back to article Web keeps bent politicians honest, says Google boss

Google supremo Eric Schmidt reckons that the internet is making politics work better, telling business leaders at the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation APEC conference in Honolulu that the web keeps governments of the world honest. Speaking on Saturday, Schmidt said that the ability of whistleblowers to report …


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  1. philbo

    If only...

    If he removed the rose-tinted google-specs, he might notice that the web also allows lies and misinformation about politicians and the like, and in the political arena especially smears appear to gain more traction more quickly than accurate reporting.

    People on-line seem ever more likely to believe the best of those they support and the worst of their political opponents, and there's usually plenty of ammunition to back up both viewpoints (if you're not too conscientious about checking sources).

    1. Graham Marsden

      Re: "lies and misinformation about politicians"

      It does, of course, also allow people the opportunity to check such stories, unfortunately those who are inclined to believe those stories will accept them without bothering to try to verify them anyway..

  2. Chris Miller

    Shut up, Eric

    You're just embarrassing yourself. Isn't it about time you left to spend more time with your money?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      It's time he spent less time with his money and paid the taxes he avoids.

      Oh, hang on, if Google didn't pay their fair share of taxes the internet would make them do so...

  3. Silverburn

    Is it me...

    ...or does politics seem to have a disproportionate amount of swindlers, liars, thieves, cheats and two-faced bastards compared to the general public?

    What is it about bloody politics? Power corrupts?

    1. philbo


      It's because those are the sorts of people we vote for. If you're honest, upstanding and unwilling to tell any lies at all, you have sod all chance of being elected.

      1. Rob 5

        That's part of it, certainly: when you vote for the lesser of two evils, the only thing that you're guaranteed to get is a measure of evil.

        But it's also that those are the types of people who (a) run for office and (b) make a career out of it. I'm fairly sure that there have been studies (though I'm too lazy to look them up) showing that successful career politicians share many traits with sociopaths.

        1. Anonymous Coward

          Did someone say "Silvio" ?

          That is all.

  4. Turtle


    "Google supremo Eric Schmidt reckons that the internet is making politics work better, telling business leaders at the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation APEC conference in Honolulu that the web keeps governments of the world honest."

    I guess he looks at the millions and millions of dollars Google spends annually on lobbyists, and at the return on investment that Google gets for employing the wife of David Cameron's top adviser (Rachel Whetstone), and surely many others, and he sees that it is good, and feels that the true measure of good government and politics work is how effectively they are furthering Google's corporate goals.

    Well that's pretty much how one would expect a sociopath like Schmidt to look at things, now isn't it?


  5. James Micallef Silver badge

    "the internet is making politics work better"

    have yet to see the results.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    If he means work better he means...

    "I note our cache is littered with queries from guys from your treasury of the format "dog" Mr Cameron, so I suggest you work harder for us." ...

    then I agree with him, but David doesn't seem to have done anything for me lately.

  7. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Living in a material world can be fraught and quite traumatic, but never dull in the sunshine :-)

    "Web keeps bent politicians honest, says Google boss" ….. It also discovers and outs bent and dishonest governments and ministers who have the full support of their leader and party, and aides who are not really aides but rather more foreign agents, with all of them making a laughing stock of national security and intelligence services, Anna.

    And for evidence of that, does one have the likes of this ….. …. from a former British Ambassador, which if it were not true, would probably have him up before the courts, but as that is not the case, must it therefore be true and thus is the present government outed as being crooked and bent right to its conservative traditional core. But methinks that is not new news but rather just news which news media chooses not to share and print, which would out them as anonymous cowards?

    Quite why the masses and national security and intelligence services tolerate and allow such ingrates their continuing freedom to abuse their trust and squander their capital and national wealth, is a mystery which the web will most probably resolve in the fullness of a short space of time, for there is no place for any fool or useless tool to hide in cyberspace and the truth will always find you out ….. big time, and increasingly quickly nowadays too, so it is always best to perfectly honest and scrupulously transparent to avoid being taken for a fool and useless tool ride and real bad zeroday vulnerability exploit trip.

  8. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

    "Google supremo"?

    Schmidt hasn't been "Google supremo" for a while now, since they gave the reins back to Page. Yes, I know he's "Executive Chairman" (and on the board), but as far as I can tell his role now is basically just to make unintentionally crazy or horrifying speeches. Like this latest one.

    Of course it's pretty ironic for Google, one of the least transparent publicly-traded firms in US IT, to be lauding the Internet's supposed freeing of information.

    And while there may be "no caves online", there are a great many dank basements.

    Still, self-serving technophilia from an industry figurehead is hardly news. We've been hearing that IT will save us all since, what, McLuhan? Vannevar Bush, arguably?

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