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Google Asks US For WTO Block On China Censorship

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the calling-in-the-bantam-artillery dept.

115

An anonymous reader writes "Google is asking the US government to petition the World Trade Organization to recognize China's censorship as an unfair barrier to trade. The US Trade Representative is reviewing their petition to see if they can prove that China's rules discriminate against foreign competition. At least it's something worthwhile for the US Trade Reps to do, rather than secretly negotiating ACTA."

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Google V China (5, Interesting)

N3tRunner (164483) | more than 4 years ago | (#31344714)

I'm really quite proud of Google for taking on China over this issue. I understand that China is a big search market and Google is just trying to ensure that it gets every last click out of it, but having uncensored access to Google search is something that Chinese citizens really should have. It's one of their only ways to find news and information that hasn't been filtered through the government's propaganda machine. Obviously, that's why China doesn't want them to be able to use it.

Re:Google V China (2, Interesting)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#31344750)

"The first condition of progress is the removal of censorship." -George Bernard Shaw

Re:Google V China (-1, Troll)

Jurily (900488) | more than 4 years ago | (#31344990)

Why, oh why does everyone keep telling the Chinese what to do with their country? Didn't you guys believe in freedom or something? Or does that not apply until you have troops stationed there?

Fix your own damn country first.

Re:Google V China (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31345100)

because we want to make sure the country's nice to live in when we finally have to move over there to get a worthy job?

USA V China (3, Insightful)

thijsh (910751) | more than 4 years ago | (#31345120)

If you could not point out an error unless you are yourself completely free of any error no-one would speak up for anything.
In other words: You can never really counter any argument by proclaiming the other party also does things wrong... While it might feel morally right to do so it makes no sense logically, the argument still stands and everyone is just as flawed (or even more because of it).

Then again, this is really the pot calling the kettle black... And it can become annoying and more important unproductive, so I do agree with you.

Re:Google V China (2, Insightful)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#31345152)

Believing in freedom is exactly why we are pestering the Chinese. This has nothing to do with telling a country what to do and everything with preventing oppression. Our own country (The United States) is far from perfect, and we do some pretty fucked up things...but we still don't prevent our own citizens from information, ESPECIALLY information critical of our own government.

In fact, criticizing our government openly and publicly is one of the greatest freedoms we have. Good luck finding a version of Lil' Bush [wikipedia.org] that's called Lil' Mao.

Re:Google V China (2, Insightful)

bberens (965711) | more than 4 years ago | (#31346134)

Why don't you try to get uncensored documents about the US government torturing Guantanamo prison inmates? Why don't you try a FOIA request for what is being requested by the Homeland Security letters? How about warrant-less wiretaps?The freedom of information is an illusion in the United States. Our government has figured out that letting us talk openly about things is pretty harmless when we don't have access to any of the really damaging information about government activity.

Re:Google V China (3, Insightful)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#31346256)

While I agree with you, previnting inside government information from reaching the public is one thing...blocking people from viewing a website like wikipedia is entirely fucking different.

Re:Google V China (1)

bberens (965711) | more than 4 years ago | (#31346456)

Is it? Wikipedia has information about Tienanmen Square which was a Chinese government incident that it does not allow to have information be published about. Sure, the Chinese people are all aware of basically what happened, but you can't find good reliable information about it. How is this fundamentally different than the U.S. censoring its torture documents? We all basically know what happened but getting reliable detailed information is impossible. If Wikipedia had reliable information about that torture the government would start arresting people in a heart beat.

Sure, the Chinese government may be *worse* about it, but diet evil is still evil.

Re:Google V China (1)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | more than 4 years ago | (#31346794)

If Wikipedia had reliable information about that torture the government would start arresting people in a heart beat.

In the United States, conspiracy to torture [openjurist.org] is a felony. Dick Cheney admitted, on national television that he "was a big supporter of waterboarding", reliably implicating himself [harpers.org] in such a conspiracy. Yet the federal government has not, so far, shown any interest in prosecuting him.

Re:Google V China (3, Insightful)

Dog-Cow (21281) | more than 4 years ago | (#31346832)

Obviously you are incapable of logic. The Chinese government censors third-party information so that its citizens cannot access it.

The US government merely declines to publish information it itself generates. The US government has not censored information about Guantanamo. If it had, Guantanamo would not have become an election issue.

