Ultima Thule

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

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Internet giants act as censors in China

By Aussiegirl

And if you read the rationalizations of Yahoo and Google, et al. you see how easy it is to justify one's cooperation with evil. That's all it took in Hitler's Germany and countless other hellholes of despotism. All that is required for evil to succeed is for good men to do nothing. Or in the case of these internet giants, to justify their repressions and censoring under the guise of contributing to a greater freedom. Sure -- repression leads to greater freedom. But it's nice to think that while you are sipping whatever trendy drink is in fashion on our newly outfitted jumbo jet while congratulating yourself on not only being rich, but "not evil". I'm sure Screwtape would have approved.

My Way News

BEIJING (Reuters) - A rights group accused Western Internet companies on Thursday of complicity with censorship in China and called on Microsoft Corp., Google Inc. and Yahoo Inc. to resist Beijing's demands.

New York-based Human Rights Watch called the blocking of politically sensitive Web sites and search terms "arbitrary, opaque and unaccountable" and urged the publicly traded firms to be upfront with their users about censorship.

"It was ironic that companies whose existence depends on freedom of information and expression have taken on the role of censor, even in cases where the Chinese government makes no specific demands for them to do so," the group said in a report.

The report was the latest in a wave of criticism against Western Internet companies operating in China, which are accused of compromising their principles by censoring searches and blog titles and blocking politically sensitive terms in order do to business in the world's number-two Internet market.

In the case of Yahoo, the company has also been accused of providing information to Chinese authorities that led to the imprisonment of people accused of political crimes. The most prominent among them is writer Shi Tao, who was jailed for 10 years for leaking state secrets abroad.

Human Rights Watch was also especially critical of Yahoo's search functions, saying it censored information about as much as domestic search engine Baidu.com Inc..


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