18 thoughts on “Don’t Be Evil…”

  1. To redeem thmselves a bit, these companies should fit their products with backdoors and the like. Then they can always say “Sorry, it’s a glitch we did no find during the beta-tests”. Yeah, fat chance…

  2. Actually, I’m of two minds on this. On one hand, the very notion of censoring a search engine leaves a sour taste on the back of my tongue. On reflection, though, the increased connectivity (a la Tom Barnett)that a Google presence would offer might actually hasten the erosion of the State’s ability to keep the genie in the bottle. I wonder if Google might be right in holding its nose and going for this (with the very correct caveat of holding off on its blogging and G-mail options). Huge market, with an option for an even bigger one when the Chinese finally wake up from their Maoist fever dream and demand their porn. Might be a win-win.

    Frankly (no pun intended), I’m rather more bothered by the French and German censorship (memory hole anyone?).

    Of course, some back doors would be nice, too.

  3. Don’t you think it would be more evil for them to tell the Chinese government to get stuffed and then subsequently get shut out of the market, leaving the Chinese people without access to Google at all? Of course, whether or not you think this would be the outcome depends on whether you believe the Party would blink first or not in such a showdown. I don’t really know, but considering that Google has shown a willingness to tell the DOJ to get stuffed I don’t think this is a matter of them lacking backbone.

  4. It is all about money. Google could have taken the high road. Google is an information providor. Stifling information to support a government is a terrible precident.

  5. As Matt McIntosh #8 above notes, Google has no fear in telling the DOJ to get lost. But they will comply with the edicts of the Chinese. This leads to the obvious conclusion that, per Google, the DOJ is more evil than China. (Alternatively, that the DOJ’s request for anonymous data regarding searches is more evil than China’s request for censorship.)

    Either that, or all of that stuff about Google being “different” from other companies and following their motto of don’t be evil is a load of hooey and just like every other company, they’re focused on the bottom line.

  6. First blink this was bad and a cop out.

    However with some thought I think now that China is going to do it goggle or no goggle. I would rather have US friendly goggle writing the program running the program than a China home grown group who will be China only.

    Programs are tricky things loop holes and all kinds of strange back doors and such are found in them all the time like the most recent Microsoft debacle, it happens and the writers are the best to find them or cough put them in.

    Not to mention that same info the Chincom’s want we would like to have too and also the search info of the Chinese generals and gov leaders would be good to know also. Of course this would never be admitted or done right? May not be all bad we wont know for 30yrs or so.

    This reminds me a of a story about a communications chip sold to Poland in the middle of the Cold War the CIA got a minute with first.

  7. Googling “evil=google” led me to their ‘Code of Conduct’ which starts out “Don’t be evil.” So I emailed them through the Investor Relations page and asked them if that was just a joke.

  8. Armed Liberal

    Not a Geneva-convention-flaunting guerilla or terrorist

    Depends on when he was arrested and how. I believe this guy was scooped after the invasion in counter insurgency raids. The fact he was once a general don’t protect him. Not to mention even if he was active but not uniformed when fighting he gets no protection. Ask the German SOF’s that went behind the lines during the Battle of the Bulge.

    I with Blue this terrorist and all others should be squeezed for all the Intel they got then tried, convicted, .22hollow, next.

  9. Funny how people race to blast Google and yamn when the NSA has admitted to spying on us.
    But whats a day without a rationalization…

  10. “This leads to the obvious conclusion that, per Google, the DOJ is more evil than China.”

    Conclusion does not follow from the premises. All it indicates is the simpe fact that the Party has more leverage against them in China than the DOJ does in the US.

  11. Very, very gentle and fawning analysis Matt. You point to the leverage by both governments as though there is some commonality. You miss the salient point by a mile.
    Google had a choice in both instances. They bravely stood up to the US government. No cost to them. They bent to their knees in front of the Chinese government. The almighty buck (yen?) speaks to Google. Capitalist cowards is the only simple fact.
    Remember Tiananmen Square!

  12. I disagree.

    Why should Google follow the ‘Cuba option’ that the US has used against Castro, cutting off all contact and trade? Has that worked?

    I think it better to have limited access and contact than none. The people of China will have better access to the net using Google, and therefore more chance to be exposed to ways to free up their country.

    I suggest that any positive interaction with the people of an oppressed nation is a good thing.

  13. So how long would it take to find out what the Chinese Gov’s want blocked, and linking that info through many different ‘acceptable’ sites?

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