Ultima Thule

In ancient times the northernmost region of the habitable world - hence, any distant, unknown or mysterious land.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Google launches China service while agreeing to censorship -- "Don't be Evil"

By Aussiegirl

Ironic that Google's corporate philosophy is "Don't be Evil". Do they even know the meaning of the word? Or is this a word they only apply to the Republicans and George Bush.

When tyrants and big greedy internet corporations join hands -- an "acceptable balance" means -- give us enough of a profit and we will sell our own mothers and daughters into slavery and prison if need be -- freedom? democracy? human rights? What's that compared to profits.

Watch out -- this is the next big thing -- once international businesses like this start seeing their bottom line as being best served by helping to enforce political repression you have a recipe for disaster.

Are you sure you want to buy those Google shares? How about shares in prison labor?

WSJ.com - Google to Launch Service in China

Google Inc. this week will launch a new Chinese search service, agreeing, after much internal debate, to censor its own search results in order to comply with Beijing's strict limits on access to information.

The site, Google.cn, is critical to Google's competition with both Western and Chinese rivals, Google executives believe. In designing the service, the Mountain View, Calif., search giant believes it has reached an acceptable balance between compliance with Chinese laws and its corporate mission to make all of the world's information universally accessible.

But the decision is likely to reverberate with critics of U.S. companies that operate under China's limits on free speech, as well as with fans of Google and its corporate philosophy of "Don't Be Evil."

Google's move highlights the thorny issues facing all U.S. Internet companies operating in China. While most companies believe they must be in China, says John Palfrey, executive director of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School, "the way the Chinese government treats any company in the Internet space is anathema to the principles ... those companies hold dear."

In the wake of recent censorship and related incidents in China involving Yahoo Inc. and Microsoft Corp.'s MSN unit, a growing number of public-interest groups, U.S. legislators and academics is calling for industry or legislative action. Two congressional groups are expected to discuss the issue next month.


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