Bill Gates spoke out at the World Economic Forum aka Uncle IMF’s Starve-’em-down-to-sweatshops Emporium on Google’s decision to cooperate with the Chinese government in censoring their search results:
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.
Information flow is happening in China – but it is tightly controlled by the so-called Great Firewall. Take a look at these comparisons of search results.
It is no coincidence that China is the second largest internet-using population, and growing fast. Is this going to be another economic screw-up like when Clinton annouced that Chinese families would be buying all of these American goods when it turned out that Chinese families couldn’t afford American goods and we ended up with that pesky trade deficit?
If globalisation and economics means a race to the bottom, does cooperation with government censors mean a race to the gulag?
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.