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China Warns Google To Obey Or Leave

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the who-wears-the-pants-in-this-family dept.

Censorship 533

suraj.sun writes with this snippet from an Associated Press report: "China's top Internet regulator insisted Friday that Google must obey its laws or 'pay the consequences,' giving no sign of a possible compromise in their dispute over censorship and hacking. 'If you want to do something that disobeys Chinese law and regulations, you are unfriendly, you are irresponsible and you will have to pay the consequences,' Li Yizhong, the minister of Industry and Information Technology, said on the sidelines of China's annual legislature. ... 'Whether they leave or not is up to them,' Li said. 'But if they leave, China's Internet market is still going to develop.' ... Li insisted the government needs to censor Internet content to protect the rights of the country and its people. 'If there is information that harms stability or the people, of course we will have to block it,' he said."

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fp! (0, Offtopic)

snugge (229110) | more than 4 years ago | (#31454790)

fp!

Sure buddy (4, Interesting)

spazdor (902907) | more than 4 years ago | (#31454794)

Mr. Google:
Before leaving, please deploy a transparent, ubiquitous distributed darknet app. I just know you're sitting on one.

Re:Sure buddy (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31455236)

They will stay... they are money whores just like everyone else.

Game of Chicken (5, Interesting)

VoiceInTheDesert (1613565) | more than 4 years ago | (#31454798)

The question is will Google jump off the tracks before the China train hits them.

I really don't know who would be more hurt by this. On one hand, Google provides huge resources to China, but on the other hand...google surely gets a lot of revenue from such a huge market.

Re:Game of Chicken (5, Insightful)

ircmaxell (1117387) | more than 4 years ago | (#31454982)

Well, it poses a Catch-22 for Google...

In their first option, they can stand up to their philosophical beliefs --which is a VERY rare thing these days for any major company-- and keep up the fight. If they do this and win, they could start a intellectual and philosophical movement in China... If they lose, not only would they be kicked out and lose money, some of their people possibly could wind up in a Chinese prison (It is violating the law after all)...

In their second option, they can bow to the pressure and keep censoring content in China. If they do this, they are sacrificing their philosophical beliefs for the almighty dollar... This would be a crushing blow to the anti-censorship movement (as one of its most powerful allies will have bowed to the pressure)...

Finally, they could leave China altogether. This could have 2 paths. Either someone (MS with Bing?) would jump in their place right away and it would be like nothing ever happened (Which would also hurt the anti-censorship movement). Or, with luck, other companies that are not happy with the censorship will leave too. It could provide energy to the anti-censorship movement in China...

So, to me, the best option would be #1. In all 3 cases, there is potential to harm the anti-censorship movement. But only the first case has a significant chance to REALLY help it. If Google REALLY wants to promote freedom of information, #1 is the only way to go (Again, IMHO)...

Re:Game of Chicken (4, Insightful)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 4 years ago | (#31455066)

If they do this and win, they could start a intellectual and philosophical movement in China... If they lose, not only would they be kicked out and lose money, some of their people possibly could wind up in a Chinese prison (It is violating the law after all)...

I'm pretty sure that if Google started an intellectual and philosophical movement in China that some of their people would definitely end up in a Chinese prison or worse.

Re:Game of Chicken (3, Insightful)

ircmaxell (1117387) | more than 4 years ago | (#31455158)

The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants.

Sometimes it's worth it... Not always, but given the wide belief that censorship is wrong, if that's what it takes to start a revolution, then perhaps it's necessary...

Re:Game of Chicken (4, Insightful)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 4 years ago | (#31455278)

The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants.

Sometimes it's worth it... Not always, but given the wide belief that censorship is wrong, if that's what it takes to start a revolution, then perhaps it's necessary...

I'm just not sure that Google, or we at /., should be the ones deciding that some of the Chinese people should start dying for this. I'm pretty sure that it should be their decision.

Re:Game of Chicken (4, Interesting)

CorporateSuit (1319461) | more than 4 years ago | (#31455220)

I would like to add only two things to your post, if I may:

In their first option, they can stand up to their philosophical beliefs --which is a VERY rare thing these days for any major company-- and keep up the fight.

Google isn't Chinese. Many would argue it's not their fight. It's a technological Vietnam War. Are they doing the right thing by not censoring their results? According to us, and our culture they may be, but not according to the host which has accepted them as a dinner guest. It's morally relative and looks a lot like a modern-day "The King and I".

someone (MS with Bing?) would jump in their place right away and it would be like nothing ever happened

Except it wouldn't be like nothing ever happened. Whoever jumps in their place gains an enormous market share, which would rattle the strength of Google at a shareholder level. Search engines are some of the shortest-lived giants our modern technology has bred. Google may be an unstoppable juggernaut today, but its family pedigree show us that adolescent heart attacks are the norm for its stock.

Re:Game of Chicken (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31455292)

None of those options would have any important impact unless for the next short weeks something very dirty about the government came into public by more than one mean in order to re-inforce the need to end the chinese government censorship agains't its own people.

Re:Game of Chicken (1)

grumpyman (849537) | more than 4 years ago | (#31455324)

"fighting anti-censorship movement" may be part of Google's philosophy but cannot and is not their corporate objective - if it is then they would've registered as non-prof or NGO or something. OTOH, seriously, what's the real chance that Google leaving will "start a intellectual and philosophical movement in China". How realistic could that be really?