If you do or can not understand the difference, you are probably too stupid to use any information anyway.

Re:Google V China (4, Insightful)

ubermiester (883599) | more than 4 years ago | (#31346898)

when we don't have access to any of the really damaging information about government activity

  • Pentagon Papers
  • Nixon Tapes
  • Iran-Contra Hearings
  • Information Awareness Program
  • Secret Detention Centers/Rendition
  • Abu Ghraib Prison
  • Waco

What do all of these things have in common? They are all exposed government scandals/controversies. The administrations involved (and some that were not) attempted to either squash any further investigation or simply punish those who did the exposing. But did they succeed? No. And why not? Because the courts/congress/press would not allow that to happen.

People in China and Iran are regularly arrested for doing nothing more than suggesting policy that the regime does not agree with. People in the US were carrying automatic weapons while burning the president in effigy last August. People still complain openly that Bush a) stole the 2000 election, b) enriched his oil buds, c) killed thousands of Iraqis and US soldiers based on a personal grudge, d) was in the grip of some kind of evil demon (Cheney?) And yet even those who disagree with these positions would defend - to the death - the right to express them without reprisal.

I echo Pojut's qualification that the US is by no means perfect (it's govt is, after all, responsible for the creation of these scandals). And there is always room for more openness. But to compare the US to China/Iran/N.Korea/Egypt/Zimbabwe/Russia/etc is to diminish the plight of the people living in those nations. We are outraged on principle. They suffer in reality.

Re:Google V China (2, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 4 years ago | (#31346416)

In fact, criticizing our government openly and publicly is one of the greatest freedoms we have.

That's because most politicians learned a long time ago that any criticism can be rendered meaningless, when you can simply buy your election with a slew of campaign ads and a good dose of fear tactics and political manipulation.

Re:Google V China (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31345200)

Both of them are members of the WTO. In effect, its an internal matter for the WTO.

China does not have to be bound by the WTO. It can just as easily withdraw from it.

Re:Google V China (5, Insightful)

wall0159 (881759) | more than 4 years ago | (#31345256)

First, I think you'll find that Google is an advocate of internet freedom not just in China, but in other countries also.
Second, in totalitarian regimes a country doesn't belong to its citizens, it belongs to the ruling class.
Third, believing in freedom is compatible with believing in the criticism of tyranny -- that is not imposing anything on anyone, and is ok even if you don't live in a perfect country yourself (otherwise even the worst dictator could use this defence!)
Finally, many people who criticize Chinese censorship are also critical of their own government's. While there is a bit of xenophobia and jingoism when it comes to China, that isn't the case for all criticism of the Chinese government, and doesn't represent an attack on the Chinese people.

Re:Google V China (1)

krou (1027572) | more than 4 years ago | (#31345302)

The US has a lot of things to fix, but I doubt freedom of speech is one of them.

Re:Google V China (2, Informative)

infaustus (936456) | more than 4 years ago | (#31345310)

Because contrary to popular opinion, China is not an insect colony with a hive mind. It is our obligation to protect the freedom of individuals wherever they happen to be located.

Re:Google V China (1)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 4 years ago | (#31345374)

Didn't you guys believe in freedom or something?

Yes. Freedom for the people. Not freedom from the government.

Re:Google V China (2, Insightful)

donaggie03 (769758) | more than 4 years ago | (#31345546)

Why, oh why does everyone keep telling the Chinese what to do with their country? Didn't you guys believe in freedom or something? Or does that not apply until you have troops stationed there?

Fix your own damn country first.

I believe in freedom of the people, not freedom of the government. I don't approve of China's censorship any more than I would approve of the U.S. government doing the same thing. Pointing out that we have our own problems doesn't invalidate the criticism of Chinese censorship.

Because Human Rights matter more than Sovereignty (5, Insightful)

Oxford_Comma_Lover (1679530) | more than 4 years ago | (#31345570)

> why does everyone keep telling the Chinese what to do with their country? Didn't you guys believe in freedom or something?

Clasically, international law recognized the state's right to do whatever it wanted within its borders, but even then the creation of international law had to do with the problem of human rights, in a way. The thirty years war had wreaked havoc on Europe, and hundreds of towns and cities across the continent were burned or otherwise scourged by the war. Starting around 1648, after the Peace of Westphalia, nations could not longer do whatever they wanted.

