Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

American Companies Help China Censor the Net

michael posted more than 11 years ago | from the taking-care-of-business dept.

Censorship 54

KyleNicholson writes "It makes you wonder what is really being taught in Business Ethics classes today. American companies such as Sun, Microsoft, Nortel are helping to limit the freedoms of people around the world, even leading to executions. Here is a report by Amnesty International."

cancel ×

54 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

fuckin china (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4768092)

Did you know that the best Chinese food is actually American?

No, really!

Wouldn't be the first time... (4, Interesting)

cuyler (444961) | more than 11 years ago | (#4768114)

...if I recall correctly, IBM is an American company. Although I haven't read it (it's on the list of books I have to read) this [edwinblack.com] book deals with the assistance that the 3rd Reich got from IBM.

Re:Wouldn't be the first time... (3, Insightful)

MacAndrew (463832) | more than 11 years ago | (#4768226)

Hey, in the 30's we didn't know IBM was evil! I mean, the Nazis. Well, we did know, but that didn't stop a lot of Americans companies from helping them. I don't suggest this mitigates IBM's responsibilities, but it does enlarge the topic of culpability, and the difficult question of ethics in corporations devoted to profit. (The current Ford is a remarkable contrast to his ancestor.)

A conspicuous example was the ferocious anti-Semite Henry Ford, who received the highest civilian medal from Adolph himself -- and saw no reason to reject it. Another prominient American medalist was aviation hero Charles Lindbergh. As with newly-Soviet Russia, a lot of people made very poor judgments, and others may have had more sinister motives. IBM -- and I have to read that book, too -- appears to have been a case of willful blindness.

This is all a good reminder of the moral indifference of technology itself. Like a gun, it can be put to purposes as varied as the imagination of the humans who use it.

Re:Wouldn't be the first time... (3, Insightful)

duffbeer703 (177751) | more than 11 years ago | (#4768336)

Unfortunately, people aren't blessed with 20/20 hindsight.

In the 1930's, nobody knew the extent of what the Nazi regime was going to do -- including most of the Nazis. They were just one of many right-wing nationalist regimes.

If IBM was evil for selling typewriters and calculators to the Nazis, then you are evil for buying Arab oil, chinese consumer goods, or a korean car.

Re:Wouldn't be the first time... (4, Interesting)

MacAndrew (463832) | more than 11 years ago | (#4768596)

I've wondered about this -- I wouldn't want to fall into the trap of sanctimony -- but I just don't buy it. It is easier to reconstruct what people knew and when they knew it than to decide when people of reasonable intelligence should have or probably did read between the lines. but for me, the 1935 Nuremberg laws deprived Jews of German citizenship and imposing numerous indignities were a point of no return. It was evident well before that that Hitler and his crew were a bunch of thugs. Finally the 1938 Kristallnacht [wiesenthal.com] was as blunt as one could get -- yet was met with apathy in the West. Our major affliction was not ignorance but isolationism, and it took Pearl Harbor to change our philosophy to interventionism.

There is no binary switch between moral and immoral conduct. Nor was there a precise moment of epiphany that it was time to spurn the Nazis. But of course some companies crossed the line. And why should we think they did not -- not even one of them? Even today we see that corporate run the gamut from pristine to deplorable, so logically some companies must have continued doing business even after the writing was on the wall. They should acknowledge their mistakes, or at least all the facts surrounded their conduct, address any necessary restitution, and get on with things. We expect no less of ordinary shoplifters.

If the plight of the Nazis Germans is not enough, recall that the infrastructure American companies helped Germany to build was in time turned against us.

The example I mention elsewhere in this thread is Henry Ford, a virulent anti-Semite who even bought a newspaper to publish his views. A google of Ford and Nazi provides plenty of reading. Most dramatic is Ford receiving the highest Nazi civilian honor in 1938. [washingtonpost.com]

Parenthetically, we are to varying degrees engaged in the problems with the trade issues you identify, perhaps too much, perhaps too little, according to whom you ask. But we do not have to be guiltless to smell something rotten from the past.

