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Brin on China Censorship  (View post)

Ionut Alex. Chitu [PersonRank 10]

Thursday, January 26, 2006
18 years ago

<< One thing we do, and which we are implementing in China as well, is that if there's any kind of material blocked by local regulations we put a message to that effect at the bottom of the search engine. "Local regulations prevent us from showing all the results." And we're doing that in China also, and that makes us transparent.

Sergey Brin

Martin Wang [PersonRank 1]

18 years ago #

I gotta say, I appreciate Google's gesture and effort very much. I am a postgraduate. Luckily, I am in Germany, and have no problem when using Google to search for useful information for research. I was in China on holiday this summer. You have no idea how uncomfortable I felt when I was trying to search for something with Google, either no results or heavy delay. It happened with Gmail as well. I will finally come back to work in China one day. At that time, if Google still couldnt work fine, it would be terrible. Now Google compromised. It is absolutely great news for intellectuals, because we can use Google from now on, for RESEARCH.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

18 years ago #

I'm not sure Gmail will run faster now. I also experienced it was basically unusable in China (it worked maybe once or twice out of a dozen tries). Possibly, Google is now getting a "bonus" for working with the Chinese government that could expand to other services than web search as well – only time will tell. Blogspot was also completely banned several times I tried (I don't know if it's working by now).

By the way, I don't think this is necessarily a choice between Google China Censored or No Google China. If enough people oppose the Chinese censorship efforts, a third alternative may appear: Google China Uncensored.

Martin Wang [PersonRank 1]

18 years ago #

"Google China Uncensored"?!

I hope you are joking, otherwise you might be a little bit naive at this point. It is kinda impossible that Chinese Communists will let it go. I can tell you, since like a year, Chinese college students have to log in with their real names into any kind of forum or bbs in the country-wide educational network. So please tell me, how do you think about this?

"If enough people oppose the Chinese censorship efforts"

You still think about it in your democratic mind. But sorry, it doesnt work in this case. Decisions in China are never made based on the amount of people, but the mind of the leaders. Therefore, unless the number of "enough people" is 1.3 billion, "Google China Uncensored" might hopefully come true, otherwise, it is kinda a wish.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

18 years ago #

Look at this Martin:

"History has shown that coordinated action can be effective in forcing the Chinese government to back off from efforts to censor the Internet. When the Chinese government tried to clamp down on the commercial use of cryptography in October 1999, coordinated efforts by various companies and trade agencies forced the Chinese government to drop the requirement that encryption codes be turned over."

I'm not saying the chances are great, but morals shouldn't change based on the success of a moral effort. Or else, in Nazi Germany the "rational" decision would be to join the Nazi party and take their criminal orders ... because an individual wouldn't stand a chance. (No, I'm not comparing the CP to Nazis etc.)

And I do think, besides morals, China is interested in boosting their economy, and a free internet can help in that.

Martin Wang [PersonRank 1]

18 years ago #

I was just done with that article. I hope you should pay attention to the following 3 points.

1. It is written in September 7, 2002, when the leader of China was Jiang Zemin. He is different from the current Chinese leader, Hu Jintao, who turns out to be more autocratic. If you have noticed some events happening in China since he came into power, you should understand what I mean. Jiang Zemin was promoted just because of his performance on the event of "Jun. 4th". Imagine what a more autocratic guy is going to do with democracy!

2. After this letter, we can say Google did do his efforts. But what is the result?! Look at We can conclude that he failed. If it is a belief, he "betrayed" his belief, under the pressure of Chinese Communists, just in three years! I dont think it is a good idea that you quoted that article here. It is kinda ironic!

3. As for the whole cryptography thing in 1999, I think it is just a thing which took place before. It has no value of an example or a reference. You can not say demonstration worked once, and it can work forever. No! As I said in the point 1, times have changed, the leadership has changed, and the policies will in turn change. You can not count on some compromise that Chinese Communists gave once. This exception is very rare. And "rare" means that the same thing will nearly impossibly happen again.

I am not negative on purpose. No one than I or we Chinese wants the whole thing can turn better. However, as usual, the wish is at one side, while the truth is at the other side. It is just what it is.

BTW, I appreciate your words of "morals shouldn't change based on the success of a moral effort". We need this.

Dimitar Vesselinov [PersonRank 4]

18 years ago #

Podcast with Sergey Brin at the World Economic Forum in Davos

Isaac Mao [PersonRank 1]

18 years ago #

Can I understand Brin's words in this way:"Because there are already many evil things to Chinese users, what we did only a small evil one that won't impact too much. "?

a [PersonRank 2]

18 years ago #

More and more Chinese, like me, are learning in English, and we're getting used to visit English websites,so it won't be long for the Communists to block not only Chinese contents, but also those in English, which I guess is far more complicated

Remember Kindness [PersonRank 0]

18 years ago #

Could everyone who knows any experts in network math applicable to the economy & politics, please get them to play around w/ the main factors and see if any definite tendency results from main input factors such as the censorship of even 50-odd dissidents and the closing of 10,000-odd internet cafes? Will the Net's expected avg. increase of opportunities and alternate communication channels (e.g. cell phones) be enough to make the censoring useless, & if so how soon? On the other hand, is the censorship strong enough to spread and eventually turn the whole Net into an info -gathering & organization -controlling instrument of Big Brother? & if the latter, then might this empower them to take over more and more of the Net, of economies coordinated by it, & eventually the whole world?

w/ great thanks & hopes for increasing rather than decreasing avg. opportunities and freedoms, and for a world of much awakening, innovation, and prosperity, as soon as possible.

rememberkindness[put at-character here]
POB 95967 Seattle WA 98145-2967

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