The connection to human rights remained largely latent until WW2, however. Then we had the holocaust. War Crime prosecution at Nurenberg, the drafting of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the ICCPR, and then the formation for the first time of transnational organizations (Amnesty International being one of the early starters) for the advancement of human rights, led us into a world where everyone agreed that it mattered what people did within their own country. Some things are illegal. Slavery, piracy, and aggressive war are the most obvious.

In our society, individuals have certain freedoms so long as they don't break the social contract, express or implied. In international society, nations have freedom so long as they don't break the social contract among nations, express or implied. In both cases, it's easier to get away with breaking the contract if you're bigger, you're stronger, you have more money, or nobody finds out about it.

As to your last point, if we knew how to fix our country, we would. We're trying, and we'll keep trying. But we still live in the world. We still have obligations--and so does China--not only on a moral level and arising out of our duty to our citizenry and our species, but also arising out of treaty obligations under the WTO. If China agrees to be part of the WTO, then it can expect to have a complaint filed against it if it violates WTO rules. The same is true for the United States, or Canada, or any other signatory to the relevant treaties.

Re:Google V China (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31346174)

First of all, some of us do care about our fellow humans... I don't want the Chinese people to live under censorship and I support Google for attempting to tackle that problem. If China doesn't like that, too bad, so sad, they shouldn't be treating their people like shit to begin with. Secondly, as a rising power China may eventually overshadow the US as far as influencing world policy, etc. Do I want a country that treats its people like shit to be making decisions that will affect me? We should tell China to fix their own country and treat their people with respect before they try to influence the rest of the world.

(btw, I'm Canadian, and I know that the USA isn't perfect but it's pretty good as far as dominant superpowers go)

Re:Google V China (1)

taoye (1456551) | more than 4 years ago | (#31346186)

...and I'm a dumbass who forgets to log in before commenting

Re:Google V China (2, Insightful)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | more than 4 years ago | (#31346206)

The history of political institutions is a history of the political struggle between those who would govern and those who are governed. While the needs of the people might be most effectively med by an a enlightened despot, most despots have proven themselves to be most unenlightened.

While China, as a state, is free, the subjects of that state are not free. Confuse the two at your peril.

Re:Google V China (3, Interesting)

JordanL (886154) | more than 4 years ago | (#31344794)

I'm quite proud of Google as well... because they seem to be going to extraordinary lengths to be a complete pain in the ass the Chinese government on the issue. Not to spite the Chinese, but to make them "play fair".

Google seemed to realize that until someone made a HUGE fuss over it the status quo would never change.

Re:Google V China (3, Interesting)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 4 years ago | (#31344858)

Over the years I've heard people talk about social responsibility of corporations. It was always a bit of a joke, but you know what? I think Google was listening too. It's one of the few companies I can think of that I would say is 'socially responsible' as a corporation. There has to be some record somewhere of the first business to take on a government head to head or something along those lines. Does anyone know if this qualifies Google in some special category?

Re:Google V China (4, Insightful)

maccallr (240314) | more than 4 years ago | (#31345000)

Well personally I'd wait and see if they "do no evil" with regard to their blatantly obvious software patent [slashdot.org] for using geolocation info to target ads.

Re:Google V China (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31346082)

The motto is "Don't be evil" not "Do no evil". It's impossible to do no evil in a world with so much subjectivity.

Re:Google V China (4, Insightful)

bberens (965711) | more than 4 years ago | (#31346196)

Call me when they try to enforce it. It's just good policy to file defensive patents on seemingly stupid things. It stinks that the system is designed so that it's good policy, but it is good policy nonetheless.

Re:Google V China (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31345012)

Google:
Company_Type:Internet
Company_Type:Government_Attacker

Re:Google V China (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31345726)

I doubt this is the first case per se, but certainly the first of this magnitude. The other issue is not simply whether a company can take "on" a foreign government, but whether they can actually change anything by doing so.

Re:Google V China (2, Interesting)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 4 years ago | (#31346226)

The East India Trading Company rivaled most governments in power but this is the first time in history something like this has happened, to my knowledge. I'm not sure if I should be happy, or somewhat scared.

Re:Google V China (1)

edumacator (910819) | more than 4 years ago | (#31346642)

It's not always a joke. We do still have some heroes...

