The Real Cost of Google’s Sellout to China
Google is perfectly willing to posture as a brave defender of the privacy of its users in the U.S. marketplace it already dominates while caving to the immense commercial opportunity awaiting it in China. This is a harsh reminder that the concentration of media in the past decade has made the few giant companies that now control them more vulnerable to demands from foreign — and domestic — governments with their own agenda.

By Thomas Lipscomb

(January 26, 2006) — Last week Google announced its intention to resist a Department of Justice court action underway. DOJ wanted Google to allow a surveillance test of millions of its users’ search queries as part of its effort to enforce online pornography legislation passed by Congress to protect children. Yahoo, AOL, and MSN had already agreed to cooperate. But now, in an extraordinary development, Google has announced its decision to join the largest internet censorship effort in the world, being run by Communist China.

Google will actively assist the Chinese government in barring access to thousands of Web sites and search terms, in fact anything on the World Wide Web the Chinese feel might destablize its authoritarian government. It will also eliminate the blogging and e-mail services it offers elsewhere in the world. According to the Associated Press: “Google officials characterized the censorship concessions in China as an excruciating decision for a company that adopted ‘don’t be evil’ as a motto.”

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