Postcards from the Bleeding Edge
Wednesday, February 01, 2006

  a graphic example of censorship

I am outraged at google caving into Chinese censorship. We're talking at least 20 extra points of blood pressure here. I'd go into it more, but the following two urls demonstrate the problem more eloquently. (click on each)

Google China http://images.google.cn/images?q=tiananmen

Google the rest of the world: http://images.google.com/images?q=tiananmen

INFURIATING. I have a personal story about censorship that I'll share once I've calmed down. On the other hand, I take much joy in that wikipedia has taken on the US congress... in the name of TRUTH and seems to be winning, thus far. I'm sure a few embarrassed congressional staffers are wishing that Wikipedia would cave in, like google (and for that matter, msn) just did.

What does Wikipedia got that google doesn't? Balls. And no sissy weasel worded responsibility to the shareholders, only a responsibility to the truth. Google should remember that in part, its responsibility to its shareholders is in being a trusted source for reliable information.

By so blatantly exposing the evils of censorship, of what happens when something falls down the memory hole, perhaps google has done the world a favor. It is too soon to tell. In other news, yes, Winston, we have always done business with Oceana.

UPDATE: So I took some time to calm down and try to dissect all sides of the issue.

I did catch the google spin on things, and lost my temper again.Yes, google, these problems are endemic within China's internet services, but not entirely for the reason you state, and there is another solution. The real reason why the network sucks in China is because the internet connections TO China is dropping 10% or more of the packets that pass through it on any given day. China's net connection is saturated, in other words, and has been for years. Once a packet leaps off of AT&T's network, it gets STUCK, or lost.

The bandwidth problem is easy to solve: Upgrade China's internet connections to the rest of the world to the demands being placed on them. They could easily drag OC-48 or OC-192 fiber through Singapore and Japan, for example.

No caving into censorship required. Oh, China DOESN'T want a faster pipe to the rest of the world? They want to firewall everything? They want local control of their data? TOUGH. Why enable that? Far cheaper to upgrade their connections...

A few hundred high speed wimax routers aimed in from the borders of surrounding countries ought to solve the quality of service problem handily.
 
David Täht writes about politics, space, copyright, the internet, audio software, operating systems and surfing.


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