Re:Game of Chicken (2, Insightful)

ircmaxell (1117387) | more than 4 years ago | (#31455402)

Isn't their corporate motto "Do no evil"? So isn't also part of their corporate objective? And if you equate censorship as evil (As I personally do, and I am a Google shareholder), than Google's censoring results (even if it's the law) would be against their corporate objective. So if that's the case, they can either put up a fight, or leave...

And the chance of starting a movement by leaving is slim to none. Which is why in my OP I said they should fight (if it really mattered to them)...

Re:Game of Chicken (4, Insightful)

Shadow of Eternity (795165) | more than 4 years ago | (#31455390)

If they do this and win, they could start a intellectual and philosophical movement in China... ...It could provide energy to the anti-censorship movement in China...

Tiananmen.

Re:Game of Chicken (1)

hondo77 (324058) | more than 4 years ago | (#31455050)

Google surely gets a lot of revenue from all the non-China markets, too. The question is: how much revenue is enough? I'm thinking that China and Google can become quite prosperous without each other.

Re:Game of Chicken (4, Funny)

bigpat (158134) | more than 4 years ago | (#31455300)

How are the Chinese government officials going to find the objectionable content if they can't Google it?

Oh really? (4, Insightful)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#31454804)

Well Google should tell China they can deep throat it and choke. I'm all for companies having to comply with national and international laws, but censoring search results is NOT something they should comply with. I realize this gets into the grey area of "who are you to decide what's right and what's wrong", but still...government-sponsored censorship of search results? Nothing you could do or say could convince me that is a good idea.

Information yearns to be free.

Re:Oh really? (2, Insightful)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 4 years ago | (#31454922)

Nothing you could do or say could convince me that is a good idea.

It's not as simple as that. The Cuban embargo has stifled Cuba's growth and left it so that people don't have cell phones or internet at all. Standing up for Cubans' rights and refusing to deal with their government ultimately badly hurt common citizens.

Providing search services to Chinese citizens and letting their government rewrite results as they see fit may be better than denying them search altogether. If Google pulls out, the Chinese will still have censored search results, but from an inferior search provider.

Re:Oh really? (4, Insightful)

headkase (533448) | more than 4 years ago | (#31455046)

From an inferior provider? GOOD. Let their country fall behind in information services while we surge ahead. I don't want a dictatorship having access to anything before we have fully deployed it. Hopefully with the theory that they do not remain competitive, when their people overthrow the Evil that is the Chinese government then license everything to them because they will deserve their seat at the table. Before then they are simply a bunch of thugs and I don't think we should be giving thugs brass-knuckles. Of course I have the freedom to say that here which is a major point for me.

Re:Oh really? (2, Insightful)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 4 years ago | (#31455360)

These are people we're talking about, not governments. You're only wishing harm on regular people.

Also, "There is a single light of science, and to brighten it anywhere is to brighten it everywhere." --Isaac Asimov

Re:Oh really? (1, Insightful)

profplump (309017) | more than 4 years ago | (#31455062)

Did you miss that fact that the Cuban embargo itself is a form a censorship? In this case both the US and Cuban governments are in the wrong, and we should defy *both* of them.

Re:Oh really? (4, Insightful)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 4 years ago | (#31455090)

Providing search services to Chinese citizens and letting their government rewrite results as they see fit may be better than denying them search altogether.

No, it isn't. No media at all is always is better than censored media. Censored media allows the censors to maintain control. Without any media, people are in fact freer to form their own opinions rather than having opinions supplied to them.

It doesn't matter how you spin it. There is no justification for Google to participate in censorship of this kind when they don't actually have to. No excuse at all. Chinese people will lose a search engine, but that is not Google's fault; it is the fault of their government.

Re:Oh really? (4, Insightful)

Omega Hacker (6676) | more than 4 years ago | (#31455130)

Except that the Cubans on average don't actually understand what they're missing. It's not as if they had Internet and cell phones and then suddenly lost them due to embargo. China's been using Google now about as long as the rest of us, and if they *lose* it due to very unmistakable censorship policies their government imposed, they can't possible miss the connection between the two. Try going without Google for a week now that you're used to having it instantly available, and you'll get pretty ticked. Lose it indefinitely due to the government's transparent attempts at censorship (whether you as a Chinese subj^H^H^H^Hcitizen believe in their justifications or not), and you're going to get royally pissed off. This is a good thing, in the large.

Re:Oh really? (1)

blitzkrieg3 (995849) | more than 4 years ago | (#31455358)

If Google pulls out, the Chinese will still have censored search results, but from an inferior search provider.

Except that Baidu [baidu.com] already dominates search in in China. If Google pulls out, most people won't notice. For the few Google users, they'll move to Baidu and search like everyone else.

Re:Oh really? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31455034)

Thats the first time in a long time I've seen something wise come from one of your posts. Usually its just you trolling for more hits to your blog.

Kudos.

Re:Oh really? (1)

hazah (807503) | more than 4 years ago | (#31455036)

who are you to decide what's right and what's wrong

I think a better, and more appropriate question is, "Who are THEY to decide what's right and what's wrong?"

