Google Under Siege (except in Kansas)

Google has had a bumpy ride the last few weeks.  First, an Italian court convicted two Google executives on criminal charges relating to the display of an offensive video on Google Video even though the executives had nothing to do with the video, Google took down the video and cooperated with Italian authorities in identifying who posted the video.

Its Buzz program had a disastrous launch and has led one public interest group to file a complaint with the FTC contending the program “violated user privacy expectations, diminished user privacy, contradicted Google’s own privacy policy, and may have also violated federal wiretap laws.”  The FTC has responded by expressing an interest in the case since it “raises interesting issues that relate to consumer expectations about the collection and use of their data.”

Then there is the “M” word, as it was recently hit with an antitrust lawsuit by a search advertiser alleging that Google engages in monopolistic behavior and the European Union has opened a preliminary antitrust inquiry into Google.  That is in addition to a battle with the U.S. Justice Department over the Google Books settlement.

But Google can always be thankful for Topeka, Kansas.  The city is hoping to become the test location for Google’s new high-speed broadband (which would be 250 times faster than the average U.S. broadband speed) has renamed its Google, Kansas for the month of March.

More Info:  Italian verdict on Google privacy sets dangerous precedent, Ars Technica

Complaint About Google Buzz Draws FTC Interest, Online Media Daily

Showdown Looms Over Future Of Google Books, Online Media Daily

Search Marketer Files Antitrust Lawsuit Against Google, Online Media Daily