NHK reports that Google has apologized for causing the August 25 Japanese internet outage that brought down NTT Communications and KDDI backbone services, Suica Apple Pay/Mobile Suica, Line, Rakuten Securities, Nintendo Online, and a bunch of other major services.
Details are frustratingly vague with no trace of an apology on Google’s site. Bad routing tables from Google are mentioned as the cause on some Japanese blogs. Nick Heer is right when he warns of too much internet power being consolidated in the hands of a few American companies:
Of the many serious flaws in the infrastructure of the internet is that most of it is powered by private corporations, many of which are based in the United States. Due to network effects, we have consolidated much of the web around just a handful of them: Amazon is the largest cloud infrastructure provider by far, Google dominates in many fields, over a quarter of the world’s population uses Facebook monthly, and Prince says that Cloudflare handles 10% of internet requests. As he says, they have very little accountability about what is and what is not allowed on their platforms. We have replaced many of the rights afforded to us in our own jurisdictions with the rights given to American companies.
There has to be a better solution. A press release apology from Google does not make up for all the lost work and investments of many Japanese. No accountability on Google’s part at all.