Meanwhile, back in Beijing, Google has agreed to filter out sites that the Chinese government doesn't like. The Chinese government won't have to rely on its fleet of monitoring devices that block out "subversive" content from the West, such as information on the Tiananmen Square protest, Tibet and Taiwan. Google will do the dirty work.
The Mountain View, Calif., company will withhold e-mail and blogging services, it says, to protest the Chinese filtering. A Google statement explained that "while removing search results is inconsistent with Google's mission, providing no information" is "more inconsistent."
It may be only a matter of time before Google starts acting like other Internet providers that also censor for China. Last year, Yahoo helped the Chinese government prosecute a dissident reporter. This month, Microsoft shut down a pesky blog. As The Associated Press reported, Microsoft's service in China bars such terms as "democracy" and "human rights."
Here's a thought: Google could ban the phrase, "Don't be evil." I understand that Google wants to make a profit. I just don't know how company execs garner the image of little guys standing up to big, bad government.
Google can say no to the Bushies and know that it won't lose any business, its executives won't go to jail and their children will not get run over by tanks. In the country where those things could happen, Google is a collaborator.
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