340 meters per second

Trust only movement. Life happens at the level of events, not of words. Trust movement.

&mdash Alfred Adler (1870-1937)

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Don't be evil.
Offer void where prohibited. Conditions apply.

The Globe & Mail (along with pretty much every other paper in the country) is running the latest in the Internet-company-as-collaborator "scandal" that's been developing over the last few months.

(I use scare quotes 'cause there's nothing scandalous about corporations prioritizing profitability over human rights. The organizing principle of the corporation is to generate profits -- period.)

If you want to read the complete article, you'll get a little more context and an utterly specious argument from Liu Zhengrong, deputy chief of the Chinese government's Internet-affairs bureau -- but you've got the money quotes right here:

WASHINGTON -- Internet giants Yahoo, Microsoft, Google and Cisco were accused yesterday at congressional hearings of greedily collaborating with China's efforts to control Internet access and to track down dissidents.

"Your abhorrent actions in China are a disgrace," said Tom Lantos, a Democrat from California. As senior executives from the four Internet companies visibly squirmed, Mr. Lantos -- the only Holocaust survivor in the House of Representatives -- reminded them that International Business Machines had helped count Jews for the Nazis.

"IBM complied with lawful orders [in 1930s Germany]. . . . Was that shameful?" he asked, and then challenged each of the four companies to declare that they had done nothing "to be ashamed of" in China.

Yahoo, in particular has been singled out for co-operating with Chinese police, handing over information that led to the identification and imprisonment of at least two dissidents.

Kudoes to Rep. Lantos for not pulling his punches and going right for the jugular. The comparisons are apt and it's about time someone with the influence and power to be heard drew these kinds of parallels.


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