Re:Wouldn't be the first time... (1)

eht (8912) | more than 11 years ago | (#4769001)

If you want to get to the root of the problem, it was the Versailles Treaty that allowed Hitler and the Nazi's to come to power, if the rest of the world hadn't punched Germany so hard they would not have had to fall back on hatred to get themselves out of it, reperations yes, but the Versailles Treaty went way too far, it even took the aspirin and heroin trademark away from Bayer (a German company)

Re:Wouldn't be the first time... (3, Insightful)

MacAndrew (463832) | more than 11 years ago | (#4769105)

Yes, well, partially true -- and one of the reasons I admire President Truman taking an internationalist stance and promoting the Marshall Plan, with its radical notion of giving money (largely purchase credits to stimulate American production) to former enemies. And NATO, and the UN, and the Berlin Airlift, and .. he did some important work stabilizing post-war Europe.

Re:Wouldn't be the first time... (3, Interesting)

duffbeer703 (177751) | more than 11 years ago | (#4769469)

I disagree... the is a distinct point when a regime moves from a normal-everyday repressive dictatorship to a system as evil as wartime germany.

Remember to that the German propaganda minister, Joeseph Goebbels, was a public affairs genius who portrayed a very different view of Germany. When people are given a choice between accepting a positive spin from an official source or accepting the unpleasant truth from an unknown source, they often choose the spin.

Also remember that the US was fervently anti-communist and the Nazis were fighting the communists in Spain. Reports about concentration camps existed, but were not widely circulated and often disbelieved. (Also remember that most camps in the 30's were more like the the US's interment camps for Japanese-Americans than the Nazi horrors of the war)

I am not trying to make excuses for the actions of corporations. But I do not think it is fair to cast blame without trying to realize their point of view.

Re:Wouldn't be the first time... (2)

MacAndrew (463832) | more than 11 years ago | (#4771083)

Where we disagree is when (approximately) it because unreasonable to get into bed with the Nazis. I think this point was before our government declared war, and even before Germany invaded Poland in 1939. Now, "What did they know, and when did they know it?"

It's like slavery; there was no magic moment when it became unacceptable. American popular opinion was split, but I'd like to think to an honest observer who could see beyond self-interest, the answer was long obvious. Even when the Constitution was written it was a hot issue among and within the states, so it's weird to give Jefferson or Washington a pass for "not realizing" holding his slaves was wrong (plus Pres. J. at times attacked slavery, and there's the Sally Hemings business -- complex and remarkable guy).

Similarly, I'm reluctant to let IBM or Ford off. Nazi Germany was terrifying well before the extermination camps existed (even we set up camps, for Japanese-Americans); their anti-Semitic practices, written into law, made apartheid South Africa look like Disneyland. And their propaganda, although it helped conceal some ugliness, also demonized Jews and other "undesirables," as well as claiming that Germans were sold out at Versailles and deserved a greater destiny, Aryan idealism, and so on. Wow. I hope and pray we would not be so complacent about such a situation today; and even if we are, we are not the isolationist America of the 30's.

But this is a factual debate (call it "When?" to boycott), and at least what we're talking about here implicitly recognized that corporations do have a responsibility to refrain at times from activity that may be legal (call this question "Whether?"). And however you draw the line, assuredly at least some Americans crossed that line, either because of indifference or, likely in Ford's case, sympathy to the Nazi cause, a cause I think starkly immoral even had it gone no farther than Nuremberg (check out the content of the laws [myschoolonline.com] -- they're quite something). IBM probably did not know its system would be used for such a ghoulish purpose but the contention is that they should at least used better judgment. A factual Q. :)

Re:Wouldn't be the first time... (1)

jkoshy (42572) | more than 11 years ago | (#4772565)

Finally the 1938 Kristallnacht [wiesenthal.com] was as blunt as one could get -- yet was met with apathy in the West.

In 2002, the indian state participated in an ethnic cleansing of its minority citizens [google.com] . The election commission of India subsequently reported about 400,000 voters as missing or displaced. This is about as blunt a statement of future intentions as one can get -- and yet, the best description of corporate reaction seems to be "studied silence".

If the local press is to be believed, foreign investment inflow into Gujarat, or India as a whole has been unaffected.

Re:Wouldn't be the first time... (1)

MacAndrew (463832) | more than 11 years ago | (#4773178)

Hey, the U.S. underwrote Hussein in the Iran-Iraq War, despite his, uh, indiscretions with the Kurds and others.

