Google expresses concern at Rogers web page hijack

Search engine Google has voiced concern about the attempt by Canadian internet provider Rogers Communication to insert branded corporate messages into its front page.

Rogers has been testing a technology whereby it can post web-based notices to its subscribers warning them when they are approaching data limits.

This has resulted in large messages blighting the Google home page of subscribers, and the search company is far from amused.

"We are concerned about these reports," Google told the Toronto Star. "As a general principle, we believe that maintaining the internet as a neutral platform means that carriers shouldn't be able to interfere with web content without users' permission.

"We are in the process of contacting the relevant parties to bring this to a quick resolution."

Not only is the Rogers message being used as advertising, suggesting that people "upgrade to another level of service … by visiting", but also features the logo of Google's arch-rival Yahoo in the top corner because of a corporate tie-up.

Critics are suggesting that the move by Rogers is eroding the neutrality of web content.

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