Yes, it's their country, and it's their laws, sure, I give them that. But that does not stipulate that their reach is endless and that there's no point in which no one should give a shit what they think is right. Censorship is one such item that is completely beyond their reach. It is ridiculous for any one person to tell what another person should or should not watch/hear/think. It's stupid and it's DOOMED to fail all the time, and it does, and we see it time and time again. Stupid. It's stupid to insist that it's necessary for anything. It's stupid to think to yourself that it's anything but another example of "do it my way or else!" that we all got to love in our kindergarten days.

Re:Oh really? (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#31455120)

I think a better, and more appropriate question is, "Who are THEY to decide what's right and what's wrong?"

Agreed, but I threw that in there just to cut off any potential posts about how I was presenting my opinion as if it was the only correct one...which I have been accused of more than once on here -_-;;

Sure... (4, Interesting)

Kid Zero (4866) | more than 4 years ago | (#31454812)

..and if we want your data, we'll take it and you'll like it. Seems Google found someone more evil than them.

Re:Sure... (5, Insightful)

Z00L00K (682162) | more than 4 years ago | (#31454960)

Compared to most big companies Google isn't that bad.

Compared to governments Google is a saint.

But that doesn't mean that they are right every time. In some way I expect that if they have to leave they do leave behind as little as possible.

What China should fear is instead the risk of having their connection to the rest of the internet cut off or at least limited.

Re:Sure... (2, Informative)

localman57 (1340533) | more than 4 years ago | (#31455012)

I don't think that will ever happen. There's too many companies making too much money outsourcing from the West to China. Yet for some reason, they read the stories about Google and don't make the connection that the same thing is/could be happening to them.

Re:Sure... (1)

kangsterizer (1698322) | more than 4 years ago | (#31455210)

What China should fear is instead the risk of having their connection to the rest of the internet cut off or at least limited.

that's what China actually *wants* to a certain level.
Of course, Google is not the Internet.

Protecting rights (5, Insightful)

Kell Bengal (711123) | more than 4 years ago | (#31454814)

"Protecting the rights of the country and its people", brought to you by the Ministry of Truth.

Re:Protecting rights (5, Funny)

LordArgon (1683588) | more than 4 years ago | (#31454908)

"We are at war with Google. We have always been at war with Google."

Re:Protecting rights (2, Funny)

localman57 (1340533) | more than 4 years ago | (#31455030)

Then maybe we can get China to piss away two years of national growth by focusing an on-again/off-again merger proposition with Yahoo and Microsoft.

Re:Protecting rights (2, Funny)

Starteck81 (917280) | more than 4 years ago | (#31455080)

"We are at war with Google. We have always been at war with Google."

Double plus good comment.

Re:Protecting rights (1)

drachenstern (160456) | more than 4 years ago | (#31455424)

Thanks, I almost sprayed Monster all over my screen...

Too true in this day and age, no?

Google motto to the test (5, Interesting)

nightfire-unique (253895) | more than 4 years ago | (#31454816)

This will settle once and for all whether or not Google's motto represents true company ethics, or pandering. Go, Google! Set a true example for the modern corporate world to follow!

Re:Google motto to the test (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31455160)

This will settle once and for all whether or not Google's motto represents true company ethics, or pandering. Go, Google! Set a true example for the modern corporate world to follow!

Indeed, when I read in TFS:

'If you want to do something that disobeys Chinese law and regulations, you are unfriendly, you are irresponsible and you will have to pay the consequences,'

my first thought was that Google is in fact being eminently responsible. Methinks Li doesn't quite understand American attitudes toward civil disobedience—there may be a lot of political apathy these days, but we still lionize MLK and Rosa Parks, don't we? Here's hoping Google continues this and shows us true colors as an ethical company.

Re:Google motto to the test (1)

tauri87 (1766078) | more than 4 years ago | (#31455214)

I think Google should stand up for the rights of the individual such as the rights to free speech and open access to the Internet. (Among other things)

Re:Google motto to the test (1)

grumpyman (849537) | more than 4 years ago | (#31455412)

You already got partially answered by them still filtering as of today.

See, this is what i was talking about (3, Insightful)

unity100 (970058) | more than 4 years ago | (#31454818)

regardless of google leaves or stays, american companies are going to suck up to china, and american government is going to do that too. maybe only there will be a few weak statements regarding the state of human rights in china. it will be business as usual :

american companies are going to help chinese government in suppressing its own citizens for profit. american companies are going to help chinese government to do anything that conflicts with american constitution, and american ideals you people are so proud of.

and you get worked up everytime someone points that out ....

Re:See, this is what i was talking about (5, Informative)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 4 years ago | (#31454946)

And European and Asian companies and countries don't suck up to China? Nice try at going after the US, but the fact is everyone is sucking up to China, even countries who are most threatened by China regionally and strategically, like Russia.

Re:See, this is what i was talking about (0, Flamebait)

unity100 (970058) | more than 4 years ago | (#31455048)

russia ? russia has NO principles in regard to anything. there is no hypocrisy there.

european countries suck up to china indeed, yet they dont go infesting other countries and turning them upside down for profit like american companies do. hell, they even turned your own country upside down, and you are the people complaining loudest about that.

Re:See, this is what i was talking about (3, Informative)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 4 years ago | (#31455266)

Europeans countries don't turn other countries upside down for a profit? Since when?

Nestle. Unilever. Airbus. OMV. Eni. Siemens. One can make a list of European companies as active at making profits abroad as long or longer than the US companies.

