Google's recent decision to offer a censored search engine to the government of the People's Republic of China is only the latest in a shameful procession of American companies eagerly participating in political and social repression.
Google's ostensible reason justification is that local Chinese law prohibits discussion of certain topics, such as 1989 Tiannamen Square massacre, the bloody and horrific Cultural Revolution, and Mao's murder of perhaps as many as 70 million of his countrymen during his long reign. If Chinese law forbids discussion of this, Google argues, then who are they to violate Chinese law?
Let me argue with an example from the past. In September 1935 Germany imposed the Law for Protection of German Blood and German Honor. This entirely legal statue, put into place by the legitimately-elected Chancellor Hitler, barred Jews and non-Jews from marrying. It banned sex between Jews and non-Jews. The Nuremberg Laws, which were imposed on the same day as the German Blood decree, stripped Jews of citizenship and the right to vote.
Would Google comply with these laws if such an act were put into place today? If their standard is to obey all local laws, then logic dictates that they would.
Google's complicity with the PRC government is morally bankrupt. Google has done many great things in the Internet Revolution--this is not one of them. Let us hope that Google someday provides a "backdoor" in its engine that will allow information to flow into China right under the noses of the authorities.
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