Google Goes Nuclear

The 'not being evil' company moves into new and frightening territory by declaring it has developed nuclear capabilities

April 1, 2008

3 Min Read
Google Goes Nuclear

The telecom industry's concerns about the growing strength and dominance of Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) were further realized Tuesday when the Internet advertising and search giant disclosed in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that it has developed nuclear capabilities to help power its business and protect itself from "unforeseen events."

Google noted in a "Form AF" that while its nuclear installations (locations unspecified) have been developed initially to help power its enormous server farms, the same capabilities will likely be used to develop "land-based defense systems" that could help thwart "terrorist threats" and "hostile takeovers," and take it a step further towards its goal of becoming an independent, sovereign, but profitable, entity.

Top White House officials say they're worried about Google's nuclear capability, but were quick to praise the Internet company for its full disclosure. "We have to stay on their good side somehow, and it should be noted that, in filing its Form AF, Google is in full compliance with current financial and nuclear regulations," said one top Defense Department source, who asked not to be named.

And in an off-guard moment, the official noted that he was more concerned that Google "has every Web search I've ever done, all my home videos, and copies of hundreds of emails to a number of former co-workers I really wish I'd never written."

Still in beta
Asked how quickly the Internet firm might be able to develop its own defense products, a Google spokesman noted that the nuclear arsenal is still only in beta. "And it will remain in beta for years. Just watch," he noted.

"This move is a perfect fit for our core competencies, which include spotting new gaps in the market, preparing for all eventualities, and putting our SWOT [strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats] analysis into action instead of just filing and forgetting it, as some of our competitors do," added the spokesman.

The development, while getting a reluctant thumbs up from government officials, appears to be creating divisive factions within Google itself, if internal, but public, blogs are anything to go by.

"Nuclear shmuclear... That group will be yesterday's news when I'm done developing the Google 'eat-all-you-want' diet plan," noted one engineer on his so-called Googlog. "That's my 20 percent project."

In response to Google's announcement, Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) is believed to be reconsidering its offer to acquire Yahoo Inc. (Nasdaq: YHOO).

"We know when to back off," said a Microsoft contact who requested anonymity. "We're thinking we can put the $40 billion dollars we were going to blow on Yahoo towards R&D on a totally new level of security capabilities for Windows Vista Service Pack 2. Google's not the only one that can step up to the nuclear plate."

Asked what action Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) might take in response, U.K.-based spokesman Brian Allistic said: "We haven't had time to look at Google's disclosure, but we'd point out that our new Web 2.0 capabilities are already dynamite," before adding in exhaustive detail how TelePresence could be used by the world's political leaders to quickly set up a real-time conference to discuss how to respond to the Google developments. "In a meeting like that, the participants would literally be able to smell each other's fear," he boasted.

"Juniper does not comment on rumors and speculation, even when they're not about us," said a spokesperson for the router firm, before launching into a 10-minute explanation of how much cooler Junos is than Cisco's IOS. The spokesperson added, though, that Google's plans would likely provide fresh inspiration for the guy who draws the Juniper marketing cartoons. "He's been wanting to use a big 'Boom!' speech bubble for years."

We'll bring more news on Google's new plans as they break, as well as following up on previous stories about interplanetary router startups and self-defense wireless devices. (See Interplanetary Blasts Off and Motorola to Shock With TAZR.)

— The Staff, Light Reading

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