I'm getting all kinds of ideas just considering the possibility that Google could be a friend to the open web.
Before the Internet, businesses had customers. And consumers had vendors. Same relationship. Goods and services flow in one direction, and money flows in the other. This practice had been going on for centuries, so all kinds of laws had developed establishing conventions and penalties. We all had a fairlly good idea of what we were entitled to, and what our obligations were.
Now we have a new kind of relationship, and we're totally in uncharted waters. That's a problem for free speech, imho. And whatever we can do to add strength and better definition to the legal relationship between users and companies would imho do a lot to support freedom on the net.
Quick ideas. 1. Create a for-pay email service that doesn't suck. 2. Become a registrar, and help people create new presences on the Internet. Again for-pay. No free rides. When a user calls someone answers. And if you don't pay your bill no service. 3. That registrar service could be used by Tumblr or Soundcloud to make their services better.
Obviously there's a lot to say about this. But it should be something we're thinking about, and every bit of progress in getting back to sensible relationships should be seen as a good sign. I think the more we do of that, the stronger we will all be in the future.