I find it hard to assess the merits of each of these catastrophes; I do know that "holier than thou" is a dangerous game, and that admitting our past transgressions does not paralyze us from moving forward.

Re:Wouldn't be the first time... (1)

Yokaze (70883) | more than 11 years ago | (#4768808)

In Mein Kampf [hitler.org] released in 1926 everything was published in very detail. Actually, he describes how to
Of course, I can't imagine that someone actually reads 700pages from such an inept author.

Furthermore, some people managed to escape the concentration camps reaching Sweden and Switzerland told from these astrocities.
Espionage planes took pictures of these camps, so goverment officials were well aware of the situation.

But this ignorance is what made the "Third Reich" possible and should be no excuse, neither for the Germans nor Americans.

Interesting. (1)

murat (262137) | more than 11 years ago | (#4768119)

Thousands of Internet cafes throughout China have been forced to close in recent months. Those that remain are obliged to install software which filters out more than 500,000 banned sites with pornographic or "subversive" elements


So with the help of Microsoft, Chinese guys won't see "big tits".

Of course, this is not the main problem. Freedom of speech is a major concern, and I wonder how much money will go to Microsoft (and others) from Chinese taxpayers.

Re:Interesting. (0, Troll)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 11 years ago | (#4768221)

So with the help of Microsoft, Chinese guys won't see "big tits".


I just want to say thanks. That's the hardest I've laughed all week!

Give Canada Its Due (1, Offtopic)

cam_macleod (59140) | more than 11 years ago | (#4768130)

Nortel is Canadian!

Re:Give Canada Its Due (2)

aminorex (141494) | more than 11 years ago | (#4768790)

Canadians are Americans too. But yeah, I wouldn't
want to deprive Canada of due credit for its support
role in the torture and murder of prisoners of
conscience.

Re:Give Canada Its Due (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4770044)

Canadians are distinct from Americans on everything except food preferences and mass media. Only people who are ignorant (willfully or otherwise) would make the statement "Canadians are Americans too", and you'd be very hard pressed to find a Canadian who would agree with that.

If you *do* find one, kindly inform us so we can ship his ass off to bumblefuck, iowa where he obviously belongs. No sense keeping deadweight in our country.

Perhaps Canada should adopt a policy similar to the US with respects to border crossings... except instead of racial profiling, we'll do intelligence profiling and keep the ignorant yokels in the country that suits them best.

Re:Give Canada Its Due (0)

tha_mink (518151) | more than 11 years ago | (#4770499)

Oh please. Get over yourself. Canada is lucky that it's so cold up there and that uncle sam never decided canada would make a good north michigan...cause if he did you'd all be speaking english right now.

Business ethics have nothing to do with it (5, Interesting)

rlowe69 (74867) | more than 11 years ago | (#4768220)

"It makes you wonder what is really being taught in Business Ethics classes today. American companies such as Sun, Microsoft, Nortel are helping to limit the freedoms of people around the world, even leading to executions."

I really don't like this comment. These companies have nothing to do with China's policies, they are merely selling them a means to enforce those policies.

These companies are conforming to a Capitolist society (ours) which dictates that if they don't help China, their competitors will profit instead. How about blaming Capitolist ideals for this? It holds more water than your ethics reasoning.

Re:Business ethics have nothing to do with it (2, Interesting)

TripleA (232889) | more than 11 years ago | (#4768316)

Well, not really.
Ethics is allways ethics. Although, there are no universal ethics, but they are formed in every one of us after our free will. Some are greedier than others, and find it acceptable to sell their systems to non-democratic regimes.

Who said the US is much better anyway? At least, in China, I can't get sued for making a backup copy of a DVD that I have legally purchased.

Re:Business ethics have nothing to do with it (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4768418)

Yeah, instead you get shot. Go China!

Re:Business ethics have nothing to do with it (1)

TripleA (232889) | more than 11 years ago | (#4768472)

Not true. You might get shot if you do it large scale and sell the copies, though :)

Re:Business ethics have nothing to do with it (4, Insightful)

Bastian (66383) | more than 11 years ago | (#4768485)

So you propose that if you can do something evil and profit, it is ethical to do so if you know full well that if you don't do it, someone else will.

Let's extrapolate that to its logical extreme.