For every United Fruit the US has had, the Europeans have had a Belgian Congo or British Raj.

Re:See, this is what i was talking about (1)

onefriedrice (1171917) | more than 4 years ago | (#31455392)

russia ? russia has NO principles in regard to anything. there is no hypocrisy there.

european countries suck up to china indeed, yet they dont go infesting other countries and turning them upside down for profit like american companies do. hell, they even turned your own country upside down, and you are the people complaining loudest about that.

Wrong, on a few levels. American companies don't turn other countries upside-down. That would be impossible unless the economic structures of other countries are broken to begin with. Also, contrary to popular left-wing propaganda in the US, American companies didn't turn America upside-down either; that chain reaction was started by the government forcing banks to loan money to people who could never hope to pay it back. Thus, Americans are rightly pissed off. We're obviously the loudest about it because it's our problem to fix; it's not really anyone else' business so why would I even expect any other nationals to make any noise at all about it?

Bullshit. (4, Insightful)

jcr (53032) | more than 4 years ago | (#31454824)

Li insisted the government needs to censor Internet content to protect the rights of the country and its people.

Li is a lying little tyrannical thug. What he would say if he were an honest man, is that the Chinese government is scared to death of what might happen to the party minions when ordinary Chinese realize that Mao killed more of them than Tojo.

-jcr

Re:Bullshit. (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 4 years ago | (#31454884)

did mao kill more than 10 million chinese ?

Re:Bullshit. (4, Informative)

jcr (53032) | more than 4 years ago | (#31454950)

I've seen estimates in the 77 million range. Whatever the exact figure, he killed more of his own people than any other tyrant in history. Pol Pot killed a higher proportion of his population, though.

-jcr

Re:Bullshit. (5, Informative)

blind biker (1066130) | more than 4 years ago | (#31455076)

did mao kill more than 10 million chinese ?

Mao launched the Great Leap Forward, in which an estimated 20 million people had died from widespread famine. [wikipedia.org] But Mao and the other lying bastards were saying that the deaths were the result of natural disasters [wikipedia.org]
Then of course there were the persecutions of the Cultural Revolution [wikipedia.org] , also Mao and his cronys' brainfart. There 750.000 to 1.500.000 people were killed. The massive destruction of Chinese cultural heritage is just the cherry on top of the cake.

Re:Bullshit. (2, Informative)

magarity (164372) | more than 4 years ago | (#31455094)

did mao kill more than 10 million chinese ?
 
A lot more - between his crackpot economic policies (The Great Leap Forward) and paranoid purges (The Cultural Revolution), Mao can take the credit for between 20 and 46 million deaths. Note that exact records were not kept but these are the best estimates range.

Re:Bullshit. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31455140)

did mao kill more than 10 million chinese ?

30 million, if you trust this wikipedia article [wikipedia.org]

Re:Bullshit. (1)

whipnet (1025686) | more than 4 years ago | (#31455416)

Yes. All of the smart ones and free thinkers.

*

Re:Bullshit. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31454888)

Li insisted the government needs to censor Internet content to protect the rights of the country and its people.

The best way to protect the rights of the people is to take them all away.

I know I'm right.

Re:Bullshit. (4, Insightful)

vampire_baozi (1270720) | more than 4 years ago | (#31455100)

Most educated Chinese are well aware, and really don't care that much about the Mao years. Same party, different leadership. American parallel: The Civil War killed more Americans than pretty much all other wars combined to date, since it was Americans vs Americans on American soil. At the time, Lincoln was in charge, and he was a Republican (which used to be the "good" party- Democrats and Republicans sorta swapped platforms in the 1960s as a result of the Civil Rights movement).

So new boss, very different from the old boss. They don't give a fuck if the Chinese know about 6/4 or the Great Leap Forward. But stopping censorship would open up the floodgates of freedom of speech and criticism. Peasants don't know and don't care about history. They do know that the local party officials are corrupt, and that many of them are getting shafted. An uncensored, free internet would be a great way for them to learn more,share stories, and organize. It would be an amazing platform for the criticism of the communist party.

It's not even the Central party they'd be criticizing; many Chinese adore Grandpa Hu and Grandpa Wen. The local party officials are another thing altogether, especially in rural areas.

Harms stability... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31454832)

Anything that would promote a different party is harming stability right? I mean, we can't afford to change our dictator too often if we wish to preserve stability!

Advice (0, Flamebait)

Renraku (518261) | more than 4 years ago | (#31454848)

I'd advise Google to get all of its employees out of China that they don't want to be found dead someplace if they want to continue to be defiant.

Re:Advice (2, Interesting)

FlyingBishop (1293238) | more than 4 years ago | (#31454918)

Killing foreign nationals? That's going to go over well. I mean, China could start killing native Google employees, but they would still be treading far too close to causing an international incident. China relies on Multinational Corporations far too much to basically start a war with one over search results. China would become a much less attractive area for manufacturers.

Re:Advice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31455182)

Not if they're still manufacturing products cheaper than anywhere else in the world.

Re:Advice (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31455376)

How can China still be producing goods cheaper than anywhere else in the world? The amount of things exported from China should increase the value of their currency, yet it stays down. WTF is going on?

China Sounds Perfectly Reasonable (5, Insightful)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | more than 4 years ago | (#31454852)

Their government does not want the kind of "openness" and free exchange of information that is Google's trade. That is their prerogative. Google should pull out.

