Google Zeitgeist Gathering A Private Affair

    September 16, 2005
    WebProNews Staff

Media and Internet luminaries will be on hand to chat about all kinds of topics at Google’s invitation-only event – with no reporting allowed.

Search Engine Watch mentioned the Google Zeitgeist gathering, where Google’s founders, Yahoo’s CEO, the publisher of the New York Times, and others will gather to discusswell, no one knows. And no one will know.

Danny Sullivan extracts the salient bit from the FAQ:

Will the conference be recorded or blogged?
All speeches and discussions at Zeitgeist are off the record. To ensure that our presenters and attendees can speak openly, no press coverage or blogging is permitted.

The published agenda shows who is talking and when, but no topics are disclosed. The event will be held in Mountain View, California, which at last glance still occupied part of the United States of America.

Despite criticisms to the contrary, citizens are still pretty much able to speak freely. So why Google needs to go an extra step to ensure its attendees can speak freely by banning reporting is unclear; particularly nit-picky people, like investigators with the SEC, might wonder if this could be a problem.

As much as his reporters have hammered away at the Bush Administration over “executive privilege” and keeping details about energy policy talks from the public, New York Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger should be adamantly opposed to any such restrictions, if for no other reason than ‘freedom of the press’ concerns.

David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business. Email him here.