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What we take for granted -- Freedom of the Press

By jardinier ·
[This article appeared in "The Walkley," a publication of the Australian Journalists' Association.]

Google executives have given in to pressure and resigned themselves to the fact that if they are going to compete in the Chinese market, they too will have to perfect the art of censorship.

Google will phase in its new interface in coming months, abiding by the stringent content regulations imposed by China?s government. It will join Microsoft and Yahoo! in helping the government build its great firewall.

Chinese media already operate in one of the world?s most restricted information environments. During 2005, Chinese authorities banned 79 newspapers, and two journalists were imprisoned for up to 10 years for ?publishing an unauthorised magazine that exposed local land disputes.?

Of 64 cyberspace dissidents currently in prisons around the world, 54 are in China. Authorities there have an estimated 30,000 online police monitoring news sites, blogs and chat rooms.

Recently, Microsoft was a willing accomplice in shutting down Chinese journalist Zhao Jing?s blog, ?An Ti.? Zhao had used his blog to discuss a strike by editorial staff of the Beijing News, who were protesting the dismissal of three senior editors and their replacement by Party-friendly personnel from the News?s politically conservative parent organisation.

Microsoft defended itself, saying it was obliged to operate within the laws of the country it was servicing. Microsoft?s Chinese web log services bar the use of the terms ?democracy? and ?human rights.?

Another Global corporation, Yahoo!, provided personal information on one of its clients, helping the Chinese government convict a Chinese reporter for revealing state secrets.

As Google makes itself another tool to the Chinese government?s belligerent control of information, it acknowledges the move contradicts its corporate ethics but says it has little choice.

Until now, the Google search service had been offered from outside China, which has resulted in slower services and other access issues. This in turn has generated strong competition from the leading Mandarin search engine, Baidu.

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So far

by rob mekel In reply to What we take for granted ...

for principles.

More like if we can't beat them, then let's join them.


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of course

by apotheon In reply to So far

Google went public. It has to answer to anonymous stockholders first and foremost now, which means its "don't be evil" motto has been sh*tcanned. Public corporations are evil by definition, where mediocrity is evil.

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More Solutions Please

by dmsjr0 In reply to So far

Dad says, "Always have a recommendations for identified abuses."

Complain by all means but also make recommendations.

In this case the worlds leaders should purchase some air time on TV, radio, and the Web and ask China with the world as a witness, why it (China) feels squelching human rights and talk of democracy is necessary for controlling its population. Then give then a reasonalbe time to reply.

This could have been done with Iraq as well.

Making the world aware of why a certain policy is in effect and soliciting additional recommendations for controlling a particular situation will open a forum for peace.

It must be realized however, that sometimes culture dictates politics and not peace. Consider the results of democracy into the baltic states.

The important thing is to work towards peace publicly using peaceful means and when the fails understand that turning up the heat will surely follow.

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"a reasonable time to reply"

by Absolutely In reply to More Solutions Please

China has had 56+ years, since their communist revolution. Their 5 year plans and 7 year plans killed 65 million Chinese citizens, at least. Don't give them another second, and don't give corporations that bend over for rogue nations any more money. I'm making Linux fluency my top priority, right now, so I won't have to support microsoft ever again. If the Gates Foundation can give BILLIONS to "help the poor", they can afford to compete without submitting to communism.

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hot damn

by apotheon In reply to "a reasonable time to rep ...

Welcome to the fold, brother.

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"economic suicide"

by NZ_Justice In reply to "a reasonable time to rep ...

Giving corporations money isn't a bad thing, Giving American corporations money is a good thing for the USA. Microsoft pay tax, the more money/profit they make the more tax they pay, the more the US economy benefits. Trends in Asia are they buy from corporations that that are Asian, ie every Korean as a samsung phone and they drive Korean cars, and hardly any of them will buy an xbox 360 (same as most of Asia). In Japan Nintendo, Sony, Nissan, Subaru etc... are all supported buy the local economies as well as international.

And what does anyone give the Chinese? Except grief for being commies and oppressing a few journalists and killing less than 1% there population.

Buy not buying M$, are you punishing the Chinese for there Govs actions. The US gov ain't that hot either. There plans kill there own citizens (soldiers in the USA army are citizens of the USA). USA soldiers are actually dying trying to force democracy on an Islamic nation. And when a flood hits the US, people play the blame game, rather then the rescue one.

If you are running Linux you obviously have a Intel or AMD chip set, Where do you think the components are made (in the USA), no they are made in China as is every thing else. So I recommend you don't buy AMD or Intel either, cause they also support the China firewall.

Apparently M$ OS software isn't that hot at running large Server base configurations, so for the Chines Firewall, do you really think it will be running on MS OS server software. Most likely not. They probably run UNIX servers and Linux Clients.

Buy a MAC

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come off it

by apotheon In reply to "economic suicide"

I suppose you've never heard of the concept of a boycott. If you boycott MS and Yahoo for their unethical actions, they might figure out that they're losing customer base for doing things like giving up dissidents to the Chinese government.

As for Linux being used by China -- who cares? They use air, too. Are you going to stop using air? There's no overarching corporation that you can boycott for selling air or Linux to China.

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There should be

by NZ_Justice In reply to come off it

an overarching corporation that you can boycott for selling air and Linux to China.

And I few TR members\guests boycotting M$ and Yahoo is probably nothing for those corps to worry about.

Buy a Mac.

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If I buy a Mac . . .

by apotheon In reply to There should be

A Mac, for me, would just be the "extra computer", a toy. It's not up to the workhorse standards of Linux and *BSD.

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You have the right

by Absolutely In reply to There should be

to boycott the air, if it's making you angry!

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