Let's say I offered to pay you $500,000 to shoot someone in the head, and you knew that if you didn't do it, I'd go to someone who you know doesn't really care about having blood on his/her hands and would do it if you wouldn't. Is it then okay to shoot our poor captive in the head?

How about if I were going to go shoot someone in the head, and asked you to sell me the gun. You know full well what my motive is. Would you really sell me the gun and ammo and defend yourself by saying that you had done nothing wrong, and were just engaging in commerce?

Blame capitalism all you want. Capitalism is just an ideal that has some shitty implications. If someone helps to bring them about, we blame the person, not the ideal. If a neo-nazi went around burning synagogues, we wouldn't say, "Oh, don't blame him, blame neo-nazism!" If I joined a cilque whose culture was such that the best way to gain respect is to spraypaint storefronts, I would still be to blame for spraypainting the storefronts if I did it.

Sorry, I don't think your ethics reasoning holds water, either.

Re:Business ethics have nothing to do with it (2, Informative)

rlowe69 (74867) | more than 11 years ago | (#4768616)

Let's say I offered to pay you $500,000 to shoot someone in the head, and you knew that if you didn't do it, I'd go to someone who you know doesn't really care about having blood on his/her hands and would do it if you wouldn't. Is it then okay to shoot our poor captive in the head?

How about if I were going to go shoot someone in the head, and asked you to sell me the gun. Would you really sell me the gun and ammo and defend yourself by saying that you had done nothing wrong, and were just engaging in commerce?


You are confusing law and ethics. If murder were legal, you might have a point.

Re:Business ethics have nothing to do with it (1)

LordNimon (85072) | more than 11 years ago | (#4769092)

So you're saying that as long as it's legal, it doesn't matter if it's unethical? Does your mother know you think that way?

Re:Business ethics have nothing to do with it (2)

rlowe69 (74867) | more than 11 years ago | (#4769775)

I'm saying neither.

Lawful is not necessarily ethical.
Ethical is not necessarily lawful.

So contrasting ethics and law is not appropriate.

Re:Business ethics have nothing to do with it (3, Insightful)

Bastian (66383) | more than 11 years ago | (#4771024)

I never made any mention of legal/illegal.

When I say 'is it okay' and 'defend yourself', I mean in the moral sense.

Besides, in this particular case I think the arguments are equally valid (for different reasons) in both law and ethics.

Re:Business ethics have nothing to do with it (2, Funny)

Peter Trepan (572016) | more than 11 years ago | (#4769994)

we wouldn't say, "Oh, don't blame him, blame neo-nazism!"

No, we would blame trenchcoats. :-)

Re:Business ethics have nothing to do with it (1)

forehead (1874) | more than 11 years ago | (#4770665)

So you propose that if you can do something evil and profit, it is ethical to do so if you know full well that if you don't do it, someone else will.

I don't thing that was what he was propsing at all. Just because a company sells a product that gets uses for 'evil' purposes does not mean the company itself is evil. If that were the case, just about every gun manufactuer would be evil. If the company sold an item and they had reason to believe the buyer would do something evil with it, your point is certainly valid.

Not again (2)

GuyMannDude (574364) | more than 11 years ago | (#4768314)

C'mon, this is not news anymore. This topic has already been addressed here on slashdot numerous times in the past. The fact that Amnesty International has a new report on the subject doesn't make it worth repeating. They're going to need to create a China icon pretty soon if they keep reposting this same old tired story.

A lot of people will think I'm being insensitive by yawning at this serious problem. I dunno, maybe you're right. But just reposting this topic over and over doesn't really strike me as serving any important purpose. It's not informing us of something we don't already know and, since most of us aren't in positions of power, it won't result in any policy change at high-tech companies.

GMD

Re:Not again (1)

spacefiddle (620205) | more than 11 years ago | (#4769854)

Riiiight. Meanwhile you have a sig that bashes the RIAA. If repetition of important issues serves no purpose and has no effect (such as raising awareness), why do you have that sig? Sorry, i think maybe *you're* just sick of hearing this. I can't blame you, because likely you feel that *you* can't do anything about it. And you're right. But you and lots of other people *can*, thus the need to raise awareness. Or simply repeat it until it sinks in... sinks in... sinks in...