They won't, of course. Too much money to be made there.

They will cave in, compromise, and do (more) Evil.

It'll be interesting to see how Google's PR monkeys spin it, from a front-row-seat-at-the-Fall-of-Civilization perspective...

Re:China Sounds Perfectly Reasonable (2, Insightful)

jcr (53032) | more than 4 years ago | (#31454892)

Their government does not want the kind of "openness" and free exchange of information that is Google's trade.

With you so far...

That is their prerogative.

but here I must disagree. The government doesn't own the country.

-jcr

Re:China Sounds Perfectly Reasonable (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#31455282)

You mean that they aren't supposed to own the country.

Re:China Sounds Perfectly Reasonable (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31455040)

Google planned to pull out from the beginning. They're just having a dick-waving contest with the Chinese government to justify it to stockholders. They're already getting fucked by Chinese government subsidized services like baidu. Say it with me now:

As a foreigner, you cannot compete in China against a Chinese competitor.
As a foreigner, you cannot compete in China against a Chinese competitor.
As a foreigner, you cannot compete in China against a Chinese competitor.

The Chinese government won't stand for it. The Chinese people won't stand for it. They will engage in espionage and then sabotage against you, as we've already seen. They will force you to obey laws that they ignore, as we've already seen. They will subsidize your opponent if you're from out of country, as we've already seen. It is, in fact, a losing battle.

Don't get me wrong, I've got many good Chinese friends and dated a couple Chinese women, but I will never EVER do business in China. It's a losing proposition.

Re:China Sounds Perfectly Reasonable (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31455224)

Their government does not want the kind of "openness" and free exchange of information that is Google's trade. That is their prerogative. Google should pull out.

They won't, of course. Too much money to be made there.

They will cave in, compromise, and do (more) Evil.

It'll be interesting to see how Google's PR monkeys spin it, from a front-row-seat-at-the-Fall-of-Civilization perspective...

Their government does not want the kind of "openness" and free exchange of information that is Google's trade. That is their prerogative. Google should pull out.

They won't, of course. Too much money to be made there.

They will cave in, compromise, and do (more) Evil.

It'll be interesting to see how Google's PR monkeys spin it, from a front-row-seat-at-the-Fall-of-Civilization perspective...

China is treating Google the same as Googles YouTube over censors their members. China 1, Google, 0.

Re:China Sounds Perfectly Reasonable (1)

ryan.onsrc (1321531) | more than 4 years ago | (#31455230)

Their government does not want the kind of "openness" and free exchange of information that is Google's trade. That is their prerogative.

Even if you subscribe to the moral relativistic notions that preclude fundamental human-rights, there is no denying that this is this very "prerogative" is going to continue to spur social upheaval and (what I hope) will be a full-scale revolution against what amounts to a modern-day Stasi government.

I suppose one could deem their position to "reasonable" if he/she supports such a regime. I, for one, think the people of China deserve far better.

Re:China Sounds Perfectly Reasonable - Security (1)

M3wThr33 (310489) | more than 4 years ago | (#31455262)

They're pulling out because on top of all the bullshit censoring, they were CONSTANTLY attempted to be hacked by the GOVERNMENT. That's why they're leaving. It's not worth it.

Governments are the enemy of its people. (2, Insightful)

Zombie Ryushu (803103) | more than 4 years ago | (#31454872)

Governments are the enemy of its people in all cases and in all nations. The highest form of patriotism to ones country is to constantly question, challenge and investigate all government officials in every nation, in every circumstance. Don't let secrets be held.

Re:Governments are the enemy of its people. (3, Insightful)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#31454932)

Whoa there. Government itself is inherently sterile. Government can empower its citizens, or it can empower its leaders, but not both at the same time.

The problem is that leaders always turn government so it empowers them, not us. Power-hungry leaders who run the government are the problem...the government itself only does what its leaders tell it to do.

Re:Governments are the enemy of its people. (2, Insightful)

digitalunity (19107) | more than 4 years ago | (#31455196)

The founders of the United States would disagree with you. The goal was to create a multi-branch government with equal power, such that each has the power to keep the other branches in check. Sadly, much of the power that was to sit with the legislative has been lost to the executive. Worse still, the judicial and more specifically the SCOTUS has been slow to intervene when the legislative or executive overstep their boundaries.

I don't agree that any government is benign by default. This depends a lot on the goals of the government and what power the public has to make meaningful change to the government. In some ways, a republic is no longer serving the needs of the US. Direct democracy would lead to a lot of changes in policy that are bad for government but good for citizens. Initially it sounds like it would be mob rule, but sadly, I trust the good nature of citizens in general a lot more than I trust politicians.

The politicians look out for #1: themselves and reelection. You vote for them because you trust that they will represent your opinions in legislation but it doesn't work.

Re:Governments are the enemy of its people. (2, Insightful)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#31455284)

The founders of the United States would disagree with you. The goal was to create a multi-branch government with equal power, such that each has the power to keep the other branches in check. Sadly, much of the power that was to sit with the legislative has been lost to the executive. Worse still, the judicial and more specifically the SCOTUS has been slow to intervene when the legislative or executive overstep their boundaries.

Which would work perfectly if there was no such thing as political parties. However, referring to people as Democrat or Republican or a third party instead of just American destroyed any hopes of a balanced government.

