I think the world wide web should know how Google delisted my web site in very suspicious circumstances, which should disturb anyone concerned about internet freedom.
For some years now I have maintained a web domain which I came to use for many things. But the controversial pages had to do with my project of publishing information about Federation of Metro Tenant's Associations (FMTA) and a few other nefarious organizations and individuals connected to it. The domain is QAZ.CA.
There is a problem with that domain, but I am lucky to have been able to get such an easy to remember name with only three characters, in the .ca major domain, just before that became impossible. If somebody wanted to buy it from me, I would be sorely tempted. It is the three leftward most keys on the QWERTY keyboard.
It is not named in honor of this QAZ virus which has been around for awhile, as some of my enemies seem to imply. If you caught a QAZ, you did not catch it from me; I use a Mac. If everyone used a Mac there would be none of this "malware" problem.
My QAZ started out as my own personal web site but grew as my social activism in Toronto grew, as well as my skill with using the internet. I now have several other .CA domains and most of the stuff which was on QAZ has been transferred to them, especially what I know triggered the take down; the section about FMTA. You can find it all at www.torontotenantsassociations.ca, which is not a link, so do not futilely click on it, but cut it and paste it to your browser.
By the way, the antidote for the problems of internet domain theft, at least if you are Canadian, is to get your domain from Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA).
I have not had the new domain open long enough for web statistics to start collecting, but getting the old site deindexed by Google did not have a great effect on traffic. For the two months when it was delisted, unique visits dropped by a quarter and then held steady. I already knew that the bulk of my traffic was from links and word of mouth; but still, Google...
You can read most of this in more detail at my site. The more recent events, I have not yet posted. I was on the board of directors of FMTA back in 1999. They even let me take the minutes for awhile.
They started to think I was smarter than I looked and was finding out too much, so they started trying to hassle me off their board. At the 2000 annual general meeting I got reelected to the board along with a 'reform group'. They got me arrested on trumped up charges. Once they were rid of me the other reformers were easily intimidated.
There are still many people in Canada and outside of it who think it is a democracy. There are very few real democracies in the world and Canada is not one of them. It is a polyarchy set up by British military colonial authorities and the Orange order. All rights are conditional, meaning you have them until the authorities decide to override them.
Especially in the province of Ontario, which Toronto is trapped within, if you are arrested for something you are before the system of 'managed justice'. You are guilty because they say so and the saying goes; "you can beat the rap but not the ride". In other words, you get run through the wringer, while they refuse almost indefinitely to try you or even come up with a case against you, until you are forced to agree to "conditions", which cover the bastards against suing for wrongful arrest even if you could.
It soon became obvious to me that I was a special priority of the "managed justice" system.
The only way I have been able to get some justice for all this, and to deter the FMTA, the cops, and the 'toxic glue' behind them, from continuing to come after me, have been civil law suits and the internet. The internet works better. I have beaten them twice in civil court and the glue was determined not to let me do it again.
I am waiting for the reform of the small claims court system in Ontario which is supposed to occur in 2010. Then I am hitting the relaunch button on my latest civil cases. Meanwhile, I have been having a jolly time exposing FMTA, and a widening vista of other villains, over the internet.
I have found some useful allies in my struggles. We have spent years developing the file on FMTA, which they are increasingly desperate to take down. We know that they and the legal clinics committee have devoted entire meetings to shutting their critics, and especially us, up.
We know that we have cost FMTA the extra government funding which they crave, and made it harder for them to find politicians willing to pimp for them. They are in the bad books of the present provincial government and will be as long as it is in office, which could be a long time.
Most people now know that FMTA is no longer what its founders created over thirty years ago. It is a bunch of thugs paid by the city housing department and the landlord lobby to shut tenants up, which It does effectively.
They have never managed to get my web site actually taken down. Once the service provider started telling me, under pressure from them, that I had to delete certain pages. I just found another server.
On one occasion, they got some dunces at a connectivity provider I was using in another province, to take down one page of my FMTA site, which at the time was hosted with them. Marcia Barry, who you can read about, got somebody in Montreal to serve them papers, which they mistook for legal documents ordering the page removed.
I found it fishy that the staff of this connectivity provider were so hostile to me for no apparent reason. When I finally got a copy of this supposed legal document, it was even fishier. A judge's order should have a judge's signature on it. However, I have little time to waste with the disciplinary system for lawyers in Ontario, especially ones in the legal clinic system.
Recently I heard through the Toronto politics jungle telegraph that FMTA had found a 'hired gun' to get me taken right off the net. They have tried every other line of attack; the web space provider, the connection provider, the domain registrar, and I have a funny feeling they know something about the hack attack. I have had solutions for it all.
Then in April they sent me another 'Sarah Lu' message;
You have until the end of March to get rid of all your housing and tenant pages and all the lies you are targeting a group with or we will be pointing out your writings to the most rabid jewish groups.
