An unofficial blog that watches Google's attempts to move your operating system online since 2005. Not affiliated with Google.

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January 25, 2006

Google's dilemma

"Google's dilemma with China is a near-textbook case study on the deep question of how much assistance, if any, companies chartered in free societies should render to regimes that censor political and cultural expression," said Jon Zittrain, a Harvard Law School scholar who has studied Chinese censorship.

"V.I. Lenin gloated that western businessmen would greedily sell Communists the very rope they would later be hanged with. He was right about the greed. But history has found that the market economies that efficiently produced rope, and all other inputs and outputs, continue to prosper.

Google may regret its embarrassing moment. But I suspect the reverse. Chinese autocrats will one day look back fondly on a world before global communications networks, when searching the internet was difficult and the masses knew their place."

(Thomas Hazlett: Google’s beautiful China paradox)