I don't agree that any government is benign by default. This depends a lot on the goals of the government and what power the public has to make meaningful change to the government. In some ways, a republic is no longer serving the needs of the US. Direct democracy would lead to a lot of changes in policy that are bad for government but good for citizens. Initially it sounds like it would be mob rule, but sadly, I trust the good nature of citizens in general a lot more than I trust politicians.

Government is just a tool. Whether the people weilding the tool use it to build or to demolish is up to them. Remember, a hammer can drive nails to hold up a wall...or it can knock them down.

The politicians look out for #1: themselves and reelection. You vote for them because you trust that they will represent your opinions in legislation but it doesn't work.

Not sure about other countries, but in my own (USA), this is because of the requirements to get into power. You have to know the right people and follow their orders to move up in the ranks, but you can't do that while working for the citizens...you can only do that while working for the asshole with the power.

Re:Governments are the enemy of its people. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31455102)

Yay absolutism!

Re:Governments are the enemy of its people. (5, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 4 years ago | (#31455294)

Governments are the enemy of its people in all cases and in all nations.

Wow, this is such a bad misconception that if you base your actions on this idea, you will end up doing weird things like flying a plane into a government building. Government isn't our enemy, it is our collective way of cooperating and getting things done. You should read the preamble to the constitution sometime, it tells the purpose of government. Then look at Somalia for a vivid example of why government is better than none. It's good there are no warlords in America.

Instead think of government as a kind of servant. It exists to do our will. It is run by people, so it is not perfect, and you certainly need to watch it, otherwise it will start doing stuff you don't want it to do (government responds to people who pay attention to it: if the only people who pay attention are the ones that want special kickbacks, then it will respond mainly to them).

Seriously, do you think Obama is your enemy? Do you think Harry Reid is your enemy? I don't agree with everything Obama does, but I generally feel he is trying to help the American people. Harry Reid is kind of a dud but calling him an enemy is a bit much. Even if you do a character analysis of Bush (whose policies I generally hated), read his speeches, look at his actions and try to figure out who he really is, it's hard to claim that he wasn't at least trying to help out the American people.

There are some people in government who are enemies of the people, and these people should be identified and removed, but that is different than saying that government is the enemy. "Government is the enemy" is some kind of backward reactionist ideology. Instead view government as a tool: it can benefit or harm us, much like a hammer.

Re:Governments are the enemy of its people. (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#31455382)

Seriously, do you think Obama is your enemy? Do you think Harry Reid is your enemy? I don't agree with everything Obama does, but I generally feel he is trying to help the American people. Harry Reid is kind of a dud but calling him an enemy is a bit much. Even if you do a character analysis of Bush (whose policies I generally hated), read his speeches, look at his actions and try to figure out who he really is, it's hard to claim that he wasn't at least trying to help out the American people.

Agreed. If these people truly wanted to DESTROY our country, it would have happened a long time ago. The problem is that while trying to help our country, they are also helping themselves. This leads to conflicts of interests, hence you get things like Obama filling his cabinet with old Chicago cronies, or Bush having former connections to energy companies while oil prices skyrocket.

As far as citizens are concerned, we often forget that we are on the same side. Arguing over things like abortion and gay marriage distract us from important questions, like...how can we prevent our infrastructure from falling apart? How can we keep ourselves safe without infringing on our own rights?

Good For Them (1)

warncke (1643739) | more than 4 years ago | (#31454896)

Why should any country grant an exemption from their law in response to the threats of a corporation. Only in the U.S. would such an idiotic proposal be taken seriously. China's censorship may suck, but they shouldn't grant any corporation a special exemption from it in response to threats. It isn't like there isn't any censorship in the U.S. DMCA take down? Ring a bell?

All of you are part of the problem (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31454898)

You bitch about China, but you continue to buy their wares. You let the U.S. go farther into debt and let China lend us more cash.

Hypocrites.

Re:All of you are part of the problem (3, Funny)

localman57 (1340533) | more than 4 years ago | (#31455096)

Damn straight. I hate those Hypocrites.

--Sent From My iPhone

Re:All of you are part of the problem (3, Funny)

Em Emalb (452530) | more than 4 years ago | (#31455404)

What you did there, I see it.

John Madden mode:

As you can see, when localman57 said he responded via his iPhone, he was indicating sarcasm, because, as you may not know, the iPhone is made in China. It's a brilliant move by localman57, as you can sense he was being subtle...and then BOOM! right there, he brings the punchline. BOOM! ~sent from my iPhone. Right there. That's the line. Cause up until that point, you would just think he was agreeing with the anonymous coward. An anonymous coward is someone who doesn't want you to know who they are, and they have an issue when it comes to fight or flight. See, the human response to a stressful situation is based on the idea that you'll either run or stand your ground, which is why they call it fight or flight. Brilliant satire by localman57 right there.

BUMP (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31455332)

And one would think that Apple, with its high profit margins, would be able to manufacture its products somewhere else more civilized than China.

Protecting rights my ass (5, Interesting)

smooth wombat (796938) | more than 4 years ago | (#31454906)

'If there is information that harms stability or the people, of course we will have to block it,' he said."

Yes, wouldn't want the people to know about the corruption of your officials [msn.com] . That wouldn't be a good thing.