Feuerstein [wikipedia.org]

Re:Google V China (1)

kent_eh (543303) | more than 4 years ago | (#31346764)

There has to be some record somewhere of the first business to take on a government head to head or something along those lines. Does anyone know if this qualifies Google in some special category?

There is a long and sad history of companies taking on governments to try and change the government's policies
Though usually the change they want is in the sole interest of the company, against the interest of their competitors, and who gives a damn about general public's interest.
In this case, Google's interests happen to mostly align with the interests of their competitors, and of the public.

It makes for better PR, but it is still a company "taking on government" in their own interests.

Re:Google V China (1)

houghi (78078) | more than 4 years ago | (#31347308)

It would be great if Google did it because of tehir good nature. The real reason is that they make money by not having any censorship. It is more "Boohoo, we can't do business like we want to, please change it."

It would be even worse if the US governement would listen and start doing it. Because that would be even more proof that companies is what they listen to and not the multitude of people who already asked then to do something about it.

Re:Google V China (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 4 years ago | (#31347530)

Over the years I've heard people talk about social responsibility of corporations. It was always a bit of a joke, but you know what? I think Google was listening too. one of the few companies I can think of that I would say is 'socially responsible' as a corporation.

When Google went public, it took the somewhat unusual step of sharply limiting the voting rights of the class of stock available in the IPO compared to the class of stock held by its founders. This means that Google, while being a public and fairly widely held company, is much more narrowly controlled firm than it would appear at first glance. This means that the common interests of the people who control the voting stock -- and thus direct management strategy -- is much more likely than would otherwise be the case to extend beyond short-term financial results.

Re:Google V China (1)

yuhong (1378501) | more than 4 years ago | (#31347966)

Yea, I know Google is one of the better big companies for a while now. BTW, Sergey Brin was very involved here, and I even did a Slashdot submission on it that got accepted. Here it is:
http://yro.slashdot.org/story/10/01/28/1316226/Behind-Googles-Recent-Decision-About-China [slashdot.org]
http://slashdot.org/submission/1160250/Behind-Googles-recent-decision-about-China [slashdot.org]

Re:Google V China (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31346286)

you know when i fail to find some crack or some god forbidden software i just go china biggest search engine baidu.com

its awesome why they need google censor ship . or for the rest of us outside US . they do alot of censor ship on google . its almost impossible to search for porn !!! yes on google

Uh, you do realize... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31344926)

... that Google couldn't care less about the civil liberties of the average Chinese citizen. All Google wants is to be the invasive ones in everyone's daily online lives in a background, monitoring sense. Google is probably negotiating deals with China regarding data collection and backdoor eavesdropping.

Re:Uh, you do realize... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31345236)

... that Google couldn't care less about the civil liberties of the average Chinese citizen. All Google wants is to be the invasive ones in everyone's daily online lives in a background, monitoring sense. Google is probably negotiating deals with China regarding data collection and backdoor eavesdropping.

Also to increase data to boost their advertising products.

Anyone who thinks that Google, a corporation - nothing but a legal entity, is "good" is horribly naive. And I won't get into the black and white, good or bad, binary adolescent thinking that it involves. (Microsoft is EVIL, OMG!)

Never mind, I forget that I'm on an internet discussion site.

You Slashdot folks think you're so much smarter than everyone else but yet you fall into the same heard-sheepeople mentality like everyone else.

Re:Uh, you do realize... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31348342)

You Slashdot folks think you're so much smarter than everyone else...

No, of course not everyone else. Just you.

Re:Uh, you do realize... (1)

bberens (965711) | more than 4 years ago | (#31346280)

Google is probably trying to win the "good will" of the Chinese people by being a vocal advocate for them. It certainly wins good will from me to see Google publicly fighting censorship in China. As a result I, and presumably many Chinese, will be willing to exchange some of my information so that Google can profit from it. If the culture of Google changes and I become aware of any serious breaches of my privacy (beyond the little I willingly give up) then I will simply change my home page and block the domain causing Google to disappear from my world in a matter of moments.

Re:Google V China (3, Informative)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 4 years ago | (#31345110)

Don't be. The only reason they are doing this is because China directly threatened their bottom line by trying to steal [wired.com] some of Google's proprietary source code (their bread and butter). Before China did that, Google was more than happy to censor their search results and hand over dissidents just like everyone else. Google isn't taking on China to protect innocents, they're doing it to send a message to China that if you hit Google's money train, they will hit back.

