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Google to Move its Data Centers Off-Shore?

By - Source: Tom's Hardware | B 12 comments
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A recent patent application filed by Google Inc. is sure to float your boat.

Patent application #20080209234, according to its abstract is for a ‘Water-Based Data center’ — essentially a floating Data-Center powered by the sea itself using waves and wind to generate electricity and sea water for the cooling systems. If you think that is pretty far-out, read on.

Google is no stranger to the legal system. Practically everyone and their dog as made a legal run at them over the years, some of which met headlines around the globe. Some of you may recall Google being sued over a privacy issue surrounding ‘Street View’ – still cameras mounted on vehicles driving around your neighborhood taking pictures from multiple angles. These photos were then put together to create panoramic views of city streets, towns and quite possibly the very street you live on.

So what does this have to do with a recent patent application filed by Google? Let us take a look at this situation from a few angles if this were to become a reality.

If these ‘Water-Based Data centers’ were to be placed inside of International waters then Google would be somewhat free from the current laws and regulations that bind how it does business. Google could essentially invade your privacy a lot easier. Not to say they actually would, but it would be entirely easier for them to do so.

Taxes would be handled a lot more differently. This could mean bigger profits for Google resulting in faster turn-around times in research, thus becoming a benefit to everyone else.

Another interesting thought that washes everything already said ashore is that US patents most likely cannot be enforced on International waters. So what exactly is the point behind this recently filed patent? Are there more entities out there with the same idea? Is Google trying to do the right thing for the environment and go ‘green’? One can only imagine the possibilities at this point.

A lot of patents get filed every day and end up being no more than writing on paper. Google moves pretty fast however, so time will tell what the whole idea behind this filing is. For now Google will continue to sail on digital soil.

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  • 1 Hide
    craig hallworth , September 12, 2008 8:01 PM
    I find the assertion that additional google profit will lead to faster research times fairly laughable
  • 2 Hide
    fulle , September 12, 2008 8:32 PM
    Without the protection of a local government, there's nothing stopping pirates from rolling up with their guns and stealing enormous amounts of private data.
  • -2 Hide
    itadakimasu , September 12, 2008 9:25 PM
    LOL @ Fulle.

    The only thing I take from this is that if they were doing it to get around taxes wouldn't that be looked at as tax evasion?

    I know alot of companies do this already, some might see this as anti-american.



    Don't worry... I'm not boycotting google yet, i love to use teh google.
  • 0 Hide
    njalterio , September 12, 2008 9:43 PM
    Interesting concern.......data pirates physically stealing data. lol.
    I'm sure google has the cash to hire it's own muscle.
  • 0 Hide
    spuddyt , September 12, 2008 9:45 PM
    oh dear, companies with private armies and countries :p 
  • -1 Hide
    Pei-chen , September 12, 2008 9:51 PM
    FulleWithout the protection of a local government, there's nothing stopping pirates from rolling up with their guns and stealing enormous amounts of private data.

    Like a bunch of third world pirates can touch a 100+ billion company.
  • 0 Hide
    ravenware , September 12, 2008 10:06 PM
    Quote:
    If these ‘Water-Based Data centers’ were to be placed inside of International waters then Google would be somewhat free from the current laws and regulations that bind how it does business. Google could essentially invade your privacy a lot easier. Not to say they actually would, but it would be entirely easier for them to do so.


    That would be entirely unlikely as google would have to move its entire organization of shore and not just a piece of property. And I am quite sure moving a data center to international waters would not benefit the security of their operation.
  • 0 Hide
    Hellbound , September 12, 2008 10:13 PM
    I'm curious.. Whats to stop people from actually stealing these floating data centers?
  • 1 Hide
    jalek , September 13, 2008 8:45 AM
    HellboundI'm curious.. Whats to stop people from actually stealing these floating data centers?


    The US Coast Guard. Like all other branches of the military, they must always protect corporate, er I mean, national interests offshore.
  • 0 Hide
    aevm , September 13, 2008 11:03 PM
    They should put those data centers in Liechtenstein or some other place like that. No storms, no pirates, no sea water on the computers, extremely low corporate taxes and income taxes, etc.
  • 0 Hide
    Mondoman , September 15, 2008 1:09 AM
    Read the Register article on this: the patent is likely meant for setting up datacenters in disaster areas or other areas without a lot of infrastructure. A datacenter isn't going to be much good out in the middle of the ocean where it can't tap into high-bandwidth network cables.
  • -1 Hide
    spiralsun1 , September 19, 2008 11:25 AM
    This is an effort to avoid scrutiny and privacy laws. GOOGLE is like a data pirate, on the ocean even... Google was started by 2 Jews to begin to take over the next media (the internet) that they have already acconplished in film, TV, finance, and published media. See the A&E video "an Empire of their own" about their takeover of the film industry, and the book by California State University professor Kevin MacDonald about their motives for doing these types of things: "The Culture of Critique: An Evolutionary Analysis of Jewish Involvement in Twentieth-Century Intellectual and Political Movements (Paperback)". We cannot afford to ignore these things. Microsoft is a mouse compared to the Google monster.