17 February 2006


[ updated 16 Mar 2006 ]

Danny Sullivan's rant from 30 Jan lays out the deceit and self-deceit of Google's explanation of their China policy. If they're in it for the long haul, then I can argue doing the opposite -- not going in right now -- would be a long haul, long term vision. A short term sell out option is to go in now and build a market then naively think that when you're making billions off of China, you'll want to threaten to pull out later. Amen, brother.

I've recently become less accepting of Google's decision to work with the Chinese government (or, at least to work within their requirements). I expected Congress's hearings to be only silly grandstanding, and dutifully ignored them until /. took note of Tom Lantos' grilling of Google, Microsoft, Cisco, and Yahoo, comparing their actions to those of IBM when it did business with Nazi Germany and suppl[ied] the machinery needed to handle the great indexes and lists needed to keep track of the processing of six million or so undesirables, and the consultants and technical assistance needed to set up and run that machinery.

At what point does profit become a moral issue? Another poster pointed out that Mr. Lantos probably has something with a "Made In China" stamp, so he shouldn't be so quick to single out Google, et al. That avoids the subject (i.e. Lantos acting of two minds doesn't change the morality or immorality of Google's actions), but also questions why the government hasn't grilled other corporations. Maybe this is why I wanted to avoid following the Congressional hearings; what they decide won't change my beliefs and will very likely be twisted with politics more than morality.

[ posted by sstrader on 17 February 2006 at 5:20:47 PM in Culture & Society ]