I said fairly nice things about Google the other day, and I might have to take some of them back. While Google had balls enough to tell the US government where to stick it, they are apparantly now playing ball with China.
, Google is cutting a deal to censor China’s 100 million Web surfers:
To obtain the Chinese license, Google agreed to omit Web content that the country’s government finds objectionable. Google will base its censorship decisons on guidance provided by Chinese government officials.
Although China has loosened some of its controls in recent years, some topics, such as Taiwan’s independence and 1989’s Tiananmen Square massacre, remain forbidden subjects.
Google officials characterized the censorship concessions in China as an excruciating decision for a company that adopted “don’t be evil” as a motto. But management believes it’s a worthwhile sacrifice.
“We firmly believe, with our culture of innovation, Google can make meaningful and positive contributions to the already impressive pace of development in China,” said Andrew McLaughlin, Google’s senior policy counsel.
While I certainly understand McLaughlin’s argument, I don’t agree with him. As long as standardized Internet routing practices exist, innovative methods to gain access to government blocked sites will pop up — just ask any offshore e-mail or domestic blog comment spammer.
In the meantime, let me put on my super secret NSA-proof Flash Gordon decoder ring and slip a message past Google to the Chinese: “1 kn0w n0t whot c0urse 0thers mae taik; butt as 4 m3, giv3 m3 l1bertee 0r giv3 m3 d3ath!”