kinds of proprietary bells and whistles to lure both users and content providers in. There will be practically no rules in the beginning, and even those will be rarely enforced. The Undernet will languish and atrophy, eventually becoming obsolete as our Overnet adds more and more features that only work there.
The “world wide web” will become more like a cobweb. Web designers won’t want to develop sites without the awesome new Google Widget™ (beta). Content providers won’t want to be left out of our proprietary social networking community that drives most of their traffic. Most non-technical users won’t even know where the Overnet ends and the Undernet begins, save for the stench of stale technology and tacky static HTML pages.
Protocol 3: Quarantine the Outbreak
We’ll partner with service providers to offer the Google Bundle for free with their entertainment bundles. Access to the rest of the Internet will cost more. Our Overnet will be devoid of peer-to-peer filesharing and the Undernet will be clogged with it, so providers will embrace an opportunity to cut down on their traffic. The media industry will throw their full support behind this. The old Internet, the Undernet, will have lower bandwidth, will be clogged with filesharing traffic, won’t offer a lot of the cool new stuff everybody uses, and will become a den of deviants and dissidents.
Protocol 4: Burn the Witches
At the final stage, the old unregulated non-corporate Internet will be the place where people who are bounced by our Terms of Service are relegated to. The political dissidents who are a genuine threat to our dominance will be stuck on the same network with terrorists, copyright pirates, and child pornographers. From there, all we have to do is whip up a moral panic about child pornography on the Undernet. We’ll introduce some legislation that holds the service providers accountable for these awful things, calling it the Save the Children Act.
The day that bill passes will be the day the Internet died.