Because When You Censor You Can't Collect As Much Data

from the which-is-worse? dept

It seemed quite odd that Congress waited until now to call hearings about how US tech companies were helping the Chinese government censor the internet. Despite the fact that this has been going on for years, and plenty of articles had been written about it, apparently the fuss surrounding Google joining the game was mainstream enough to make such a hearing politically feasible. With the hearings scheduled to go off tomorrow, the State Department put on a well-timed opening act talking about plans to fight internet censorship outside of the US, which seems to be a lot of talk with little substance. In the meantime, since "hearings" are really just a dog-and-pony show for politicians who have legislation they want to introduce with a splash, it's no surprise to hear some of our elected representatives are already putting the finishing touches on bills concerning companies that do business in China. This seems like a lot of fuss over something that the US has little-to-no control over. The US government has already made it clear in its own actions that doing business with China, despite its human rights issues, is tolerated due to the size of the market -- so it's hard to see it hold the moral high ground here. Meanwhile, with another set of stories coming out about how the government is trying to do even more data mining on our own activities, the cynical among you might wonder if half the reason they're so against censorship is that it limits the amount of data they can collect to be used against you in the future. Of course, that would mean the government was actually thinking some of these things through, and we're pretty convinced that few of our politicians would ever bother to spend the energy necessary to actually think things through -- beyond how it might impact the next election cycle.

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  • identicon
    Andrew Schmitt, 14 Feb 2006 @ 10:54am

    Google is a strategic weapon

    Allowing Google to obtain a number one position in China is in our national security interests. The metadata generated by the index and how people are querying it would be a strategic information asset beyond compare.

    More here.

    http://www.nyquistcapital.com/2006/01/23/everyone-is-watching-everybody/

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    MissingFrame, 14 Feb 2006 @ 11:39am

    Business and politics

    I doubt any of this has as much to do with "National Security" or "Human Rights" as it does someone who doesn't like Google just has a good lobbyist.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Denny, 14 Feb 2006 @ 11:53am

    No Subject Given

    I have an idea! Let's go to war with China until they submit to no longer censor Google! I would be proud to give my life for my search engine.

    Ok, maybe I exaggerated...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    the unknown, 14 Feb 2006 @ 12:34pm

    profit justifies everything

    "The US government has already made it clear in its own actions that doing business with China, despite its human rights issues, is tolerated due to the size of the market -- so it's hard to see it hold the moral high ground here."

    It's a sad, sad world where profit justifies just about anything. What are we thinking? As long as it (slave labor, child labor, human rights violations) doesn't happen within our borders it's acceptable. Is this what globalization means today?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      the unknown, 14 Feb 2006 @ 12:44pm

      that's right denny

      That's right Denny. War will solve all of our problems. That's just about accurate. Hale Satan!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Mousky, 14 Feb 2006 @ 1:51pm

      Re: profit justifies everything

      Governments let human rights violations happen, not profit-making companies. A market economy is a good thing. If you don't like how a company does business then find another company to deal with. Can't find one, either change the way you live or create your business.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        the unknown, 14 Feb 2006 @ 11:00pm

        Re: profit justifies everything

        I agree with two things in that statement. Governments let human rights violations happen and a market economy is a good thing...absolutely!

        The argument you make that lays blame to governments alone, and i suppose you mean foreign governments (as being not your own government) is fickle. Consider the following: governments are run by and for the benefit of profit-making companies as well as individual citizens. Unluckily the balance between individual benefits and company benefits is leaning one way more than the other these days.

        As for the life-lessons, shove it... seriously!

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    SmallTwig, 14 Feb 2006 @ 3:35pm

    John Locke

    It's time to put the social contract to the test :)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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