May 13, 2006

Google is right and here's why.

I realize this may be a year too late for the debate, but nonetheless I think that Google was definetely right when it took the decision to censor its search engine in China .
As the world's largest search engine one might argue it has the responsibility to condem any form of censorship on the internet – a world, which although virtual provides unlimited opporunities for freedom of expression and opinion, and in most cases where the laws of the "real" world tend to not apply. However, in China the government has a very strong tendency to not realize this fact. I am sure that no matter how much every government believes in the Lockean ideal of a minimalist government, if it could legally have access to all the information on the web it bloody well would do so.
In China the situation that google is in is very precarious indeed. Whilst in democratic countries people to a large extent have free speech without consequences it is obviously not the case in China. If google allowed everyone to search for democratic ideals someday or the other it would definetely be approcahed by the Chinese government to hand over data of the individuals searching for these words, and sooner or later those individuals would conveniantly "disappear". Any society no matter how impoverished or resource laden needs to have freedom to progress. China has managed to achieve immense growth in economic terms, but it has consequently given rise to a population that has a hunger to progress spiritually and internally and indeed should do so, but the government will obviously lose any power it cdurrently exudes and therefore just cannot do so.
If google denied to hand over the information, they would be banned from China altogether, which makes no entreprenual sense whatsoever. Google realises the situation they are in and hence are not even providing email services to the Chinese people. I know that if I was to choose between saving the lives of revolutionary or simply curious people or condeming them to death or worse still a miserable life, I would choose to save them. More so because if I did not choose to do so the government would ban my organization – in other words Google is in a lose – lose situation with the current Chinese government.

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