Saturday, January 28, 2006

Google in China

So Google have gone into China. They seem to have overturned their philosophy of "Do no evil." and subjugated themselves to the Chinese governments wishes. Ignoring China's deplorable human rights issues and single party communism to give the Chinese access to the parts of the WWW that the Chinese government allow. Right thinking left of centre liberals are understandably up in arms about this. But I think they're missing an obvious point here that perhaps may not be so obvious to the "shoot from the hip" reactionaries.
Google have a damn good understanding of the net. I should think that they have employees who have been online since their Amstrad 464's enabled then to hook up to the then fledgling internet. The concept of trojan horses and backdoors are not alien to them. OK, there are others in there in reciept of the kings shilling, but none with the kudos, the broad expanse of Google who's sole aim is to disseminate information freely. I don't think Google are in China for the money.
They now have the chance to put their servers into mainland China. They have had to filter, block or censor a whole host of information. But i'm sure that is just a cover. A cover in the old fashioned cold war sense. A shield for their true motives. To supply the backdoor to the Chinese. A way out. A true (L.Ron Hubbard please excuse me...) bridge to freedom.
Time will tell, and I may be as wrong as a very wrong person. But... perhaps, just perhaps, acting as a trojan horse, Google has penetrated the shield that the Chinese government has erected against the free flow of information in and out of it's borders. And will, sometime hence, release the keywords, the anonymous public servers or the code to enable the average Chinese citizen to access the WWW and Usenet. Disseminated by word of mouth (I think it's called viral marketing now) and through chatrooms and email, the keys to the Jungian Collective will be made available.
It's the first thing I thought when I heard that Google had "gone native". I hope this isn't letting the cat out of the bag. The internet is the one thing governments fear. Not just the free flow of information. But the meeting of minds of people seperated by distance and political boundaries. You can not demonise a people if a fair percentage of your population chat with them on a regular basis. Propaganda fails. Truth will out. And humans are human wherever you find them.

1 comment:

Enkidu said...

I wish I could be as optimistic as you are. Google might try to slip something past the Chinese government, but the Chinese are far from stupid. They have spent half a century controlling the information their citizens have access to, and they know only too well how to impel people to censor themselves. They are technically sophisticated, and you can bet that a significant fraction of the 'dissident' crowd is on the security police payroll. Google knows this, and I don't think they'll install millions of dollars of infrastructure in China, just to lose it all, and have their staff spend ten years in a Chinese prison.