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ARCHIVES: State Control

February 7, 2006

Google’s China censorship sets dangerous precedent

Google’s decision to abide by Chinese censors in the launch of its new search service is a blow against democratic rights and free speech that sets a dangerous precedent both in China and internationally. Though certainly not the first such move–Yahoo’s and Microsoft’s MSN service have both stated that they abide by Chinese government censorship policies, banning such words as "freedom" and "democracy" from bulletin board postings–the decision by Google is perhaps the most significant... MORE
February 6, 2006

Chinese editor dies of severe police assault for cycle expose

A Chinese newspaper editor has died from injuries months after traffic police beat him up for an expose about exorbitant electric bicycle licence fees, Reuters has reported. Wu Xianghu, deputy editor of Taizhou Wanbao, died on Thursday last after receiving serious injuries in October 2005 when traffic police in the eastern coastal city of Taizhou, Zhejiang province, attacked him for an expose that embarrassed them. NO BICYCLE THIEVES HERE: A crowded bicycle parking lot in a Chinese town like... MORE
January 29, 2006

Google trades big market for free speech in China

International press freedom and human rights organisations have come down heavily on Internet behemoth Google for launching a censored version of its search engine in China whose Internet users will only be able to look up material approved of by the government and nothing about Tibet or democracy and human rights in China. FILTERED OUT: Chinese youths use computers at an Internet cafe in Beijing in this June 18, 2005 file photo. Google's decision to filter sensitive topics from Web searches in... MORE
January 29, 2006

Leading jailer China continuing to imprison journalists

China, the leading jailer of journalists around the world in 2005, has lived up to its ill-reputation by continuing to imprison journalists this year. The Gulou district court in southern China's Fuzhou city convicted Li Changqing on January 24 of "spreading false and alarmist information," defence lawyer Mo Shaoping told the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). The charge was linked to an article published on the banned Chinese-language website Boxun News exposing an outbreak of dengue... MORE
January 29, 2006

Dancing with the Dragon

IN the 19th century, Britain ruled the world as the industrial revolution sent steam trains, machinery and textiles all around the globe. For the last 100 years, America has prospered on fast food, cars, and the Hollywood dream, becoming the global super-power trading in weapons, pharmaceuticals and farming. But now China is at the fore – this is its century to dominate. British consumers enjoy cut-price T-shirts and TVs built on the back of cheap labour, our companies set up shop in Beijing,... MORE
January 29, 2006

Google's founding principles fall at great firewall of China

The only thing that was surprising about Google's decision to self-censor its China-based service was that people were surprised by it. In the general media coverage, there were many gleeful references to the company's motto - boasted of in the preface to its IPO prospectus - of 'Don't Be Evil' (a phrase which, at the time, caused Wall Street investment bankers to lie down in darkened rooms). How could people who wore those admirable values on their sleeves kowtow to a corrupt, authoritarian... MORE
January 28, 2006

Google fools itself and the Chinese people

Google, the high-flying Internet search company founded on the idea that to do business one doesn't have to do evil, has taken a big step towards implicating itself in the evil of the Chinese Communist regime. This past Tuesday Google announced the launch of a new search engine in China, That search engine complies with the demands of the Chinese regime for control over the Internet inside China. Google represents itself as having the interests of its users at heart. In a statement... MORE
January 27, 2006

Why you can't trust Google

Before all you passionate right-to-privacy folks flood my e-mail inbox, hear me out first. Google's refusal to comply with a federal subpoena to turn over one week's worth of search inquiries is not for some higher cause to protect customer information. Google is not complying because there is no money in it, plain and simple. Even though some would like to believe the search engine giant is just protecting its customers' personal information and privacy, Google is not cooperating with the... MORE
January 27, 2006

Bill Gates defends China's internet restrictions

Bill Gates, the billionaire founder of Microsoft, took the rare step of standing up for arch-rival Google today as he argued that state censorship was no reason for technology companies not to do business in China. The richest man in the world told delegates at the World Economic Forum in Davos that he thought the internet "is contributing to Chinese political engagement" as "access to the outside world is preventing more censorship". All three of largest internet companies - Google, Microsoft... MORE
January 26, 2006

Serving China? Google really should search its conscience

Every morning it is the same. A cheery, two-note tune that says: "Welcome to the world and all its weird and wonderful ways." Never mind Fritz Spiegl and his soon-to-be-deleted Radio 4 theme. The finest wake-up call on the planet is the one that comes from switching on the computer and logging on to the net. Yesterday morning, however, those happy notes might as well have been replaced with a hearty sob for all the mourning that was going on. Google, the last of the cyberspace good guys, the... MORE