Thursday, January 26, 2006

Google China

To get themselves the licence for China, Google has done something questionable and, I believe, against the 'spirit' of the WWW.

It has agreed to 'omit Web content that the country's government finds objectionable'. This means, basically, that they are going to base their results for the http://www.google.cn/ on censorship decisions and guidance provided by Chinese government officials.

Though China has 'loosened' some of its moral and informational controls in recent years, some topics (like the independence of Taiwan and the infamous Tiananmen Square massacre) are still banned reading.

This is nothing new, as Google does the same thing with their German and French engines to remove references to 'Nazi paraphernalia'. These subjects, excluded from the German and French engines, are not as current and immediate as this latest move. This new step reeks more of Orwellian governmental oppression and the suppression of free information by corporations desperate to cash in on an expanding market, to the detriment of truth and through the repression of news and information. These are current issues of civil rights.

Strangely, and sadly, I feel as though they have let us down. Is not the net, after all, the very epitomy of the symbol of global free speech? Are Google not 'the little geek guy made good' and shouldn't they echo the voice of that global free speech? Apparently not.

Very sad indeed.
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