Re:Google V China (4, Insightful)

AlecC (512609) | more than 4 years ago | (#31345400)

Not "just like everybody else". Yahoo and others were happy to censor their search results silently, while Google insisted that they be able to display the fact that they had been censored. In my opinion, this was the least bad option. If they had meekly followed Yahoo, the Chinese people would have no idea what was being censored and how often. If they had refused to censor, China would simply have thrown them out and walled them off, and Chinese searchers would have been limited to silently censored searches. Any change to China must come from inside China, from the Chinese people. But what they don't know they cannot change; Google's solution at least told them when something was being hidden from them, so they can ask if they want a government that does that. If Google pulls out of China, it will revert to the state that the Chinese will not even know what is being hidden from them.

Re:Google V China (1)

Jurily (900488) | more than 4 years ago | (#31348958)

Yahoo and others were happy to censor their search results silently

C'mon. Even the Chinese know better than to steal Yahoo's search algorithm.

Re:Google V China (1)

RalphTheWonderLlama (927434) | more than 4 years ago | (#31346130)

Before China did that, Google was more than happy to censor their search results and hand over dissidents just like everyone else.

Actually no they weren't.

Re:Google V China (1, Redundant)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 4 years ago | (#31346330)

Are you saying they were unhappy when they did it or that they didn't do it? Because the former may be possible (if meaningless), but the latter is undeniable.

Re:Google V China (1)

psycho12345 (1134609) | more than 4 years ago | (#31347790)

The former was/is true, because Sergey Brin had issues with it since he lived in the former Soviet Union. I imagine he is a driving force behind Google's current actions.

Re:Google V China (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 4 years ago | (#31346364)

I do agree but it is slightly better than nothing.
At this point if google takes a payoff then they are just as evil as anybody else.
If the keep fighting then they are slightly better than others.

Re:Google V China (1)

xant (99438) | more than 4 years ago | (#31348612)

Who cares about the motivations? "Altruistic" behavior always has motivations, they're just more complex motivations than for "selfish" behavior. Let Google take credit for what they're doing, they're doing the right thing today.

Re:Google V China (1)

dissy (172727) | more than 4 years ago | (#31348730)

Don't be. The only reason they are doing this is because China directly threatened their bottom line by trying to steal [wired.com] some of Google's proprietary source code (their bread and butter).

Oh, so we are supposed to be pissed off at people who do evil, AND now pissed off just as much at people who do a lot of good, but only when doing that good is for free?

Gotcha

Before China did that, Google was more than happy to censor their search results and hand over dissidents just like everyone else.

Oooh, oh never mind, you don't mean the above after all. You just have your facts mixed up and all wrong.

Carry on

Re:Google V China (0, Offtopic)

koxkoxkox (879667) | more than 4 years ago | (#31345338)

I guess we have half the chance of getting the whole google.com banned from mainland China and only accessible behind a VPN ... How would that be a progress to anyone ?

Re:Google V China (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31345618)

I can't wait for them to see the top three pages of most searches be shopping and review sites that are nothing more then mostly broken links to other sites.

Welcome to the free-word China.

Re:Google V China (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#31346136)

You are aware that Google makes its money by you providing you with your private information trough using their services, and then selling that to advertisers, are you?

Re:Google V China (2, Interesting)

yuhong (1378501) | more than 4 years ago | (#31346966)

Not directly, I think they create stats and sell them instead.

Re:Google V China (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31347520)

I'm really quite proud of Google for taking on China over this issue. I understand that China is a big search market and Google is just trying to ensure that it gets every last click out of it, but having uncensored access to Google search is something that Chinese citizens really should have. It's one of their only ways to find news and information that hasn't been filtered through the government's propaganda machine. Obviously, that's why China doesn't want them to be able to use it.

yeah ... they should also be able to find all the pr0n sites out there!

Go cry baby river of blood google (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31344746)

All google.cn are belong to us cowboy !!

Down with Google (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31344810)

They should mind their own business.

Re:Down with Google (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31344994)

Loosen up, Mao. And stop peeing in my Coke.

Re:Down with Google (1)

Tukz (664339) | more than 4 years ago | (#31345156)

That's exactly what they are doing.

