Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Lawmakers Chide Google and Yahoo on China Deals; Corporate Rats

Article: U.S. Lawmakers Lecture Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft on China Censorship

As a technology professional I often encounters issues that challenge ethical boundries, however the case of Yahoo ratting out Chinese freedom activists and both Google and Yahoo censoring content the line has been crossed.

Google has a policy vowing to "do no evil" but in this case they are doing just that. How many dissidents sitting in prison right now because of the actions of these companies remains unknown. What is known is that when corporations are faced with ethical issues that confront their bottom line, they can't always be trusted to side with ethics.

Our government needs leaders who value democracy and are unwilling to make deals with fascist nations. Our neo-liberal dealings with China are a major setback to democracy and pose a threat to our national security. Corporations need laws created because simply put, they can't be trusted to do the right thing. In this case Google executives were essentially asking for just that.

We can't have corporations acting as government agents for the Communist regime in China, as they should not be corporate cops for the Communists. It is time for reforms when it comes to our business dealings with that nation. It is evident that liberalized trade will not convert the nation into a democracy, as freedoms have been rolled back over the past 10 years. Given our record trade deficits it is also clear that this nation will never respect trade laws, stop manipulating the yuan, or change in any meaningful way.

The sooner we start imposing limits on trade with China, the sooner that nation will transform into a democracy and show respect for human rights. We have tried the carrot and now it is time for the stick. The $49 DVD players from Wal-Mart aren't worth the cost to human rights and our economic stability. Enough is enough.

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