When on November 27, 2014, the EU voted in favour of a bill calling for greater internet regulation, we initially fobbed the story off as too technical.
But then we took a closer look and realised this was a war cry against tech giant Google. If passed, the law could unbundle search engines from other commercial services. In other words, it could prevent a company like Google - because that is who this resolution was written for, from optimising its own products in a Google search. It was part of an ongoing tussle between the EU and Google over how the company operates in Europe.
If the forces behind this initiative win the day, it could change the way that many Europeans get their news, much of which they currently access using Google as a gateway. The tech giant has around a 90 percent share of online search traffic in Europe - an even larger share than Google gets in its home territory, the US.
Those in Google's corner say that is just a reflection of customer satisfaction. Many news organisations say they like what Google does for them, directing traffic their way. But the fear is that if your story does not show up on the first page of a Google search, then you do not exist. Then there is the revenue issue: Google getting paid by its advertisers, for simply channelling web traffic to content providers who say more of those ad revenues should go to them.
What this story boils down to is: should governments have the power to break up a digital behemoth like Google? And do those legislators really have our best interests at heart when they attempt to regulate the internet in this kind of way?
Talking to us about Europe's face-off with Google are: David Meyer, a reporter at GigaOM; Kenneth Cukier, data editor with the Economist; Olivier Sichel, chief executive of the LeGuide Group; and Thomas Claburn, Information Week's editor-at-large.
Other stories on our radar: After government pressure, another Japanese newspaper retracts its use of the term 'sex slaves' to describe women who were forced into prostitution in military brothels during World War Two; Colombian journalists are threatened with death by a paramilitary group; and the leader of Thailand’s military junta complains about his television address, opening himself up to mockery by his citizens.
This week's feature: The media in Hungary is coming under more and more pressure in Viktor Orban's second term as prime minister. News outlets expressed their outrage after a new tax was introduced, forcing them to pay up to half of their advertising income to the government.
Journalists from a leading online newspaper resigned en masse after their editor was fired for publishing an expose on a government expense scandal. Can critical investigative journalism survive in Hungary? The Listening Post's Will Yong takes a look.
Our closing video this week: What if all Google search requests were processed through one man? From uncomfortable questions to surveillance by national security, comedy website CollegeHumor takes a look at some of the situations that would arise 'If Google Was a Guy'. The video has had more than 16 million hits on Youtube. We hope you enjoy the show.
Source: Al Jazeera