Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Hypocrisy, thy name is Yahoo!

"We are deeply concerned by efforts of governments to restrict and control open access to information and communication."

This statement from Yahoo! came in response to...no, not the demands of the Chinese government, with which they have no problem...but rumblings of new U.S. legislation to prevent Internet companies from setting up servers in nations controlled by repressive regimes.

If Yahoo! and Google and Microsoft had any collective corporate brains, they'd welcome such legislation -- perhaps after making a token effort to resist same for the sake of appearances -- as a way of backing out of these pro-censorship decisions which have become a PR disaster for them. Actually, that might be what they're doing. I can only hope.

Update: wow.

"History demonstrates that only a totalitarian system needs news censorship, out of the delusion that it can keep the public locked in ignorance," the group said in the letter, according to Reuters news agency....Those signing the letter include Chairman Mao's former secretary, Li Rui; the former editor of the Communist party's own mouthpiece, People's Daily, Hu Jiwei; and ex-propaganda boss, Zhu Houze.

Now let's see if Yahoo! and Google and Microsoft can be as brave in opposing Chinese censorship as Chairman Mao's former secretary.

1 comment:

  1. Yeah, it's kind of entertaining seeing those statements coming out of the mouths of the Chinese bigwigs.

    One thing I'm wondering about, however, is how did the legislation about this become a running concern in Congress so quickly? I understand that this is one of the few issues that I basically agree with the Repub-controlled houses concerning, but even so, it popped up like lightning. Aren't these the same people who extended the USAPATRIOT act twice now? Is this merely an idea to build political capital, or are they actually doing this based on some kind of principle?


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