February 16, 2006

Don't Be Evil, Unless It Is For Profit

From Cox & Forkum:

Sometimes, situations necessitate--no, demand--bipartisan condemnation:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. lawmakers lashed out at Google Inc. and other prominent Internet companies on Wednesday, with one Democrat questioning "how your corporate leadership sleeps at night" because of the companies' alleged complicity in human rights abuses by the Chinese government.

As representatives from Google, Yahoo Inc., Cisco Systems Inc. and Microsoft Corp. looked on, lawmakers from both political parties delivered withering attacks and called for oversight on dealings with China.

"Your abhorrent activities in China are a disgrace. I simply do not understand how your corporate leadership sleeps at night," said Rep. Tom Lantos, the ranking Democrat on a House International Relations subcommittee on human rights. Lantos' California district includes the high-tech empire of Silicon Valley.
Perhaps Google should reissue their motto, "Don't Be Evil" with a slight modification: "Do No Evil". Or at least quit offering lame excuses:

"The requirements of doing business in China include self-censorship -- something that runs counter to Google's most basic values and commitments as a company," said Google Vice President Elliot Schrage.

"In an imperfect world, we had to make an imperfect choice," he said.
Republicans also condemned such mealy-mouthed equivocation and obfuscation:

Google, the world's most used search engine, breached its own ``Don't be Evil'' policy stated at a 2004 stock offering, said Representative Christopher Smith, who heads the House Subcommittee on Africa, Global Human Rights and International Operations.

``It has become evil's accomplice,'' said Smith, a New Jersey Republican.
It is one thing to be censored, or for your internet utilities to be censored by a third party, but to actually assist that third party (the capitalist/Communist/dictatorial Chinese government) in actively censoring its own citizenry by manipulating search results and limiting internet capabilities renders these companies beneath contempt. A Yahoo executive offers further proof of a lack of company values (other than profits) and support for democratic ideals:

``I couldn't sit in an office in California and tell a Chinese citizen in Beijing not to follow a lawful demand of the Chinese government,'' Yahoo's Callahan said.
Not all laws are lawful or just, as the Nuremberg Laws or any Communist fiat surely was not lawful. Google, Yahoo, etc. have just joined the long list of corporate enablers (much closer to actually performing the function of "little Eichmanns" that Ward "Walking Eagle" Churchill mistakenly attributed to the victims of 9/11) who have given cover to totalitarian governments for the sake of the bottom line. Sometimes money isn't everything, or the right thing.

Stop The ACLU Quick Hits


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