They believe the censorship imposed on Google by the Chinese government, is against the trade agreement set by WTO between the US and China.
I can't say if that's the case or not, that's up to the WTO to decide.
But it's a fair request to make by Google, it's disrupting to there business.

Good one google! (1)

yossarianuk (1402187) | more than 4 years ago | (#31344842)

O.K they are doing it for their own benefit, but the side effect of that could be to encourage China to prevent censorship I personally think that repressive regimes should be removed from the internet entirely. (although that would have included the USA 2001-2009)

Pull Out?? (1)

number17 (952777) | more than 4 years ago | (#31344874)

What happened to Google pulling out?? Like Tiger they've got no balls.

Re:Pull Out?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31344922)

Like Tiger they've got no balls

Judging by the number of women claiming he's done them, I'd say his are pretty large.

Re:Pull Out?? (4, Funny)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 4 years ago | (#31344930)

well, no balls means no point in pulling out. (oh yeah... i went there)

Re:Pull Out?? (1)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 4 years ago | (#31348200)

There's still a point. Google does not avoid China but... they do deny it their essence.

Re:Pull Out?? (0, Troll)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 4 years ago | (#31345408)

Like Tiger, they also don't pull out.

Internet trade barriers (4, Insightful)

wintercolby (1117427) | more than 4 years ago | (#31344886)

Internet based trade barriers are everywhere, what immediately also comes to mind are the US block on gambling websites.

The problem here is that it won't be easy to figth this one when we're not smelling like a rose, either.

Re:Internet trade barriers (1)

wintercolby (1117427) | more than 4 years ago | (#31344938)

Darn you preview pane . . .

Internet based trade barriers are everywhere, what immediately also comes to mind is the US block on gambling websites.
The problem here is that it won't be easy to fight this one when we're not smelling like a rose, either.

Fixed that for me.

Re:Internet trade barriers (3, Interesting)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 4 years ago | (#31345616)

Internet based trade barriers are everywhere, what immediately also comes to mind is the US block on gambling websites.
The problem here is that it won't be easy to fight this one when we're not smelling like a rose, either.

Fun fact: The WTO ruled against [bbc.co.uk] the US in the gambling website matter..

Where's the trade barriers (2, Informative)

hackingbear (988354) | more than 4 years ago | (#31348544)

If I understand it right, a country raises a trade barrier if its rules discriminate against foreign imports. Say, if the rule says imported cars need to emit 25% less CO2 than domestic ones, then it is a trade barrier no matter how much you love the environment. but in these cases, both foreign and domestic have to obey the same censorships (or banning of gambling,) they are fair as long as trades are concern. google may make other trade barrier claim like if the state does not grant them video content licenses even if they agree to obey the same censoring rules.

How many times has the US flouted WTO? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31344948)

Far too many. Pot Kettle Black Google Evil

Re:How many times has the US flouted WTO? (1)

hey! (33014) | more than 4 years ago | (#31345228)

In international law, "legal" is what countries can customarily get away with. It follows that one does not expect international law to be fair. It's just the continuance of war by other means. Less destructive means.

Re:How many times has the US flouted WTO? (1)

Jarjarthejedi (996957) | more than 4 years ago | (#31346060)

When did google take over the United States? I must has missed that announcement.

A good action from Google (1)

jeanph01 (700760) | more than 4 years ago | (#31345002)

I was really disturbed by the buzz fiasco with privacy and was awaiting a good action from Google to restore my faith in them. I think this move deserve to be called a good action.

WTO reply (2, Funny)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 4 years ago | (#31345040)

Sorry, we only do evil.

Re:WTO reply (5, Funny)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 4 years ago | (#31345112)

Sorry, we only do evil.

Total, utter unmitigated uninformed bullshit. When have the WTO ever said "Sorry"?

Re:WTO reply (3, Insightful)

Lord Ender (156273) | more than 4 years ago | (#31346052)

The WTO is certainly among the lesser evils. In the old-old days, when the uber-wealthy wanted to protect their property rights, they had to hire mercenaries. It was cruel, but at least it was honest.

Later in history, the developments of religion and nationalism enabled those on top to use mere rhetoric to convince the poor to die protecting business interests. Protect the King's land from the godless invaders! Fly under the stars and stripes to defend the fruit company's interests in the banana republics!

