January 25, 2006
It’s Just a Practice Run, Folks
Web search leader Google Inc. said on Tuesday it was introducing a new service for China that seeks to avoid a confrontation with the government by restricting access to services to which users contribute such as e-mail, chat rooms and blogs.
The new Chinese service at http://www.google.cn will offer a censored version of Google’s popular search system that could restrict access to thousands of terms and Web sites.
The move in China comes less than a week after Google resisted the U.S. Justice Department’s efforts to get information about commonly used sex search terms. That government demand was met by search rivals such as Yahoo Inc. and Microsoft, spokesmen for those companies said.
“China is the most repressive censorship regime on the Internet,” said John Palfrey, one of the principal investigators on a joint university research project on global Internet censorship known as the OpenNet Initiative.
[UPDATE: Don’t miss the NY Times article Peter pointed us to. Thoughtcrime has arrived!]
Posted by Buck Batard at January 25, 2006 06:31 AM
The fear ist spreading while Big Brother moves in. Guess where? China?
"I'm not a conspiracy theorist, I just feel like it's one step away from ... what's the next step?" Mr. Kowats said. "The government's going to start looking into all this other stuff."
Until last year, Mr. Kowats worked at the Discovery Channel, and a few years ago, in the course of putting together a documentary on circumcision, he and his colleagues were doing much of the research online. "When you're researching something like that and you look up the word 'circumcision,' you're going to end up with all kinds of pictures of naked children," he said. "And that can be misconstrued."
The scissors of self-censorship are already clap-clapping away.