Of course... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4768409)

Corporations exist to make money, so this is not surprising. We seem to assume that capitalism automatically implies human rights, but this is not the case. The two are quite separate beasts.

America throws stones? (2, Insightful)

MacAndrew (463832) | more than 11 years ago | (#4768412)

American companies such as Sun, Microsoft, Nortel are helping to limit the freedoms of people around the world, even leading to executions.

I am horrified by the tales of China's brutal use of capital punishment on crimes as nonviolent tax evasion, their well-documented corruption, and the brutal infliction of the penalty itself. A nice final touch is that the family is billed for the price of the bullet, the thought being they share culpability (and may well suffer repercussions regardless).

I'm also a patriot. And in the spirit of impartiality, remember that Amnesty International -- and the European Union -- condemns us, also, as one of the countrie practicing capital punishment, particularly on juveniles. I'm sure all these companies play a hand in that somehow.

Those are the legal aspects of our system; the practical ones include a disturbingly high error rate despite the greater integrity and defendant rights in our system. For example, after a dozen exonerations of death row inmates on the basis of innocence and not legalisms -- for reasons such as witnesses recanting, other persons confessing, and DNA evidence proving impossibility -- the state of Illinois placed a moritorium on executions until they could figure out what was going on. There are numerous examples.

The point of all this? Well, if we take issue with certain foreign practices, we may well be right to do so. But that same indignation should perhaps we applied at home. I offer no conclusions about capital punishment, but many questions.

Disclosure and digression -- I clerked for a Chicago federal appeals court for two years, and although I never worked directly on a capital case I saw the sorts of defects that occur in trial of "mere murderers" (I wrote up a judicial bribery case concerning a murder-for-hire). I also witnesses the unfolding of the incredible case of Rolondo Cruz, who went through three trials before several investigators and prosecutors were indicted for manufacturing evidence and other abuses(!). BTW, Scott Turow was one of the local attorneys who took up this particular cause, all the way to the Supreme Court as they say; he came and spoke about it and other corruption cases (he's a good attorney as well as writer).

But I digress. How about this truism: Technology like business is a double-edged sword, with no inherent moral authority.

Re:America throws stones? (2)

MacAndrew (463832) | more than 11 years ago | (#4768802)

Flamebait my butt. It order to see outward clearly, we must see inward, too. It may be flamebait for people who dislike introspection, but should they run the show.

It's disrespectful of China to criticize it without being honest about ourselves, and hypocrisy undermines our authority to criticize. If it is OK, then the story itself is flamebait.

Note also that I focus on the facts. My only real expression of opinion aside from suggesting global balance is to criticize China. And really, do you get much more wishy-washy than:

The point of all this? Well, if we take issue with certain foreign practices, we may well be right to do so. But that same indignation should perhaps we applied at home. I offer no conclusions about capital punishment, but many questions

M2 strike thee down. :)

Re:America throws stones? (2)

aminorex (141494) | more than 11 years ago | (#4768848)

One crucial difference is that you are (for the
moment, at least) still able to point these things
out in a public forum without taking your own
turn with an executioner. In China there is no
internal check or balance against the unlimited
power of the state to kill at will.

> How about this truism: Technology like business is a
> double-edged sword, with no inherent moral authority.

Would being a single-edged sword give it inherent
moral authority? I admit your predicate, but
find your metaphor dubious.

Government, too, is a double-edged sword, with no
inherent moral authority.

I feel an obligation to defend the people of China
because they have no defense within China.
Rolondo Cruz has Scott Turow.

Re:America throws stones? (2)

MacAndrew (463832) | more than 11 years ago | (#4769005)

Double-edged sword is a metaphor meaning use for an intended purpose or its opposite. Yes, you could do plenty of damage with a single-edge, or an icepick for that matter. :) And I meant to equate gov't and tech in the sense that you can't just say, "Oh, we trust technology to save the day." Humans are in charge, and deserve credit or blame.

As for China versus America, I pick the latter. In a heartbeat. Which I'm likely to have many more of, living here.

I agree that America has a legally superior system, which is why I added a little about how factual deficiencies and corruption can creep in anyway. In the Cruz case, the system did work ... but in a limping way that not many would endorse.

