Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Great Wall of China

No, I am not talking about the 2400 KM Great Wall of China built centuries back. It may be crumbling in some places, but Chinese Government is building an invisible information wall that is supposed to keep certain information away from China. Experts tell us that, this information barrier being built by China is one of the most advanced use of technology anywhere. With strategies ranging from automated keyword filtering and Web site blocking to Internet traffic surveillance, the Chinese government has unmatched ability to censor and monitor its citizens online.

Google Blinks
Google, whose motto is Don't be evil has now become party to information censorship by China as a quid pro quo to be able to do business and physically host servers in China. Interestingly, the same Google is fighting a subpoena from the US Government and is refusing part with some search data in the name of privacy.

To be fair to Google, other giants like Microsoft and Yahoo have already complied with this censorship diktat by China and are doing business there. Very soon China will have more internet users than the western hemisphere and a market of that size is simply too hard for any company to ignore. So, when it comes to China, everyone seems to be pervious to let certain deviations take place and Google is proving to be no exception.

9 comments:

  1. interesting news.

    its afterall money isn't it?
    before that freedom,privacy etc can go for a walk

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  2. Prabu

    Looks like it.. but, I do admire the rate of innovation these guys able to manage so far..

    On the related front..
    Google's stock dropped over USD 70 after it announced 4Q results. It will be interesting to see how they bounce back..

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  3. I read about how some Chinese guy's blgo was stopped by his government. All this is ridiculous really and goes against the spirit of the internet. It would not be surprising if internet fructifies democracy in China. Trying to curb or stop the internet is trying to stop the wind.

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  4. Hiren

    Yes, Microsoft pulled the plug on one of the blogs in its 'spaces' without even telling the blogger.. because Chinese Govt wanted it..

    A bigger question is ..
    Can China continue play like this in the Global playing field..? where there is no democracy and information is severely censored..? So, China is doing exceptionally well with its 10% growth.. but can it sustain it when it stiffles 'freedom of speech and religion'...

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  6. china has to be more cautious about the number of users. The way things are tightly held in china a small relaxation could mean a large out flow of viruses.

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  7. Victor

    I don't understand the connection between flow and viruses... you are not saying there are more 'devious' people in China.. They are there everywhere..

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