PEJ News - C. L. Cook - It’s okay when Wal-Mart takes advantage of China’s prison labour; alright when Microsoft allows its environmental standards sink, like so much heavy metal, to the levels of the “developing world” countries hosting its manufacturing; no problemo! when Cisco Systems develops software better able to aid and abet the imprisonment of cyber-dissenters; these companies never pretended to be anything but bottom-line, corporate bottom feeders. But, it’s another story when Google, they of the famous ‘Don’t Do Evil’ motto, turn to the Dark Side...
Google Does Evil
C. L. Cook
February 2, 2006
We're recently enough arrived in the Technological Age that the very mention of the T-word is enough to send those inhabiting the crustier segments of the demographic pie into either panicked flight, or yawning paroxysms; but whether awed by technology’s whiz-bangery, or deadened by the tedium of techno-babble, Google’s burgeoning bad press regarding its policies in China are raising old questions; questions vital to the shape and nature of not only the future of China’s nascent technological society, but the societies we'll all inhabit tomorrow.
Being Googlers means striving toward the highest possible standard of ethical business conduct. This is a matter as much practical as ethical; we hire great people who work hard to build great products, but our most important asset by far is our reputation as a company that warrants our users' faith and trust. That trust is the foundation upon which our success and prosperity rests, and it must be re-earned every day, in every way, by every one of us. – Google Code of Conduct
For those who don’t follow the exploits of corporate tech. giants: Yahoo, Microsoft, Cisco, and most recently, search engine megalith Google, have all set up shop in China. That’s “Red” China for those old enough to remember the name of Ronald Reagan’s Vice President. (For those young enough to know who R. Kelly is; “Red” refers to Communism: Please google “Cold War”). Back in Reagan’s day, communism, as practiced in Russia, Cuba, Vietnam, and North Korea was simply referred to as ‘The Evil Empire.’ You might say it comprised a kind of “axis” that stood four-square against the virtues the then “Free World” so passionately espoused: Freedom of religion, freedom of association, freedom of thought and expression, and the freedom to fully participate in the political process.
China’s exception from righteous condemnation as an equally evil member of the communist “Axis Powers” was not due to any inherent virtue found within their particular application of Marxist-Leninism, (if anything, China was then, and continues today to be, one of the most brutal, repressive, and regressive regimes the world has ever known), but rather courtesy of Richard Nixon’s ministrations. China was redeemed through its willingness to embark on a journey of discovery into world trade and “free” market capitalism. Considering it’s guides, the ever slimy Tricky Dick and his Igor, moral troglodyte Henry Kissinger, it’s unsurprising the journey would inevitable prove a road to hell.
Along for the Ride
Our informal corporate motto is "Don't be evil." We Googlers generally relate those words to the way we serve our users – as well we should. But being "a different kind of company" means more than the products we make and the business we're building; it means making sure that our core values inform our conduct in all aspects of our lives as Google employees. - Google Code of Conduct
Little has changed. Google has, in decided to assist China's repression, simply joined the chorus of corporations enabling the new fascism. Today, Google joins corporations and governments conducting the most vile operations in China and around the world without feeling the need to coat their dastardliness with even the merest patina of good intent. Not even for “public consumption,” as Google includes in its manifesto of Enlightened Corporatism. They believe the public doesn’t give a damn. And, why shouldn’t they?
We, the public have come, in a few short decades, from a power that could bring down an industry with outraged indignation at the way workers were treated, to a tacit partner in crimes too great to fathom. While we are mostly all aware of some of the more grotesque aspects of the current Chinese regime: The repression in Tibet; a rapine attitude toward the environment; the repression of the Falun Gong; Tiananmen Square; slave labour; domestic economic injustice; the hypocrisy and destruction of the ideals of the revolution; but, what's really important surrounds us. How far need any of we look to find some product, either overt, or embedded within some other product, without seeing the trademark sealing our collective damnation: Made in China?
So, why should Google be any different?
What’s so insidious, Google may argue, when placed beside the billions of gallons of toxic effluents daily destroying the land, sea, and air of not only China, but the world, about putting a few filters on the information accessible to the Chinese people? Of its new service in China, Google contends they’re doing nothing more than what millions of American Moms do when they want to protect their children. It’s their country, after all.
But, beyond keeping young Wang and Billy safe from smut and demented paedophiliacs, Google is, as Declan McCullough reports at searchenginewatch.com, practicing a self-censorship in the service of China that sounds to be a pathetic, pre-emptive kow-towing taken to the extreme. Covetous as they are for China’s more than 110,000,000 internet users, Google has proved itself a depressing affirmation of the moral bankruptcy endemic in the modern world. Theirs is a surrnender to profit preceded to it’s ultimate conclusion, by rival Yahoo ratting out a Chinese journalist, effectively fingering him to take a ten year prison sentence. Today he languishes in one of the Chinese prisons you won’t find at Google.cn.
The citizens of China and the United States, Iraq, and Iran, are in in the middle of the battle for oil and information. It's a battle fast coming home, and reverberating around the planet. Those “filters” and spy technologies are coming back across the Pacific; along with an entrenching of the attitude that allowed the spawn of this new kind of totalitarianism in Asia. It's what the Bush administration once called 'Total Information Awareness, and it's coming on strong in China and everywhere.
Chris Cook is a contributing editor to PEJ News, and hosts Gorilla Radio, a weekly pubic affairs program, broad/webcast from CFUV Radio, at the University of Victoria, Canada. You can check out the GR Blog here.
San jose Mecury news
actual document from google:
link to another study about google search results in china:
a picture says 1000 words about google's chinese censorship:
chinese government gives search engines advice about censorship, but it's up to them to do the actual dirty work:
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