in the Liberty Bell
This will be more of a brief outline of my thoughts and I reserve the right to revise and extend my remarks at a later date.
There was once a company, whose policy was freedom of information and who in its beginning vowed never to censor Internet searches.
It's Motto was "Do NO Evil" and it was called Google.
Recently there was some amount of comment on Google's Cooperative agreement with the People's Republic of China to adjust their software so that the Chinese People would be protected from the results of Internet searches with such dangerous keywords as
Democracy, Tiananmen Square.
It was about this time that Google's Promise never to censor Internet searches disappeared from their websites.
Replaced by words like "In accordance with local laws etc etc"
That was their justification and indeed they had ALREADY abandoned their principles regarding freedom of information and freedom of speech at the bequest of the EU to censor searches in Europe for Neo-Nazi websites and other Fascist polemics.
Nobody much really likes Nazis or Fascists so no one really noticed or commented when that ethical Rubicon was crossed.
If they had they would still probably not thought the same restrictions should or would be applied to search terms like, Liberty, Democracy, Freedom.
Such are the results of compromise.
At the time I thought of writing an article as a warning of what could happen in the Future.
My concept was that if they were willing to censor searches coming out of China they might be willing to censor Internet searches ABOUT China.
I intended it as a warning about what could happen in the Future, since Google was willing to compromise
and abandon their original policy of no censorship of information searches.
It would appear I should have written this sooner, because Google is already censoring and filtering what we can search for with their software.
Just not at the behest of the PRC.
A few hours ago I read this on Little Green Football.
It's In the Koran
Google Video (beta), like Angelfire, has submitted to radical Islam and removed it from view.
You are now at one of the only remaining sites on the web that will let you see it
Google won't let you see it. Probably they think it is not in our best interests.
Maybe they should change their name to Gaggle?
First they came to censor the Nazi Websites
And no one cared, because who likes Nazis?
Then they came to censor the Chinese Web searches
And they said some information was better than none.
Now they have come to censor what WE can search for.
Does anyone care?
In the very first post I ever made on this Blog I made the claim that the The Blogs were the 21st Century "Committees of Correspondence" in the Second American Revolution which would be one of Ideas.
Friends those words were never truer, It is WE who are the Guardians of Information.
Google has joined the side of the Forces of Suppression and Oppression.
Other websites on the Google Issue include
The English Guy He also has other information about Google so look at his main site and not just this post link
Tiger Hawk relates a very dangerous IMO legal reaction to the Google-Gap (a take off on Credibility-Gap and I think appropriate in these later days) in Don't regulate the search engines, except in one small way
"The subcommittee's chairman, Representative Christopher H. Smith, Republican of New Jersey, plans to introduce legislation by week's end that would restrict an Internet company's ability to censor or filter basic political or religious terms ? even if that puts the company at odds with local laws in the countries where it now operates."
I must agree with Tiger Hawk Trashing the First Amendment is no way to perserve Liberty and Freedom.
Google is a private enterprise they can adjust the services they offer any way they want,
I DO support public awareness of their censorship and support of Totalitarian and Oppresive Regimes.
Another poster points out a even greater danger, one that to my eyes Yahoo is already guilty of,
"I only have one problem with your counterproposal, but it's a big one: What's to prevent China from responding by ordering Google et al not to comply with the new law if they want to keep doing business in China? (Remember, suppressing information is just half of the point of political censorship. The other half is maintaining the illusion that the apparent lack of dissent is not the result of censorship, but simply because there's no dissent to be found.) Once that happens, everyone involved is back to square one.
By Joshua, at Wed Feb 15, 09:35:09 AM
As for "Informancy is the worst transgression. China would pay for info on people's searches, and within China it would be legal, maybe even mandatory."
How do you know they are not doing that? Because they say so?
As I recall they USED to say that they would never censor internet searches.
That should tell you how good their word is.
And your word is not like a bone, once you break it, it never grows back stronger.