Friday, January 06, 2006

American Companies Help Squelch Chinese Democracy

Whatever role America plays in the eventual and (I believe) inevitable downfall of Chinese Communism, there will be little need to stop and thank Microsoft and Yahoo for playing their part. Just this week Microsoft removed a Chinese blogger's Web site from its service because he posted comments critical of the Chinese government. Similar actions taken by Yahoo a short time back led to the jailing of another Chinese democratic activist.

Top executives at Microsoft and Yahoo blithely state that they are merely following the laws that govern commerce (and, incidentally, the limited expression of free thought) in China. The fact that people are being jailed, persecuted, and censored for free expression apparently has no impact on them, since it has no impact on either company's ability to make money there.

I understand the fact that international rules of commerce dictate that companies act within the laws of the countries they operate. And I am well aware that both Microsoft and Yahoo have been instrumental in spreading beneficial computer technology and information around the world. However, these facts only demonstrate the duplicity and callous behavior these companies exhibit when it comes to their dealings in China. At best, they are being used by the communists to help squelch free speech. At worst, they are partners in this anti-democracy enterprise.

Either way, attention should be paid to their actions, and a level of accountability should be called upon them.

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home