I used the issue of China in my IT ethics class and said that having Google or Cisco leave China because they refuse to censor brings up a whole host of other issues. If Google leaves, are they taking their code and such with them? What about equipment they used? Are they scrubbing that before leaving? What about any documents pertaining to how their searches are done?

While the Chinese people won't see much of a difference if Google leaves, the Chinese IT folks might have some issues recreating what was once there. Personally, Google should leave and post whatever information they want so people know what they had to deal with in China.

As most asian countries have a cultural bias towards not losing stature, having their dirty laundry aired, the really dirty stuff, would be a mighty slap in the face which China won't be able to deny so easily. They'll deny it, but their words will ring hollow.

Hate to say it (3, Insightful)

Lord_Dweomer (648696) | more than 4 years ago | (#31454910)

As much as I hate to say it, China really has Google by the balls on this one. I'm sure there are a million companies with the right connections/deep enough pockets in China right now eagerly waiting to assume Google's spot on the hill and they are all willing to do whatever the government there says.

I really don't see how Google can adhere to its corporate mission statement and continue to do business with China, although part of me has a hunch that we'll find out since shareholders will demand Google not leave one of the largest markets in the world.

Google needs China, not the other way around (-1, Flamebait)

superyanthrax (835242) | more than 4 years ago | (#31454916)

Baidu can just take over the other 30% market share it doesn't have, but Google loses quite a bit of revenue.

I wonder how the next Google stockholder's meeting will go if Google leaves, how can the Board answer the question of why the stockholders' interests (i.e. profits) were blatantly compromised for empty, useless proclamations of "human rights?"

Google will cave because they need us and we don't need them. "Human rights" are a ridiculous non-issue. Nobody in power in the world actually cares at all, they just use it to rile up their own people against foreign governments. When push comes to shove stuff will get done and "human rights" will not get in the way.

Re:Google needs China, not the other way around (1)

blind biker (1066130) | more than 4 years ago | (#31455168)

Nobody in power in the world actually cares at all, they just use it to rile up their own people against foreign governments. When push comes to shove stuff will get done and "human rights" will not get in the way.

Repeat that to yourself thousands of times - after a while, even you will believe it. But you know, just because you don't see righteous people and deeds that go beyond pure self-interest, it doesn't mean that they don't exist, and that others can't see it, too.

Go selling your distopian views of humankind to someone else.

Yeah but China could be rickrolled (1)

presidenteloco (659168) | more than 4 years ago | (#31455264)

Firewalls can work in both directions.

The rest of the world (organized through ICANN, say) could impose sanctions on China for unreasonable restriction of trade.

Specifically, it could impose limits on routing from China to the rest of the Internet, perhaps replacing all outside content with
this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHg5SJYRHA0 [youtube.com]

 

Filtering is the only way (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31454930)

Western propaganda has been so perfected that they let us think we have freedom of speech and access to information. The only way for China to fight such a media industry is with outright blocking of information. It's unfortunate that they are trying to rewrite some of their history while at it (say Tianamen Square), but I can't think of another way they could protect their national consciousness from the west

Re:Filtering is the only way (1)

s122604 (1018036) | more than 4 years ago | (#31455304)

What kind of bullshit is this? Censorship to "Protect the national consciousness"? So what communist party pamphlet are you reading that from? Information is more free, more open, and more diverse than it has ever been. That scares a lot of folks, even in the West, and you can be sure it scares the shit out of the ruling elite in China..

Like China? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31454938)

Anytime some dumbass talks about censoring for your own good, like Australia or New Zealand, people should use this quote. Like China?

Al Gore to visit China and rescue Google (3, Funny)

Orga (1720130) | more than 4 years ago | (#31454942)

Hillary has asked Al to go to China to recover Google and the internet he created from the hands of the evil dictatorship of the Chinese people.

Re:Al Gore to visit China and rescue Google (2, Funny)

Starteck81 (917280) | more than 4 years ago | (#31455150)

Hillary has asked Al to go to China to recover Google and the internet he created from the hands of the evil dictatorship of the Chinese people.

I thought they were sending him over to turn off the internet and put China in internet time out until they can play nice and stop hacking everyone.

Tin-Pot Dictatorship (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31454968)

'Whether they leave or not is up to them,' Li said. 'But if they leave, China's Internet market is still going to develop.' ... Li insisted the government needs to censor Internet content to protect the rights of the country and its people. 'If there is information that harms stability or the people, of course we will have to block it,' he said."

China's Internet market is still going to develop.. Without Google's help for the oppression part. Rights of it's country and people... Our country here has no rights it is composed of people who have rights unlike the people there. Block it.. Of course, anything that brings the day closer to China's dictatorship falling and their leaders heads on pikes must be subverted and assassinated in the most perverse manners to "Protect the Rights of the Country." Oh yeah, and I'm going to post anonymously because you can't do that there as well... After all people must be "responsible" for their words..

Shiver me timbers, but .... (2, Insightful)

unity100 (970058) | more than 4 years ago | (#31454974)

i get the odd feeling that google will leave

Information that harms stability or the people (1)

owlstead (636356) | more than 4 years ago | (#31455018)

That must be a specific kind of information that I'm not so familiar with. Sure thing, there are things you can *do* with information that can harm stability or people, but to blame information itself always strikes me as madness.

It's like those people that say you cannot study homo-sexuality because the outcome could have severe consequences. By now we know that homo-sexuality does seem to imply physical manifestations. Personally I don't think that information has changed much in how we treat homo-sexual persons at all (for good or for worse).

