Google cashes in its Corporate Conscience…

Just read an interesting, if not fresh off the press, article from Time magazine (Feb. 20/06 issue) that reminded me why I should be spending more time reading what is going on out there. It wasn't a suprise, but was nice to read. Another shot against the big boys at Google, in my opinion, for going against their own standards (the article presents 'Don't Be Evil' as their company mantra for how they deal…):

That's why Google's decision to launch a censored website in China was so jarring. Doing a totalitarian government's bidding in blocking the truth in order to make a few extra bucks is practically the definition of evil. Google acknowledges that it's in a tough situation but says it ultimately has to obey local laws. 'There's subtext to 'Don't be evil,' and that is 'Don't be illegal,' says Vint Cerf, an Internet founding father who now serves as 'chief Internet evangelist; at Google. 'Overall, having Google there is better than not having Google there.' ( "In Search of the Real Google" 24)

I hate to say it, but a company that hides behind its' name and suggests a censored and manipulated version of a 'free knowledge base' or a so-called 'search engine' that implies access to knowledge is not really one at all. It all has the ring of the cash register singing in my brain…How about the big boys at Google stepping up to the plate and outright refusing China's bid for a 'red google'? Maybe if enough of these MNC's and .com's refused to deal with oppressive governments, then the oppressive governments might begin to sniff at change…

To credit Time on this one, they go on to examine the implications of Google's bending:

But at what cost? Can [founders] Brin and Page live with the idea that Chinese Netizens can't access any-thing other than the official line on, say, the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre and that Google is part of the cover-up? (24)

Real good question. If this was typed in China right now…you probably wouldn't see it on account of the whole linking Tiananmen Square with massacre idea….

Thanks for equipping the regime, Google…

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