Is Google crossing the line?
(Oct. 13, 2004)Google is criticized for its censoring searching engine and news in China. For a company doing business in China, Google has no choice but obeying China government’s ‘rule’ as other companies do.
The question is, how far can Google or other companies go in China? Most people have ignored that these companies have crossed the line – the line that can be enough to be prosecuted in countries like the USA. (boxun.com)
For example, Yahoo has signed Internet agreement with China government, according to the Agreement, Yahoo is obligated to provide users’ personal information to government. We know that USA has similar requirement, but the information required in the USA must not be that “personal”. The key difference is: ISP companies will not give users’ information to law enforcements until they have the paper from DA. In China, police literally do not need paperwork when search a private home, they do not need paperwork when ask Yahoo to provide users’ information either. What is worse, China government can use the information to put users in jail, a common practice in past few years. Has Yahoo done too much to hurt its users?
Boxun News (boxun.com) – an US – based Chinese news service has reported that its email group account with Yahoo was deleted by Yahoo without any notice before June 4th in 2001. This group has about 2000 subscribers and Boxun lost the email list to which Boxun sends news everyday.
Boxun also reported that Huang Jinqiu (Qing Shuijun), who was sentenced 12 years on Sept. 27 in China, complained that his Yahoo email could not be accessed from time to time, he must change to new account. One possibility is Yahoo has surrendered user’s email information to Chinese authority. Dissidents in China have reported of losing access to email accounts to hotmail too.
After Google started to provide news service, it gives people in China a different version of Chinese news, or censors news. If we require Google to provide uncensored Chinese news in China, it is too much for Google. But Google has done too much in the USA, if you go to Google’s Chinese news main page, the contents are censored too! You will not find any news items that China government will NOT like to see. Google does select all different Chinese news from VOA, BBC, or Boxun, but users will see only news that accepted by Chinese government on its main page. If you want to see something different, users must search and find! It is a big difference. In other words, Google is censoring its Chinese news in the USA. Is Google crossing the line?
Note: Due to the limited resource of Boxun, this article may contain grammar problem.
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