Before we start telling the story, we need to put ourselves in context. In February, Australia began enacting a digital content law that requires search engines and content aggregators to pay media outlets to use their posts. Ultimately, sites like Google or Facebook would have to pay the media to use their news.
During this process, Google decided to give a push to the Australian government to avoid the approval of this law. How did they do it? Simple, if they passed the law, they would leave the country without the famous search engine. However, what the Mountain View company saw as a Google-Facebook war on Australia ended up being Google against Australia. Facebook decided to make decisions on its own, and an unexpected competitor appeared.
In the midst of this powder keg, Microsoft appeared and not specifically to help Google. Those from Redmond came to present themselves as an alternative to the advertising giant in Australia. To do so, they have shown their public support to the Australian government and media in approving the said law. In addition, they promised that Bing and Microsoft News would comply with the new legal framework and could replace the functions of Google.
Google says Microsoft wants to “corrupt web freedom”
The result is summarized in that the search engine Google Search continues to operate in Australia. The company run by Sundar Pichai has been forced to back down and make deals with publishing groups to abide by the rule. Meanwhile in Australia Google has received all kinds of criticism and its threat has been described as extortion from an entire state.
“Your research experience will be affected by the new regulations.” – The edge
The bad news for Google is that Australia is the first stronghold in this publishing war that has started to hit Europe. Here Microsoft began to partner with various outlets to lobby and demand the same measure as in Australia. Remember that the company headed by Satya Nadella maintains good relations with the major content creators thanks to MSN.
Now they are making selfish statements and are even ready to break the workings of web freedom in an effort to undermine a rival. This latest attack marks a return to Microsoft’s practices of some time ago.
Following these statements on the Google blog of Kent Walker, director of global affairs at Google, the Wikipedia article “Fear, Doubt and Uncertainty (FUD)” was raised. It is curious that Google talks about “freedom on the net” when the media are practically forced to monetize their content through Google Adsense, since there is no real competitor in the world of digital advertising.
Company accuses Microsoft of “damage control” after SolarWinds scandal
Additionally, we must remember that Google search is not just a web page indexer. Google takes advantage of the content of indexed websites to provide responses to the user, who stops accessing the source to obtain that information. Therefore, the source of the content creator does not see this monetized effort and Google is retaining the user among its apps and services.
Kent Walker, Director of Global Affairs at Google, testifies on Capitol Hill over Russian interference in 2017 election
As we’ve seen throughout the article, the battle was centered on the world of publishing. However, from Google, they accuse Microsoft of interfering in this fight as a “damage control” practice after the SolarWinds cybersecurity scandal. Thus, the search engine company is trying to point to the cloud giant to avoid all eyes falling on them.
It is no coincidence that Microsoft’s interest in attacking us again comes after the SolarWinds attack, when they allowed thousands of their customers to be actively hacked through Microsoft’s vulnerabilities.
Microsoft was warned of the vulnerabilities in their system, they knew they were being exploited, and now they are controlling the damage as their customers attempt to recover the pieces of what has been called the great email theft. So maybe it’s no surprise to see them dusting off pieces from the old Scroogled book.
These are stern statements made by Google’s director of global affairs and stand in stark contrast to Microsoft’s handling of the attack. In fact, it was the people of Redmond who discovered the SolarWinds Orion software backdoor and they are the ones who publicized this attack and alerted the companies involved.
The statements are in contradiction with the usual practices of Google
Soon after, the company revealed that it had also been affected by the attack, although Microsoft confirmed that there was no access to its customers’ data. In addition, these claims that “Microsoft knew vulnerabilities were being exploited” are in major contradiction to how Google Project Zero works.
Keep in mind that Project Zero, which is part of Google, publishes discovered vulnerabilities 90 days after notifying the software manufacturer, whether or not they have been patched. However, until now, the Big G had not publicly mentioned anything related to the Solarwinds scandal.