19 April 2006

Contra Google et alia

In recent months, Google has refused to cooperate with the US government in hunting internet child pornographers, while it has knuckled under to demands from the Chinese government to censor all political references to Tianmen Square from its servers in China. Google wasn't willing to pay the price of China cloning its software and setting up a search service of its own to shut Google out of so big a market. But it is willing to take a stand against the US Government where a centuries old tradition of civil liberties not only prevents it from having to suffer any consequences - it guarantees that Google will get the marketing benefit of "good press" for its courage. In other words, Google has acted like a cynical, hypocritical and avaricious coward. Ordinarily this would be no big deal.

But ours is a time in which we cannot afford to bow to terrorists or tyrants. The Virtual Church of the Blind Chihuahua has therefore eliminated its Google Adsense advertising. We could also eliminate our Google search box and our Blogger account, but where can we turn?

Yahoo has done even worse than Google by turning over to the Chinese government the identity of a dissident who was subsequently sentenced to 17 years in prison. Microsoft and Cisco have also cooperated with the Chinese government in censorship and law enforcement.

So, shame on you, Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and Cisco. We will continue to use you to increase our traffic and visibility to get our message out. But we won't take your thirty pieces of silver.