Google China fail

Can a nation take over the world economy while prohibiting all thoughts it finds uncomfortable? If this is the century of China it's the sunset for freedom, a sunrise for corruption, and those like Steve Forbes who prefer comfort to liberty deserve neither.

Google is about to be kicked out of China, unless the government accepts what one Chinese site is already calling a "fake front."

At the company's blog, chief legal officer David Drummond writes hopefully that "many of our Chinese users...have been vocal about their desire to keep Google.cn alive."

Google is correct in that. It has many Chinese fans. But these may be precisely the people the government aims to demonstrate its authority to by kicking Google out, which it can do by simply refusing to renew its ISP license tomorrow.

Google's "fake front" idea is that Chinese users could use the new page to access popular, non-controversial Google services like music and language translation, but would do their searches from Hong Kong, without censorship.

This new approach is consistent with our commitment not to self censor and, we believe, with local law. We are therefore hopeful that our license will be renewed on this basis so we can continue to offer our Chinese users services via Google.cn.

Since Google decided to stop censorship in China, its stock has fallen in value by nearly 25% while that of its Chinese rival Baidu is up 75%.

It has gotten little support for its stand from American authorities, either Democratic or Republican, with Forbes writing the Drummond post "will surely irritate Chinese authorities" and it's "hard to imagine that will be enough to please authorities."

Forbes is right. But then it only promised to be a capitalist tool, not a friend of human liberty.They only came for Google and Steve Forbes still had Bing so he said nothing.

This is a very basic conflict. Can a nation take over the world economy while prohibiting all thoughts it finds uncomfortable? If this is the century of China it's the sunset for freedom, a sunrise for corruption, and those like Steve Forbes who prefer comfort to liberty deserve neither.

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