Gates Has Google's Back On Censorship
Like Google and Yahoo, Microsoft has had to adjust its business practices to suit Chinese government information control personnel, not that there's anything wrong with that.
On the topic of Google censoring content in China, the search advertising company got a boost from the most notable member of its Redmond competitor. Bill Gates, attending the World Economic Forum in Switzerland, talked about China and censorship when speaking to delegates, the Times Online UK reported.
To Gates, access to the Internet and thus the outside world "is preventing more censorship," as he told the delegates. The Times Online quoted him further:
"I do think information flow is happening in China ... saying that even by existing there contributions to a national dialogue have taken place. There's no doubt in my mind that's been a huge plus."
A reason for Gates to take up for China and Google could be a simple matter of self-interests. Rampant software piracy in China allegedly costs Microsoft millions of dollars each year. A desire to see the Chinese government crack down harder on piracy may be the reason for Gates' conciliatory comments:
Software piracy is a problem that will likely be solved over time, because as Chinese-made technology evolves, the country's respect for intellectual property rights will improve, he added.
"We are always upset that they aren't paying us for our products, but we're not going to pick up and go home," Mr Gates said.
Human rights organizations, however, remain unimpressed; again, from the Times Online:
Irene Khan, the secretary-general of Amnesty International, said that Google had "reinforced the trend in the IT industry of kowtowing to Chinese demands of censorship".
She said: "Last year, Yahoo provided the Chinese with details leading to the arrest and sentencing of a journalist; Microsoft has barred a blog critical of the government and launched a portal blocking the use of words such as 'freedom' and 'democracy'. Now Google has weeded out websites that China does not like."
If anyone can remember when technology used to be fun, and the strongest arguments were Mac versus Windows, or even vi versus emacs, send me an I miss those days.
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About the Author:
David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.
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