America does do extrajudicial killings, particularly now that the Presidential ban on assassinations has been eased. An example is the recent Predator attack in Yemen, not a war zone, and which killed 6 including an American citizen. [commondreams.org] Yes, yes, these were presumably bad people, but so much for checks and balances. This is novel. [washtimes.com]

Re:America throws stones? (2)

aminorex (141494) | more than 11 years ago | (#4773391)

Amen, Brother.

What is most frightening about the extrajudicial
execution (i.e. political murder) of American
citizens by their own government is precisely that
it operates without any check or balance to the
power of life or death being exercised. (I won't
begin on the issue of murdering swarthy people with
oil, since they're just furriners.)

Re:America throws stones? (2)

DEBEDb (456706) | more than 11 years ago | (#4773315)

Whoever modded this as flamebait is a piece of
crap.

Re:America throws stones? (1)

MacAndrew (463832) | more than 11 years ago | (#4773341)

Thx. :)

Different from corporate intranets? (2)

mshiltonj (220311) | more than 11 years ago | (#4768480)

How is the technology used in this context different from the technology used by corporations to ensure the "appropriate use" or thier networks?

In response to stories on those types of subjects, people always say, "It's the company's network, they can do what ever they want with it. They own the bits...," etc.

Interesting parallels to be drawn there, eh?

Re:Different from corporate intranets? (2)

aminorex (141494) | more than 11 years ago | (#4768757)

One big difference is that Cisco doesn't put a bullet
in your head if they don't like your web habits.

Another is that you're not trapped into a life at
Cisco by birth.

Re:Different from corporate intranets? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4768998)

Partially devil's advocate: So the only difference is the method or degree of enforcement? The technology (censorship) and goals (restricting freedom) are the same?

Re:Different from corporate intranets? (2)

aminorex (141494) | more than 11 years ago | (#4773379)

Neither Cisco nor China has a goal of restricting
freedom per se. Cisco wants to make money at any
cost. The CCP wants to stay in control of the
government at any cost. They are both amoral
and conscienceless entities.

But yeah, I think you're right. There
isn't a lot of difference between the Central
Committee of the CCP and the board at Cisco or
GE, other than the fact that the boards at Cisco
and GE have more externally imposed restrictions.
The CCP has a very free hand, and basically only
needs to worry about the power of "colonels" and
third-tier cadres to form substantive alliances,
while GE and Cisco have to deal with national
government law enforcement, securities regulators,
local labor laws, etc.

China, Inc. is the greatest expression of
capitalist corporate culture in the world today,
vastly larger and more influential than
Chrysler-Daimler, or IBM.

Print page 13 of the PDF and send to Congress (2)

browser_war_pow (100778) | more than 11 years ago | (#4768529)

Highlight the top paragraph and mail it to your representative and Senators. Attach a note or something saying that you find this behavior disturbing and think that Congress needs to take swift and decisive action to stop it.

Re:Print page 13 of the PDF and send to Congress (1)

jhujoe (579368) | more than 11 years ago | (#4768706)

For the lazy...

"Foreign companies, including Websense and Sun Microsystems, Cisco Systems,
Nortel Networks, Microsoft,27 have reportedly provided important technology which
helps the Chinese authorities censor the Internet. Nortel Networks28 along with some
other international firms are reported to be providing China with the technology
which will help it shift from filtering content at the international gateway level to
filtering content of individual computers, in homes, Internet cafes, universities and
businesses."

..don't worry (5, Insightful)

zogger (617870) | more than 11 years ago | (#4768772)

..don't worry, the same action is coming soon to a country near you. The US and europe will be doing similar in the not too distant future. "Hate crimes", bogus "you are a terrorist because we say so", guilty until you have no chance to prove your innocence in front of a military junta tribunal, etc, etc. It's all "on track". Red China is the globalist wet dream poster child nation socio/economic ideal. I call it technofuedalism. And like all other tyrannical regimes in the past, most will go along with it, claiming "they didn't know", or "money has no conscious" or the famous "just following orders/doing my job".

Humans don't change, they use every bit (and byte) of available technology to oppress people, to be predators, this is the nature of governments made up of at the top clinically insane megalomaniacs, similar to the international profits at any cost konzern heads. No matter how much these governments and the corporate cartel sponsors start out as a "deal" for the people, they always de-evolve into heinous dictatorships. The time line is the only variable, but the outcome never varies, that be carveth in stone. Whether the slogan is "hail caesar!" or "sieg heil!" or "let's roll!" or "power to the people!", or "allah akubar!" or "viva la revolucion!" or whatever, it always turns into a dictatorship.

