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Why Gerald Celente was Wrong to Sue Google

By Miroslav B. Bonchev
The news that Gerald Celente has sued Google was quite intriguing to me. Bloggers seem to have used the name and image of Mr. Celente to draw traffic to their blogs, and were allegedly higher than his own website in the Google search results for particular search phrases containing his name and "gold". Such search results would be of no surprise to me or to anyone who has done SEO for any search engine. Bloggers clearly have optimized their blogs for these phrases, while his website is not. As much as I sympathize with his situation, unfortunately, the grounds for his accusations are clearly flawed. To sue Google for these results is the same as to sue a person for not liking you. Further, suing Google on the grounds of not policing the internet is at best a very unwise action as it can only stand to bring negative results for us all, such as an excuse for certain parties to kidnap the free web and replace it with a totalitarian surveillance network. If an individual suspects identity fraud, they should take the matter up with the police. It is certainly not within the remit of Google’s responsibilities.

After hearing Mr. Celente on Mr. Alex Jones' talk show, I wrote a letter to these gentlemen to explain the state of affairs, including that this is not Google’s fault, and to give them an adequate solution for Mr. Celente’s problem. Unfortunately I did not receive any response from either of them. Later, it came to my mind that perhaps it would be best if other people have the opportunity to learn about these problems and solutions, and thus I am publishing my letter to them as an open letter here.

Small changes have been made to improve the content and remove personal information.

Dear Mr. Celente and Mr. Jones,

I had the opportunity to see the Interview with Mr. Celente on Mr. Jones’ show from the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mvPfzUOhjmA&feature=BFa&list=ULZtxL1Q38UsE

With my deepest respect to you both, and while I agree that there seems to be unfair cooperation between certain companies and governments, it also seems to me that there is a bit of a lack of understanding of the problem from both of you gentlemen on this matter. As Mr. Jones said, the Internet is a double edged sword! Please bear with me to explain the actual situation, as well as the reasons for it, and give you a few suggestions for possible solutions.

To make it easier to understand, I will begin with spam emails. I am sure you are aware that an email message can contain the sender name and email address of any person, entirely unrelated to the actual sender. The question is why the designers of the Internet allowed such a flawed design? The answer is that IF they did not do it in that way, they would have to create a central email authority. But that is exactly what we DO NOT want to have for many reasons:
  1. For technical reasons
    1. if the branch of the network where the central authority resides is temporary or permanently gone then no one could send an email
    2. one enormously large piece of hardware will be required as opposed to many small machines across the web
    3. backup and consistency issues
    4. who is going to pay for and maintain all of the hardware and software
    5. access issues, etc
  2. For political/policy/judicial reasons – these must be more obvious to both of you than to me.
Thus the Internet has been designed as an open, flat and distributed system, including all of its elements such as email and identity-personification. The problem of identity, presently concerning Mr. Celente is very much the same as that of the email example above. Namely, who is to say who is who on the Internet?

Google is not a policeman on the Internet, and we definitely do NOT want them to be one!! Google is only a search engine which simply matches keywords. Google has no authority on the Internet of any kind. Hence they cannot legally apply identification or identity theft proceedings of any kind. If someone represents themselves as "Gerald Celente", the entity to call is the appropriate branch of civil authorities, not Google. Facebook is an entirely different story as the imposter account is on the Facebook website where Facebook has the full authority to remove any kind of violators of their terms and conditions including imposters, as they have entered in a legal agreement with Facebook.

I am sure that you have heard about digital signatures and certificates. This is what Mr. Celente needs on his website, but there is more to it, please bear with me. Undoubtedly motivated by the pursuit of profits, Microsoft and other companies came up with the "Certificate Authorities" idea which gives unjustified advantage to selected companies making them the so called "Certificate Authorities" issuing digital certificates. Of course this is absolutely unnecessary and against the open, flat and distributed architecture of the Internet. What Mr. Celente and all of us need is to demonstrate integrity and validity through creating connections. Some time ago I mailed both of you software called Act On File, which my company created, together with free licenses for you to use it. Using Act On File you are able to generate Public-Private Authentication Keys. First, publish your Public Authentication keys on your websites, then:
  1. Whenever you distribute a document, subscription email, other email or document etc. use your private key to sign it. This will teach your audience that you sign your emails and other documents. Being signed with your private key means that your document will not authenticates with any Public authentication key on an imposter website, but with yours only. Thus your website authenticates your documents/emails, and on the other hand your documents/emails authenticate your website(s). This is a circular and only a partial solution, but certainly is a large step in the right direction.
  2. Give each other, and your partners, authenticated testimonials, and publish the authenticated testimonials that you receive on your websites. Once published on your websites, the authenticated testimonials in essence create a network of trust. Thus a visitor on Mr. Celente’s website can see that Mr. Jones authenticates it, and can instantly verify it in a secure manner. Obviously an imposter website cannot receive authenticated testimonial from Mr. Jones to display. A visitor then can easily authenticate Mr. Celente’s website as genuine due to the multiple authenticated testimonials from all of his partners. As the public gets more educated, a glance on a non-genuine website will quickly lead to the conclusion that the website is not genuine due to the lack of authenticated testimonials. There are other traffic and ranking benefits from using authenticated testimonials which are beyond the scope of our subject. A detailed explanation of this methodology can be found on the MBBSoftware website.
An inferior but other possible thing to do is also to display one’s domain registrant details on their website, obtained dynamically from a "who is" database. Obviously an impaired idea.

Finally, if the Internet was to be changed, introducing a Central Authority with which Mr. Celente registers their website, and from where we all get our permission to have our own websites, then if one was to violate the terms and conditions of the central authority, the Central Authority could remove them legitimately. I do not believe that this is such a good idea for obvious reasons, although I am sure that the governments and large corporations much desire to take us there. Exactly this has been avoided by the creators of the Internet by designing it in the manner in which it was created, which is a perfect place to reiterate the famous statement attributed to Franklin that "If we restrict liberty to attain security we will lose them both."

Thus, it seems to me that the best way to go ahead is to create trust networks and use the Internet responsibly by appropriately using authentication and encryption in order to secure our identity and privacy, as well as to protect our partners from harm caused by imposters. Why is it assumed that one can safely operate in the digital world without some elementary preparations and knowledge, I don’t know. After all, one needs to learn to drive before driving on the highway.

On the Internet Search Problem: Mr. Celente referred to problems with the search. It seems to me that Google has been designed in a way to make the small business to pay for advertisement. Without getting into details, in my view Google is the best available search engine, but it hardly gives the best possible search results, but I do not believe that one can sue Google for this and win. Clearly there is a need from a new search engine which would not suffer from the apparent drawbacks of the Google search results. Let’s hope that there are also other people with good ideas working on the same problems.

I hope my message explains that the problem of Mr. Celente is NOT Google’s fault, unless Google are purposefully placing Mr. Celentes website in later positions of the search results using penalties that are not standard for their algorithm, which I do not believe can be proved in the given circumstances. Even if it could be proved, I very much doubt that they could be sued for that.

Kind regards,
Miroslav Bonchev

14-th November 2012
London, England

A detailed explanation of how to make authenticatable testimonials and publish them on your website to demonstrate its authenticity is available here: Learn how to use Authentication to Make Your Website Trusted.
Miroslav B. Bonchev
18-th November 2012
London, England
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