With the advent of conscription, however, those who owned the world could merely summon slaves to make sure their property remained under their control (Korea, Vietnam).

But the Owners didn't entirely control the new phenomenon of mass media, and popular opinion turned. Slavery wasn't an option, so we tried espionage (CIA) and even old-school mercenaries (Gulf War I) to protect businesses interests .

The uber-rich aren't going to stop trying to protect "their" property, but with the Internet turning media upside-down, it will be harder than ever to get the poor to agree to conscription, crusades or even merc work. Using trade embargoes via the WTO is probably better than outright war for this purpose, so long as they don't embargo to the point of mass starvation.

(For the record: I'm not anti-capitalist. Humanity just sucks when it comes to war and money. A progressive capitalism in which you can get rich but you can't take it with you [high inheritance tax to fund education of the poor] sounds most appealing to me.)

Re:WTO reply (0, Flamebait)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#31346844)

The WTO is certainly among the lesser evils. In the old-old days, when the uber-wealthy wanted to protect their property rights, they had to hire mercenaries. It was cruel, but at least it was honest.

Today, whole nations go to war over economic goals. Clearly, progress has brought us to a better world.

Re:WTO reply (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31346934)

Grandparent post: Five-word, pithy — if not witty — joke. Quick and funny.

Parent post: Response consisting of a multiple-paragraph history lecture that borders on conspiracy theory in an attempt to educate a group of people notorious for already sharing that point of view and experience as to the exact nature and deep intricacies of the GP's joke.

Obviously, one of these people gets invited to parties while the other gets invited to tweed sportcoat factories.

I Guess That Means (3, Insightful)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 4 years ago | (#31345138)

China must have called their bluff and won the first round. Now that "we'll leave if you don't change your ways" is off the table, Google's hand is a lot weaker. At this point I expect them to run around for another few months, pretend that they're actually trying to do something that will work, eventually declare "victory" and continue on in China like none of this ever happened.

Re:I Guess That Means (3, Insightful)

areusche (1297613) | more than 4 years ago | (#31345234)

I recently got into an argument with a politics major over how the US just can't simply ignore human rights violations and blatant censorship in China. As long as investors have a dedicated financial investment in China our leaders will ignore the problems or send the military out and enforce our will. As long as there is a TON of money be made in China on cheap labor then we will never ever stop investing in China. This sounds like Google trying to say, " We don't like what China is doing. So if we can't pull out because our shareholders would be pissed then no one should be able to operate in China." Hate to break it to the idealists in the world, but if there is any short term gain to be made it will be taken at the expense of anything (the environment, human rights, etc). Humans will always operate at the lowest common denominator. Google is no better than any multinational corporation. Grow a pair google and stop with this, "Do no evil" BS.

Re:I Guess That Means (1)

FrostDust (1009075) | more than 4 years ago | (#31347540)

If a company does good deeds in the name of profit, are they no longer good?

Re:I Guess That Means (1)

Roman Coder (413112) | more than 4 years ago | (#31348718)

The World is what we make of it.

Re:I Guess That Means (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 4 years ago | (#31345384)

Well the bluff continues. Right now Google (a big successful company that a lot ofmanager listen to) basically says "foreigners are not allowed to do profit in China". Don't you think this can have repercussions on foreign investments ?

Re:I Guess That Means (1)

RalphTheWonderLlama (927434) | more than 4 years ago | (#31346176)

Called their bluff by letting them continue to run Google.cn with censorship turned off? That works for me.

China Should Respond by (2, Insightful)

Conzar (1603461) | more than 4 years ago | (#31345140)

In response China should petition the World Trade Organisation to recognise USA's patents and copyrigt as an unfair barrier to trade.

Re:China Should Respond by (2, Insightful)

Ogive17 (691899) | more than 4 years ago | (#31345540)

Why? China doesn't pay heed to them anyway. In fact, China actually makes money from the process of stealing IP now.

Obligatory (3, Insightful)

srussia (884021) | more than 4 years ago | (#31345250)

"Gentlemen, you can't just do whatever you want, this is free trade!"

Re:Obligatory (1)

mosb1000 (710161) | more than 4 years ago | (#31347720)

In all fairness, the goal of the WTO is to prevent government barriers to free trade. That means it's necessarily going to be an infringement on a state's freedom. As with any governmental organization, it means giving up certain freedoms on the theory that the benefits will be greater, and as a member state, China is bound by those rules. You would think that the Chinese government would be OK with the arrangement, since it's the same kind of agreement that they have with their citizens.

