So China just renewed Google’s license to operate there. Google has tried to “abide by Chinese law” as they prefer to put it. Chinese law says: The communist party decides what’s the truth and what not. What’s not true shall neither be published nor searched for.
Are multinational corporations like Google good law abiding citizens? Rarely. Is Google abiding by the laws elsewhere? Well, just look at the other news today.
May I cite:
from BBC: “Google’s Street View ‘snoops’ on Congress members” (my emphasis):
[The search giant said the snippets could include parts of an email, text, photograph, or even the website someone might be viewing.
"We think the Google Wi-Spy effort is one of the biggest wire tapping scandals in US history," John Simpson of Consumer Watchdog told BBC News.]
from AP (via Yahoo! News): “Australia: Google Street View broke privacy law” (my emphasis):
[Google broke Australia's privacy law when it collected private information from wireless networks, the country's privacy commissioner said Friday, following an investigation into the Internet giant's "Street View" mapping service.
In May, Google acknowledged it had mistakenly collected fragments of data over public Wi-Fi networks in more than 30 countries while it was taking pictures of neighborhoods for the Street View feature. ]
Just think about it! How absurd this sounds. They mistakenly spied for years on hundreds of millions of people in around 30 countries! Wow. That’s quite a big “mistake” if you ask me. Sounds like a thousand BP oil spills.
Google StreetView operators might have had access to your email, they might know the websites you have visited. They know who you are and where you live. The data has been collected and Google still has it. And btw. Google collects such data using other tools as well.
So let’s return to China issue: Google is trying to abide by the law in China. They are really trying hard by breaking every major law of democratic countries like the US or from Europe. Most if not all of these countries guarantee free speech not only by law but in the constitution.
OK, so Google China now doesn’t redirect anymore to Google Hong Kong, the allegedly uncensored search in Chinese. You have to click now to get there. Now, that’s fine? Don’t you think? This way the Chinese people can see uncensored results!
Sorry to disappoint you: Google Hong Kong gets censored as well. I needed just one search query to find it out: I’ve searched for [police brutality china] and got some results, none of real brutality on top though.
Then I tried the same search on Google.com, Google.co.uk, Google.de, Google.pl etc.
Everywhere else I got the same but different results, Chinese police officers beating down monks and other demonstrators. So Google keeps on censoring in China and lying about it.
Google’s fake excuse of “abiding by the laws” is just a cynical way to deal with critics.
Now that we have the topic of police brutality and abiding by the laws: Recently a new law has been passed in Toronto, Canada for the G20 sumit granting the police powers only known from dictatorships. They could detain anybody without reason and by using force. They did. Watch this video below to find out how it looked from the peaceful protester and innocent bystander perspective. Also listen to the police beating down harmless people: “We’re just obeying orders.”
Abiding by the laws and obeying orders is sometimes not enough.
When laws or orders do not abide by the universal human rights and democratic principles you are actually breaking laws by abiding by the laws and obeying orders. I’m pretty sure that in Canada pretty soon some high ranking politicians and police offers will be sacked and tried in court for abiding by undemocratic laws and obeying criminal orders.
Google abides only by the laws they choose to. They ignored and broke the laws of most countries Google StreetView data has been collected in. Sorry, I don’t believe they just didn’t now what data they collect for years. I’m not that naive. Also they censor results in China and Hong Kong, a practice illegal everywhere else.
Are you in China? Do you speak Chinese? Can you access Google Hong Kong and are the results censored as well?