Chinese Expand Internet Censorship- Set Sights on Google Earth
Image via CrunchBaseMapping China and the law
I found this posting from the Ogle Earth weblog, a Google Earth development community, particularly interesting. I am not surprised that the CCP has grown wary of companies such as Google, whose stated goal is to undermine suppression of individual freedom, and I used to believe that Google would never succumb to the pressures that be when pressed about their sensitive technologies. However, I have been very disappointed in the company since they decided to comply with Chinese censorship guidelines for their blogs and search results.
For the companies executives and founders to seriously claim that they are "doing no evil" by removing any reference to the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre from their search results, they must not have meant it when they made it their companies mission in the first place. I still hold out hope that they will soon do the right thing and refuse to self-censor their content. Who cares, the government censors still control the network, so they can just filter anything they want themselves, there is no reason to make it any easier for them. Some estimates place the number of government employed internet censors at roughly 30,000, giving them a more than adequate cyber-Gestapo to make sure the government doesn't look too bad.
I have no doubt that any attempt to restrict satellite imagery of their territory would be quickly met with protest and even temporary shutdown from Google's Chinese operation, but it should not take such a drastic event for the greatest company in the history of the world (at least as far as I am concerned) to do the right thing.