A recent article in the UK’s The Guardian newspaper informs us that Google could end China’s web censorship in 10 days, if it chose to do so.
So certain is Google chairmen Eric Schmidt about Google’s power that he said this just last week, “We can end government censorship in a decade. The solution to government surveillance is to encrypt everything.”
In light of this revelation, many activists are asking why Google hasn’t already freed the Chinese internet from the communist.
We at greatfire.org successfully unblocked the Reuters Chinese website, which had been blocked on 15 November. We also unblocked the China Digital Times website, which has been blocked in China for years and earlier this month created mirrors for our FreeWeibo project. These mirrors now receive thousands of unique visits a day from China. But we are just a small team of activists with limited resources.
If anyone has the power to implement this technology widely, it’s Google. Here’s what they could do to effectively end online censorship in China, not in 10 years, but in just 10 days.
Why hasn’t Google done this, is an excellent question. However it skips over the question, should Google do this?
Google is a business, first and foremost, they are looking to make a profit. They have certain responsibilities. They should care for their employees and for their customers, and make certain that they are acting responsibly in the marketplace. They’ve obviously determined that there is more money to be made by working with the Chinese government and their firewall, instead of looking to work around the government’s block of the internet. By doing this, they are acting in a “responsible” manner for their shareholders, their employees and their customers.
Is that all there is? Does Google have a greater responsibility to the world?
Maybe as a good American company that has made most of its profits from the American people, they should be working to undermine the Chinese government at every opportunity.
Personally, I’d like to see them turn their firepower on China and open the doors of freedom for the Chinese people. Google may actually be the best weapon we (the USA) have against the Chinese government.
“Knowledge is freedom and ignorance is slavery” – Miles Davis
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