Tuesday, December 27, 2005

News from the blogosphere -- Chinese censorship

Some happenings in the Internet world in 2005 have me greatly concerned.

Did you know that MSN is censoring their new MSN China Portal in agreement with the Chinese government? Yes this was back in June, but it still bothers me.

The words and phrases blocked by Microsoft include "Taiwan independence," "Dalai Lama," "human rights," "freedom" and "democracy."

In a statement, lead MSN product manager Brooke Richardson said, "MSN abides by the laws, regulations and norms of each country in which it operates. The content posted on member spaces is the responsibility of individuals who are required to abide by MSN's code of conduct."

Now, Yahoo has helped track down a dissident journalist in China who will now spend 10 years in prison.

I am a believer in democracy and American business. I know that Yahoo and MSN state that they must comply with the laws in the countries in which they operate.

Bottom line, China is a repressive communist regime. It consistently imprisons and "reeducates" its citizens in ways that are agreeable to the government. It is an open secret that "about 30,000 people" are dedicated to policing China's "Great Firewall."

China's censorship is vast, and they are filtering many "objectionable items" out of China as well as seemlingly tracking some citizens queries to ferret out objectionable people.

With Yahoo, Microsoft, and yes Google "cooperating" extensively because they want to do business in China. I have to wonder.

I know that choices have to be made as many of the Internet businesses want to be the leaders in their fields and move to worldwide brands. However, China has a history of emulation and providing things more cheaply (just look at the automotive knockoffs they generate in plants located near American manufacturing plants.)

We as American's are participating in the repression and rape of the Chinese people. These people have no choice but to work for nothing and our businesses take advantage of it so that we can have $3 toaster's at Wal-Mart.

I do not hate the Chinese people -- I feel for them greatly as they are taken advantage of by such a terrible government. I dislike the Chinese government for what they are doing.

I also am ashamed that our American businesses are participating in such un-American behavior all for the almighty dollar. When the wall that separated Berlin fell, we cheered. With such ingrained alliances with the Chinese regime, I have a feeling many American businesses would rather it stay in place than evolve to a democracy.

I take issue with what is happening to dissidents in China. Thousands upon thousands of baby girls are killed in china (they have dying rooms at state run orphanages.) People are tortured, reeducated, and killed in china by the tens of thousands. An the world is more up at arms that there "might be" a terrorist prison run by the CIA in Europe.

There is something wrong with this picture.

I have to wonder if such alliances between Big American companies had existed prior to the fall of the Berlin Wall, our own American countrymen would have helped reinforce the wall splitting Germany in half.

Indeed, that is what American companies are doing now -- reinforcing the Chinese firewall.

I think these countries should learn from Woodrow Wilson:
You are not here merely to make a living. You are here to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, and with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world. You impoverish yourself if you forget this errand.
Woodrow Wilson (1856 - 1924)


Vicki A. Davis said...
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Vicki A. Davis said...

Take a look at article in the New York Times today about the supression of court cases taken up by Chinese citizens against their own country.

I just had to post this!