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In China, U.S. tech companies face free speech choices

In China, U.S. tech companies face free speech choices
In China, U.S. tech companies face free speech choices





http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2005/09/18/MNGDUEPNLA1.DTL 

Chinese Internet vs. free speech
Hard choices for U.S. tech giants

Carrie Kirby, Chronicle Staff Writer
Sunday, September 18, 2005

U.S. tech giants are helping the Chinese express themselves online -- as 
long as they don't write about democracy, Tibet, sex, Tiananmen Square, 
Falun Gong, government corruption or any other taboo subject.

Microsoft bans "democracy" and "Dalai Lama" from the Chinese version of 
its blog site. Yahoo recently turned over information that helped the 
Chinese government track down and imprison a journalist for the crime of 
forwarding an e-mail. Google omits banned publications from its Chinese 
news service.

Critics say that cooperating with governments to suppress free speech 
violates human rights, international law and corporate ethics. But what 
the experts can't agree on is what the companies should do about it. The 
Internet -- even with limitations -- is generally considered a powerful 
democratizing force. If international companies withdrew from the 
Chinese Internet market, the result might mean even fewer chances for 
free communications there.

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