Enchantments

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Today’s dictators have power by getting control of information and the Internet. Weapons have become useless.

If the citizens were to know the truth some regimes wouldn’t last 5 minutes.

They get control by making economic agreements with American technology companies like Yahoo!, Google, Microsoft.

These agreements give the dictators control over the population and allow the companies to make money and to conquer markets.
These companies are quoted on the Stock Exchange in the United States. They respond to the written laws controlling the economy and to the unwritten laws concerning the ethics and morality of a democratic State. Laws however that are valid only at home.
Outside perhaps.

It depends on how much they pay.

In China, for example, they pay well!

And it’s possible to sell technology and repression whilst pocketing big dividends.

Like Google that has accepted to eliminate references to the independence of Taiwan, to Tienanmen and to the Falun Gong movement.
Like the witch in the story of Snow White, these technology companies look at themselves in the mirror of their pure white company dominated by capital and they see themselves to be beautiful, superbly beautiful.

Like their enchanted publicity.

They sell red shiny apples outside their castle.

Poisoned red apples, from true exporters of democracy.

Even better than with arms in Iraq.

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 11:45 PM in | Comments (7)
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I would like to see the same initiative from those companies when the interest of the common consumers is at stake.

Posted by: Giovanni Principe | January 30, 2006 06:36 PM


I think that the choice is: free internet without censorship or censorship without freedom. If a search engine like Google starts to censor his contents only because of money, the next step will be to keep the whole information under control!

Posted by: Raffaella Biferale | January 30, 2006 12:08 PM


You are correct when you state that if citizens were to learn the truth, dictatorial regimes wouldn't last 5 minutes. So Google had a choice to make: don't go into China; or go into China in a limited way (that will inevitably be chipped and expanded because the despotic regime will not be able to stop it). What's the better choice for the people of China? A search engine "Made in China" and controlled by the government? With Google and the concessions it has had to make to get in, maybe it will take 15 minutes instead of 5, but it will happen.

The Soviet Union crumbled as the citizens learned more and more about the realities of the outside world. The cracks are already there in China and once the cracks are there, they just get bigger and bigger.

Here's what I find particularly interesting about this blog entry of yours: you obviously find it offensive that in order to do business in China, Google has had to play into the censorship of the government of the PRC. And after eight years living in Italy, I became familiar with your story and how you and your public suffered the consequences of censorship, so I find it very very odd to see the following on your blog site:

The following are not allowed:
1. messages without the email address of the sender
2. anonymous messages
3. advertising messages
4. messages containing offensive language
5. messages containing obscene language
6. messages with racist or sexist content
7. messages with content that constitutes a violation of Italian Law (incitement to commit a crime, to violence, libel etc.)

Very very odd indeed.

Posted by: Jerrianne O'Day | January 30, 2006 01:33 AM


I agree with you 100% Google are out make vast sums of money in Chinese market by agreeing to let the Chinese restrict their search engine is bowing to dictatorship

Posted by: Robin Hart | January 29, 2006 04:04 PM


What if we just stop using Google for a while? What is the best alternative? Altavista? Yahoo.....??

Posted by: Maureen Lister | January 29, 2006 02:01 PM


Ok, it's simple. Google is not the first and, it seems, it's not going to be the last search engine. It thinks that's big enough to do what it is doing: great mistake! It's power has been found on free information exchange: it's going to lose all the power very quickly, if it leave behind the forces that build it.

Posted by: Zivko Juznic-Z. | January 29, 2006 09:59 AM


Beppe,

you are right with what you say. I recently created an "Open Letter to Google" here:

http://googlecensorship.blogspot.com/

If you like it, I would be very happy, if you would contribute a post and maybe mention it here on your blog.

Thanks and regards

Alexander

Posted by: Alexander Rossner | January 29, 2006 12:29 AM


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