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January 27, 2006
The Other Side

Over at the Beeb, Bill Thompson defends Google's China decision.

Most of the news coverage of the launch of google.cn acted as if this was its first move into China but Google and other US-owned search engines have been active there for some time.

We knew that.

In fact Yahoo! and MSN both censor search results, and when MSN closed down Zhao Jing's blog and Yahoo! handed over the account details of a Chinese blogger to the authorities it made few waves outside the technology pages.

And now I feel guilty. I read these stories but didn't blog them. (Can't blog everything that happens in the world.)

So in many ways the launch of a Chinese-based index is a much less significant development than it seems from the tone of the coverage it is getting.

It is also significant because the Google page will let people know if their search results are being restricted, something that doesn't happen if the filtering is done by the government.

Very true.

The question of whether freedom of speech is absolute and indivisible is not just an internet issue, and although the network brings new factors into the discussion we should not allow them to dominate it.

The politics mattered long before the network invented and they will still matter long after it has been superseded.

He makes a good case for his opinion.

Posted by AnneZook at 09:09 AM