Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Google becomes the largest censor on the planet 

By launching a censored search engine for China, Google is compromising its position as the search engine of record: by providing massively censored search results for an entire country they've shown they can't be trusted as a neutral intermediary, at least not in the way many hoped they might. Google has now taken a side: the side of censorship, the side of state control, a side the Internet is not on. Today, they are cooperating with a one-party dictatorship to suppress democratic rights and political dissent- how long will it be before they start cooperating with any politician to suppress opposing views and unpleasant facts? As a public company, they answer to their shareholders, not their users... but the management should remember, "do no evil" as a company motto is a valuable part of their brand, and shouldn't be squandered.

But think about it: Google has agreed to help the Chinese government cover up a massacre of over a thousand students peacefully protesting for the democratic right to vote. Maybe the protesters are right, maybe they weren't. Whichever side you're on, though, it happened- and letting power dictate truth is to surrender freedom and reason.

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