There’s a fascinating story today in the Washington Post about Zhao Jing, a Chinese blogger who’s apparently be driving the authorities crazy. His posts on political and cultural issues have been getting the attention of a government where “free speech” can be criminal.
But who did the Chinese government turn to suppress his blog? Microsoft. That’s right. More and more American companies are becoming complicit in supression and censorship in exchange for access to this burgeoning market. The Post reports that when the government contacted Microsoft – who owned the server Jing’s blog was on – Microsoft deleted the blog.
There’s a disturbing number of stories about Google filtering it’s search results per the government’s specifications, and other companies modifying their programming in exchange for for access.
For a country where freedom of speech is a cornerstone of our democracy, our own companies censoring information is a real concern. Bloggers across the country have been outraged, but we’ll see if values and principles trump business in the global village…