When they see what you are saying about the holocaust they will keep you busy for years going to Human Rights Commission hearings.
So you can say what you want about the jews if you get rid of your attacks on the tenants movement or you can spend the next decade in court after tribunal after court defending your views against the jews.
Its your choice. They have all the money in the world - you don't!
Then on May 13th I got;
NOBODY CAN FIND YOUR SITE ANYMORE AND THEY NEVER WILL AGAIN!
A day later, one of my allies called to say that my site had disappeared from Google. Sure enough, Google's search engine informed me; "site not found". But all the pages vanished from Google were still up on other search engines, like Dogpile and Yahoo. On these, my site was where it was before, at about number three of four in the rankings, right after FMTA's own web sites.
So I opened a new domain and moved the pages over. After a month, it is where the old pages were in Google ranking; way up high in the top ten. Now, if this domain should also suddenly vanish from Google, I have another domain to move it to.
I will also have the goods on Google.
Some people have said that the delisting might be just because Google did not like the way I coded the pages. But I am pretty good with my trusty page spinner program, and have refined my pages into a very readable and usable web service. I have no interest in Google's silly guidelines. There are far worst web pages than mine, even from Google standards, which stay up.
One of my allies went onto the Google 'resubmit' page, but that did not result in a relisting of QAZ.CA. The Sarah Lu message suggests that a pretext for taking down the whole site was a series of articles I wrote for my blog. Parts of it got published in a local newspaper which specializes in hazardous points of view. You can find it at http://www.qaz.ca/series01.html (not a link)
The motto of Google is supposed to be "don't be evil". I can find plenty of accounts on the net of Google being evil in various ways. They delist sites with no warning or explanation and say that they are a private company and can do what they want.
I have found no other account of them delisting something just because somebody does not like what it says. Perhaps this article will bring some back to me. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
But other things about Google concern me. I have discovered that on most Mac compatible search engines, it is impossible to select as default search engine anything except Google, and sometimes Yahoo. I also find that other search engines are more useful in various ways. I have grown fond of Dogpile and especially Ask.
Yet Google has a near monopoly these days; people do not have a clue that other options are out there. If they start using this power as a means of social control, that is a social disaster. Is Google accepting money to rank sites higher or lower, or worse, to delist sites? Even Jeeves could not give me an answer.
Google has an office in Toronto. I tried phoning them and got a revealing response. As soon as I said, very politely, that I was asking why my site was delisted, the voice on the line became extremely abusive and hostile for no reason. When I got assertive and told her to speak to me properly, she started the standard narcissistic scumbag's "are you threatening me?" game; a very evil little queeze.
If Google would take bribes, they would pay bribes to the managed justice system. But they will still have to go to the trouble, and to face me in court about what they did. I might be able to get it into the media. I definitely will get it out widely over the net.
The net neutrality people should be all over this. "Google Watch" says it is just too busy with Google's naughtiness to deal with it right now. But what is the solution when organizations such as Google become monopolies?
The whole history of capitalism and the economics of monopolies provides the answer. There are certain types of public services which are best supplied by a single provider. It makes more sense for the provider to be a government utility. The net neutrality crowd needs to understand that the different elements of the net are such services.
We know that here can be only one electricity provider and one transit provider in a city. It is much better if it is a public utility, current fashions notwithstanding. It is becoming obvious that we need one provider of internet connectivity. Otherwise, the loss of net neutrality is inevitable.
But do we also need a single search engine? A single, universal search engine would not be possible. Some countries have created their own national search engine; unfortunately, mostly totalitarian regimes for bad reasons. But relatively free countries could create national search engines aligned with a national internet and telecommunications utility.
Such a utility would be the first engine which comes up in a search. But a network of independent compilers, like Dogpile, would also be encouraged. This would insure the public interest in having true net neutrality in web searches, without private monopolies. But it would also keep content distribution unbiased, with the different algorithms and compilers acting as a check on each other.
To put it another way; everything goes on the big search engine. But if a site is coming up on some search engines but not the main one, people can ask what is going on. And a public utility cannot say, like Google, "we are a private company and we list who we want." Its only shareholder is the public. Well..., government which must at least appear to be acting in the public interest.
Google is a private corporation run for the benefit of wealthy shareholders. When such an entity gains the monopoly power Google has, it cannot be anything but evil.
Evil is as evil does. Evil people always find each other, and find ways to work together. The best defense against evil is courts which are incorruptible and accessible to all. Therefore, this is what evil is most anxious to corrupt.
The best assurance of uncorrupted courts is an advanced state of democracy. The best way to advance the state of democracy everywhere is through an open internet. Therefore, that is something evil would love to close off.
Do not be neutral about my cause, net neutrality activists!