Google Gets Grumpy
Lyons, Dan, Newsweek
Byline: Dan Lyons
Tech giants square off against Congress.
What would the world be like without the Web? We almost had an answer, if only for a day. To protest Congress's consideration of the onerous Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA)--which would require Internet service providers to block access to Web sites that let people infringe on copyrighted material--Internet companies including Google, Facebook, and Twitter were rumored to be coordinating a blackout, taking themselves offline temporarily. I must admit I was kind of hoping the Internet companies would go through with it, just so we could remember how we lived before the Internet. And it seemed for a while that they actually would, especially after a lawyer who runs a trade group that represents Internet companies claimed that big-name Web companies were pondering the AWOL option.
Alas, it seems they are not. "That's just crazy," says an insider at Google, speaking on condition of anonymity. "We're not going to do that." Who can blame them? Google generates about $80 million a day selling ads on its various online services. …