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Russian Official Faults Google For “Manipulations” In Egypt

Putin ally links managers, revolution

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Google’s attempts to "do no evil" and defend Wael Ghonim may have raised the Russian government’s ire.  Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin has been quoted blaming more than one executive for contributing to the Egyptian revolution.

According to a new Reuters article, Sechin said, "Look what they have done in Egypt, those highly-placed managers of Google, what manipulations of the energy of the people took place there."

Assuming that quote’s completely accurate (and translation issues or some other small misunderstanding could come into play), Sechin’s drawn some interesting conclusions.  First, consider the words "they" and "managers," implying that Ghonim wasn’t acting alone.

Then there’s the term "manipulations" to consider, since it has some pretty unpleasant connotations.

This might cause more than a few problems for Google.  The Russian government isn’t known for tolerating rabble-rousers, and Google’s already had trouble competing with local search company Yandex.  Negative PR or a formal penalty of some sort wouldn’t help.

Sechin has a bit of evidence on his side, too.  The official Google Twitter account has at least twice tweeted in support of Ghonim, and Eric Schmidt’s also indicated a certain level of approval.

Huge relief–Wael Ghonim has been released. Our love to him and his family.less than a minute ago via web

We’re incredibly proud of you, @Ghonim, & of course will welcome you back when you’re ready – cf. http://goo.gl/2BDGpless than a minute ago via web

Russian Official Faults Google For “Manipulations” In Egypt
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  • http://www.seo-theory.com/ Michael Martinez

    Google did take it upon itself to support the Egyptian revolution by helping protesters circumvent the Internet shutdown through an SMS service they set up for cell phone users that allowed them to post comments to Twitter.

    I suspect the Russian government is more concerned with Google’s corporate actions than Wael Ghonim’s personal efforts to inspire his countrymen to take action.

    In some states, Google’s activities would have been a felonious violation of laws against subversive activities directed against foreign governments.

    Of course, Google is hardly the first company to engage in such behavior.

    • Doug Caverly

      Good point with respect to the service. More info’s available here if anybody’s interested: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2011/01/some-weekend-work-that-will-hopefully.html

  • alex

    really, most of the county was cut off from the internet, not to mention most of the ppl who went out to the street never had internet in their life…
    another stupid comment by a Russian official, probably to feed own agenda….make me ashamed to be a Russian

  • stonemason89

    the Russians support the Egyptians’ call for democracy. Don’t they think democracy is a good thing? Oh, wait….

  • Guest

    HUBRIS OF GOOGLE

  • Guest

    HUBRIS OF GOOGLE

    GOOGLE EXEC: WAEL GHONIM thinks it would not have happened with out Social Networking… i submit SOILDARITY was 3 decades before FACEBOOK… perhaps a slower more personal touch may have prevented the CHAOS… at least democratic organizations could have organically evolved

    NOW HE IS BARRED FROM THE STAGE