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Does Google Only Remove Sites Which Don't Work Anyway in That Country?  (View post)

David M Barrington [PersonRank 0]

Saturday, January 28, 2006
15 years ago

You mentioned Scientology and posed the question what was Hubbard thinking? Check out www.drexun.org – the home page (also the right hand side nav links at www.drexun.org) really answer that question! I think you'd be surprised.

alicie rose [PersonRank 0]

15 years ago #

gee wiz im suprised

Stephen Christopher [PersonRank 1]

15 years ago #

Your example of a policeman is somewhat questionable at best. In extreme cases, it may well be appropriate for a policeman to engage in civil disobedience, knowing well that he will also face the consequences. However, the entire point of our justice system is that we do not take justice into our own hands. If the policeman has the duty of arresting a person, according to a violation of the law, then he must do that. If the law itself is a violation of a higher law, i.e. the constitution, then our court system must determine that and reverse the improper law.

Of course, applying this entire metaphor to the situation in China is shaky. For one thing, it implies that our constitutional standards are the only "right" way, and anything else short of our guaranteed freedoms is completely "wrong". It also does not take into account the realities of suddenly stripping an entire country of rule and order that has been in place for centuries.

There is much behind this situation. Simplifying it down to a blind-stand for principle vs. sellout doesn't help people begin to understand the reality of what decisions had to be made. At least make clear you are making gross simplifications, or what implications you're ignoring if you feel justified in ignoring them.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

15 years ago #

Stephen, the example given was an illustration to discuss the issue of whether or not Google is responsible. (I never talked about sell-outs in my article.) And civil disobedience may even mean going against the law. So yes, the police man is responsible for everything he does. If he has faith the law is good, then he can act in this faith without knowing all the details. If he sees that the law is evil, he should act against it. Is this easy for the police man? No, it takes a lot of bravery.

If you know German history, you can see some very grim examples of how the official law can err, and actively protect evil-doers. Then you can also see the law is absolutely no excuse for doing something evil. For example, certain groups were (lawfully, but immorally) executed for begging for bread. In other cases, you could murder people with disabilities, and the minister of law ordered that the murderers in these cases would not imprisoned, let alone face the court.

Take this from Wikipedia, in their entry on Nazi judge Freisler. If you seen filmed sessions in court with him, you can see pure evil.
"Freisler acted as judge, prosecutor and jury all rolled into a single person. He was particularly known for humiliating defendants and barking loudly at them. He let some of the trials be filmed. In the trial against Wilhelm Graf Schwerin von Schwanenfeld, for example, Freisler screamed so loudly, the technicians who were filming the proceeding had major problems making the defendants' words audible. Count Schwerin, like the rest of the assassins, was sentenced to death. Among this and other show trials, Freisler headed the proceedings against the members of the "White Rose," a resistance group against Hitler."

The White Rose were the ones acting against the law in Nazi-Germany. They were the ones acting *against the law of their country* by opposing the Nazis.

Am I comparing Chinese authorities with Nazis? No, I don't make a statement in either direction. I am discussing the responsibility of Google. Whether or not Google is guilty is another point; first we have to analyze if they can act different than they did. Read this statement in the official Google blog,
"We aren't happy about what we had to do this week"
Can you see this particular phrasing implies that Google *had* to do this (i.e. was forced to do it without having an alternative)?

Again, at best the law is so that you can have faith into it, and at best the law respect the basic human rights. This is not always the case in every country unfortunately. For Google, it takes much less bravery than for the police man to disobey the Chinese laws – because Google is actively seeking to expand into this country when they don't have to (unless their philosophy is "a Google on every PC no matter the consequences").

Anonymous [PersonRank 0]

15 years ago #

Phil, what they *wanted* to do was go into China. What they *had* to do was censor the search results.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

15 years ago #

By their logic, that's correct. Only that this logic is flawed.. they didn't *have* to go to China, and so they didn't *have* to censor their results.

Caleb E [PersonRank 10]

15 years ago #

Wow, talk about mirrioring the web...i searched for that sentance and the first result was this blog! The post has been up for what, maybe 24 hours? quite suprising.

Stephen Christopher [PersonRank 1]

15 years ago #

Phillip, thanks for the reply. I'm disgesting it still.

I see that you've also put up some other excellent posts on this topic. The quote "they thought themselves into this" seems quite appropriate, and the official Google blog stance does seem to crumble under inspection. I'm rethinking my position on this whole topic, and appreciate your continued focus and analysis (as well as others on the web).

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

15 years ago #

Stephen, I am also looking to other blogs these days for opinions. The topic is incredible hard. And I realize new facets in this everyday. For example, today I realized (and also realized it had been mentioned before, but I didn't understand it) that the official Google Blog's explanation of the issue does not mention the word "censorship" anyhwere on the page. Why not?

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