Even in the western world there seems to be way too much information that gets hidden away for such purposes, e.g. for national security. In almost all cases that don't directly involve e.g. names of persons in sensitive operations, it's poppy-cock. And even then the information should be open to the public directly after that kind of information is not directly harmful those involved.

Good and bad (1)

LoudMusic (199347) | more than 4 years ago | (#31455054)

Of course the censorship is a terrible thing. That's pretty much a given. But at least the government is sticking to their rules for all parties rather than bending them or making deals for 'influential' organizations.

It will take another generation or two (2, Interesting)

Trip6 (1184883) | more than 4 years ago | (#31455144)

China's leaders still live in a world of controlled information flow to the masses. This works well if the masses have to come to you for their information and culturally accept this form of government.

The more Chinese that return home after being abroad and experiencing a free flow of information, the faster these policies will no longer be tolerated by the masses. Government will have to change with the times. But the change will have to come from within and it will take another generation or two.

For now, Google has to play by the rules of those in power. The business opportunity is too great to ignore, so we can predict they will conform.

Fear of information implies weakness of government (3, Insightful)

presidenteloco (659168) | more than 4 years ago | (#31455152)

Any government that is afraid of its people having information

(let's perhaps make an exception for specific information on how to make weapons of mass destruction
out of common household ingredients)

is inherently not a government "of the people for the people".

It is not confident in its own popularity, or in the inherent stability through general agreement
of its governmental system.

Does the Chinese government not realize that their insistence on censorship simply
highlights the inherent weakness in their government and system of government?

It's clear google has to "lead" this issue. (1)

justicenfa (724341) | more than 4 years ago | (#31455162)

If they're inserting information in to their results, it's obvious there will be traces of lead, causing the users of the internet to get cancer.

The thing that pisses my off (1)

jim_v2000 (818799) | more than 4 years ago | (#31455212)

is that the West thinks that the Chinese are so helpless and so ignorant that they need us to save them from their corrupt government. China is a huge, diverse country that is working its way toward modernization and first-world status. It's tough going, but I have no doubts that they will get there eventually. I don't think that the West can make the process go any quicker. That said, Google should stay and just be there as things open up.

Seems China, as usual, is all backwards.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31455238)

If it harms stability *or the people*...

Should be, if it harms the people, or stability.

ie - censorship harms the people - so it should go, since the people are more important than the government and it's own closed minded grasps at tyrannical control.

But of course, when you rely on keeping people ignorant of how things truly are, you're bound to step on many, many, many (billions of many(s)) necks and data lines.

Li is Right. (5, Insightful)

vampire_baozi (1270720) | more than 4 years ago | (#31455240)

Before I get modded troll, consider he does actually have a point. Openness and free exchange of information are serious threats to social stability in China (which is, as others have pointed out, what Google does best). China watched the fall of the Soviet Union as a result of glasnost and perestroika. They are eager to avoid the same mistake, as the costs of social instability (both human and economic) would be far too high, for the country, its people, and not least themselves.

This isn't about Tiananmen or the Great Leap Forward, which are pretty much open secrets. It's about suppressing free flow of information, and maintaining control over all mediums of information exchange. They had control of the traditional media, phones, SMS, etc. The internet is another beast. Finding out and sharing information about corruption and other major shortfalls is far too easy with an open, uncensored internet. They don't want peasants knowing too much about local corruption, and when they do know, they don't want them to be able to organize or share this information. Censorship is a key component; allowing criticism of the government even on such now-unimportant bygones as the Great Leap Forward would potentially open the floodgates on new criticism on issues that could result in instability.

So, Li is right. In order to suppress dissent, they must maintain control and continue censoring. Whether you think the cost imposed by censorship and lack of free speech is greater than the potential losses from any resulting social instability is another matter entirely. Many Chinese think, and I often agree, that while the Chinese government is too sensitive right now, maintaining a stable environment for economic growth is a bigger priority than free speech. The farmers I talked to in Shandong and Jilin also agreed- they know they're getting shafted in comparison to urban dwellers, but they're still doing better than at any time in history, and would rather not lose their chance at a new fridge, air conditioning, and a TV in return for some abstract ideas about freedom to criticize the government. In their minds, censorship and its evils are the lesser evil, when compared to potential civil strife.

Do they really need to be there? (1)

MichaeLuke (50412) | more than 4 years ago | (#31455246)

Excuse my ignorance, but does Google have to have a physical presence in China to serve the Chinese market? I can Google google.uk. Couldn't people in China do the same, and then it would be China's job to filter the results? Also, why can't Google move their Chinese headquarters to Hong Kong? My understanding is that the Chinese government takes a much more hands-off attitude there.

I imagine that there's very good reasons why none of this would work, or Google probably would have done it already, but I'm curious as to what those reasons might be.

Google should just leave China and piss (1)

Spy Handler (822350) | more than 4 years ago | (#31455306)

on them...

Maybe like, push all the pages about Tiananmen Square and Falun Gong to the top of search results for searches containing "China"

Muahhaha

Let me fix that... (1)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | more than 4 years ago | (#31455312)

Li insisted the government needs to censor Internet content to protect the rights of the country and its people. 'If there is information that harms stability or the government, of course we will have to block it,' he said.

Fixed that for him...

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