[NB : none of the below is official Google information. I am not
privy to Google strategic discussion on China policy, all of the
below is my personal opinion based on publicly-available information
On 14 Feb 2006, at 22:58, Colm MacCarthaigh wrote:
> Google has cooperated with and legitimised the human-rights unfriendly
> actions of the Chinese Government. Google has taken respect away, both
> from itself and for its users. Eventually these actions will almost
> certainly deprive some people of their liberty too.
As I understand it, Google believes the opposite - that providing
reliable (albeit restricted) search services to China is a net gain
for the Chinese people. We are aware that the Chinese aren't stupid,
that they realise quite well what's going on, and that they will be
suitably creative in figuring out what they need to know. I believe
that we won important victories in the following:
* having the "some results have been removed" notice displayed
* having a blacklist rather than a whitelist
* avoiding the tarpit
> I could make the very same argument about kicking; If you were getting
> beaten up by the man, and I step in and give you a light kicking
> instead, sure amn't I saving you a beating? And hey, what harm is
> it if
> I make a little money for myself while I'm at it, it's all good right?
> I'm totally anti-beating after all, and hell if you want to chance the
> beating - go right ahead.
This is not a good analogy. Closer to the real situation would be:
* The man has his own reasons for beating you up
* Sometimes you deliberately provoke him and get beaten up
* Other times you accidentally provoke him and get beaten up
* I come along and offer you a route home which can't provoke him
* Along the way, I point out side alleys saying "if you'd gone down
there, you'd have been beaten up"
With Google.cn, as I understand it, Google is not trying to bring
information to the Chinese people which their government will not let
them access. This is fundamentally impossible under the laws of the
PRC. Rather, Google is trying to improve the experience of the users
in accessing all the *other* information. Which makes up the
*overwhelming* bulk of the corpus. The best we can do is demonstrate
good faith in pointing out where information has been removed, and
trusting in the creativity of our users. Remember, it's a blacklist,
not a whitelist.
> When you play any part in denying people rights, no matter what the
> alternatives are, you're part of the problem.
It must be nice to live in a world where things are so clear-cut.
Me, I see shades of grey everywhere.
Colm Buckley / colm at tuatha.org / +353 87 2469146 / www.colm.buckley.name
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