Hooray for Google (2, Informative)

benjfowler (239527) | more than 4 years ago | (#31345378)

... for pressuring the disgusting and odious Chinese government. The Chinese are big on 'face', and maybe -- just maybe -- they can be shamed into adopting international standards of decent behaviour.

Ideally, what China really needs is a Hungarian-style transition to civilized, responsible democratic government, although I suppose piecemeal reform could rate a (distant) second place.

Re:Hooray for Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31345462)

What a fine demonstration of western blind arrogance.

Re:Hooray for Google (1)

benjfowler (239527) | more than 4 years ago | (#31345668)

LOL at gutless chinky AC.

You're a long way from home mate.

Re:Hooray for Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31345932)

As much as you are. The internet doesn't belong to you Americans.

Re:Hooray for Google (1)

benjfowler (239527) | more than 4 years ago | (#31346272)

It certainly doesn't belong to you murdering Chinese communists either.

Re:Hooray for Google (1)

benjfowler (239527) | more than 4 years ago | (#31346294)

No idea why I'm matching wits with CCP 50-cent trolls anyway.

Apologies to anybody else reading this :(

Re:Hooray for Google (1)

RalphTheWonderLlama (927434) | more than 4 years ago | (#31346218)

For some reason my posts never make it through moderation to the page on Chinese websites. Hmmm

Italy's trying to keep up with China (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31345428)

So when we start working against censorship in Italy? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Censorship_in_Italy#During_Berlusconi.27s_era_.281992-present.29

Something worthwhile? (1)

WinPimp2K (301497) | more than 4 years ago | (#31345452)

At least it's something worthwhile for the US Trade Reps to do, rather than secretly negotiating ACTA."

You fail to understand how govenrment works. They will not re-assign "US Tarde Reps" from their vital-to-national-security role in the ongoing ACTA negotiations. They will simply hire more "US Trade Reps" and raise taxes to pay for them. Since this will also mean at least the appearance of increased taxes on Disneywood, Disneywood will move more jobs offshore AND raise prices on their fine products. The increased local unemployment will require local govenrments to hire more workers to deal with the unemployment claims so they will also have to raise taxes.

I think these petty (WTO) squabbles would be better resolved via bikini jello rass'ln. It would certainly be a classier form of entertainment.

Nothing is going to happen. (2, Insightful)

MaWeiTao (908546) | more than 4 years ago | (#31345928)

It would be great if this came to pass, but it wont. First, you're going to have a hard time getting China to do anything particularly when the people themselves believe that censorship is sometimes necessary. But more importantly, most companies couldn't care less. What they want is cheap manufacturing and some level of experience. China provides both while other developing nations can't yet meet these needs.

And China is a great target for passing the buck. Anything goes wrong with your product blame the Chinese manufacturers. When some of Mattel's toys were found to have a variety of problems what did they do? Blame China. Everyone completely overlooked the fact that Mattel should be directly involved in overseeing the manufacturing of their own products. But why should they care? The whole point of going to China to begin with was to cut costs.

If most companies don't care about the kind the quality of the stuff they sell us why the hell would they care about what China does on its own soil? And currently China is in a situation where it can throw its weight around. Perhaps when India and Southeast Asia are much stronger competitors to China things will change because at that point it will become more apparent that the world doesn't really need China. But of course, that really isn't going to help the case for China easing up on its own people.

And like I've stated, most Chinese don't think there's a problem at all. Frankly, there are far greater atrocities taking place around the world that Google should be speaking up about.

Why don't the US block China trading like Cuba (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31346726)

The US should treat all communist the same way. Let's block China for trading like it is happening with Cuba ....hahaha

No more ipods, computers, or anything made in china should get into the US. And US companies should not be able to put manufacturing plants or use any China services to produce goods !!

So Obama, are you afraid of China? ...or take out the Cuba embargo, that will be easier.

While we're at it. . . (1)

mosb1000 (710161) | more than 4 years ago | (#31347610)

When are we going to get around to dealing with their blatant price fixing through currency manipulation? Seems like that's another thing China likes to do that the WTO is meant to prevent.
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