Thursday, January 26, 2006

A Silver Lining?

Yes, it's a black day for China since Google announced it would self-censor search results in order to make Beijing happy.

Bloggers around the world, myself included, have dog-piled the criticism onto the ISP provider. But after a good night's sleep and further research into this news, there are a few glimmers of hope.

The first is actually a pyrrhic victory--specifically for BooYahoo! Namely, Google has agreed to Beijing's demands on censorship, but has withheld its e-mail, messaging, and blogging services "because of concerns the government could demand users' personal information." This scores points for Google, as those services represent a major portion of their offerings, and will hurt their market share in China considerably.

Furthermore, when a Google-search is censored, the search results will allegedly indicate that the topic is restricted. This is, in another small way, a fairly respectable compromise. When a user searches for "Taiwan independance," the results will inform the user that their government has restricted them from getting any information on that topic--but that more information is out there. The Chinese are just as enterprising as anyone, and nothing makes me more curious than a topic that I'm not supposed to find out about.

So, I'm reeling in my criticisms of late last night. I will wait and see, with my fingers crossed.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Ibmec said...

Yeah, I agree, on one side it's sad to see what the republic is doing to its netizens, such poor and desperate people (but good at heart), but, on the other hand it's better not to have the chinese intelligence agency hot on the population's privacy...

5:50 PM  

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