Students for a Free Tibet Protest Outside Google

Philipp Lenssen points to this report that a group of people from Students for a Free Tibet gathered in front of the Googleplex to protest against Google bowing to Chinese censorship requests.

From SFT’s press release:

“Students and young people worldwide are appalled by Google’s decision to become active partners in China’s censorship apparatus,” said Lhadon Tethong, Executive Director of Students for a Free Tibet. “Google’s participation in the Chinese government’s program of repression and information control renders the company motto “Don’t be evil” a terrible joke.”

Google rivals Yahoo! and Microsoft have already shown a willingness to cooperate with Chinese authorities. Last year, Yahoo! provided information that helped jail a Chinese dissident for ten years and last month, Microsoft shut down a Chinese political blogger’s site for “not complying with local law.”

“Political and corporate leaders constantly tell us that foreign business will contribute to a more open and democratic China,” added Ms. Tethong. “This is yet another sign that China is in fact forcing foreign businesses to be more closed and anti-democratic.”

Photos of the protest are here.

4 comments

  1. its just about money, if they _dont_ give into the chinese gov they lose money and if _they_ give into bush they lose money (from people jumping the gun and there services from paranoria that there privacy is no more), same old story – google is into that money thing everybody talks about,

  2. yes, saying it and doing it are two different things as we all know, like being a business and ethical movement are two different things; is a business man in charge? then its a business, and its not a business about making the world better for people, its about making products/services that make money that people who want a better world implicity buy by clicking on ads.

    if its the choice of ethics and making money, what do you think they would do?

  3. i agree; becoming for-profit, and then going public were two turning points in Google’s evolution, both of which made their “don’t be evil” a difficult ideal to attain.

    consider this passage from Page & Brin’s original Stanford research paper on Google: “Currently, the predominant business model for commercial search engines is advertising. The goals of the advertising business model do not always correspond to providing quality search to users. … [we] expect that advertising funded search engines will be inherently biased towards the advertisers and away from the needs of the consumers. … we believe the issue of advertising causes enough mixed incentives that it is crucial to have a
    competitive search engine that is transparent and in the academic realm.”

    Oh, how times have changed.

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