One of the first clues is government controlling the media and your access to it, and pushing their propoganda media efforts at you. This is called the "big lie", just keep saying it over and over again, eventually the bulk of the people believe it, because it's easier than finding out what's really going on. The second clue is not allowing citizens to be adequately armed. The third clue is massive government sponsored demonization of citizens outside their nation and inside, a de-humanizing effort to reduce some humans to less than human status. Currently in china you might belong to the "evil cult", in the US you might be called a "racist" for wanting the borders controlled, in europe you might be called a"nazi" if you really don't approve of massive socialistic command and control efforts, on and on. It never changes. In the past it was "he's a dirty injun" or "she's a filthy jew" or "they are just ragheads" or "they are guilty of crimes against the state", the all encompassing "terrorist" label that fits most situations.

When governments go down that path, expect the "disappeareds", executions, torture, kangaroo courts, death camps eventually, it just happens, some nations at different times than others but it always happens.

MOD PARENT UP!!! (1)

eWarz (610883) | more than 11 years ago | (#4769206)

Sadly what he says is extremely true. In 50-100 years I expect the good old land of the free (USA) to be just as bad as china, if not worse. It's human nature to want to dominate, nothing can change that. Humans always want more power, and when they have it, they want to take steps to keep others distanced below them.

Blame the stockholders (3, Insightful)

Strange Ranger (454494) | more than 11 years ago | (#4768834)

They're the ones who would sue for the companies' failure to uphold their interests.

They're the ones who would cause the stock to fall when a competitor entered the market instead. And it's a BIG market.

There is no mystery about what is being taught in business ethics classes. Business ethics is first about due diligence and accountability to shareholders.

Every system, including capitalism, has shortcomings. Of course there is a much better system, but I don't think it's been invented yet.

A more apposite headline... (2)

aminorex (141494) | more than 11 years ago | (#4768881)

A headline which reflected the most pertinent facts
of the matter would read something like
"Sun and Microsoft aid the CCP to kill whistleblowers".

Trade with China (2)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 11 years ago | (#4769470)

American companies such as Sun, Microsoft, Nortel are helping to limit the freedoms of people around the world, even leading to executions.

What is this, hyporcrite day? The fact is that the Chinese government is supported by every government and citizen that engages in any sort of trade or commerce with it.

Sure, these companies are doing business with China. SO IS ALMOST EVERY LARGE COMPANY AND NATION ON THE FACE OF THE EARTH.

China is the economic target of every western company and nation looking to expand it's international trade. Investments by foriegn companies into China are rampant. China was just admitted into the WTO.

The fact is that if you are going to bring up the issue of business ethics and dealings with China, the fact is that every western government, large company and most individual consumers have been supporting Chinaand is equally guilty of doing business with a regime that does not respect basic human rights.

Business ethics? (2)

macdaddy357 (582412) | more than 11 years ago | (#4770312)

What is being taught in business ethics? Ivory tower crap like that goes out the window once students leave school and enter the corporate arena. If business ethics101 taught reality, they would teach greed is good, the almighty dollar is god. Why wouldn't American companies sell China censorware? Profit is profit. Democracy and capitalism are not synonyms.

Profit and Ethics, new teaching aid!... (1)

The_Guv'na (180187) | more than 11 years ago | (#4770719)


You will need...

  • A sealable transparent container, such as a glass jar.
  • Some water.
  • Some oil.

Mix oil/water 50:50 in the jar, and seal.

Usage: None.

Ali

Thank God! (1)

bigsexyjoe (581721) | more than 11 years ago | (#4773161)

Thank God, Microsoft is selling China the means to censorship. This means that once the products fail, free speech shall rein in China!!

Total Information Awareness (1)

nenolod (546272) | more than 11 years ago | (#4794045)

What about Poindexter's TIA project? I've heard that Microsoft has been looking for opportunities to assist as much as possible with Homeland Security and other related projects, so, it just seems par for the course.

IBM also assisted the Third Reich, by providing data processing equipment.
Check for New Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>