January 29, 2006

A Just Way for Google to Engage the PRC

After reading this condemnation of the left, I guess I better put my marker down on the Google/PRC censorship brouhaha. I think that Google, on balance, should move into the PRC. There is nothing, at least as far as I can tell, that would prevent them from providing a penance for their sins. If Google is to remain committed to its "do no evil" ethos, it has to explicitly work to overcome the necessary compromise in censorship.

It could do so by providing the list of censored terms in real time. By providing the list, it both aids in working around the censorship and also gives a fascinating bit of information for the world to see, what is the PRC government afraid of its people learning? A lot of the list would be unsurprising. Tibet, Falun Gong, Taiwan independence, are almost guaranteed to be on the list. But I would be very surprised if the full list didn't also provide information on certain sensitive spots that virtually nobody knows the PRC is paranoid about. Who on the CCP purged list is also on the Internet censorship list?

There's no reason to just pick on the PRC. What search terms is Google blocking in France or Germany? Are there any blocks in the US? What are they? Engagement isn't worth a damn if you don't try to move the societal pile towards freedom. Boycotts aren't worth much either if you don't give the target a way out. Here's a way out. Here's a way to move the pile.

Posted by TMLutas at January 29, 2006 05:10 PM