Free Speech on the Internet

Western companies are starting to realize the profitability of the explosive economic growth happening in China and are cashing in on the opportunity. Web multi-nationals are also moving in to support the country’s increased web traffic and commerical online presence. Only things are a little different there as far as what you can say and get away with.

Seems like Yahoo and Microsoft, Google a bit too, are in hog heaven out there, as regulations in China allow them to track users, content, media and opinions and control them, but they can also tell the government what people are up to. Finally, what they’ve been wanting for years. This has lead to prison sentences and anti-subversion clamp-downs. This article on Wired illustrates the potential dangers to us when the ‘free-speech’ internet becomes a trap to the undiscerning user. After requesting billions of search trends from Yahoo and Google, complete with the I.P. numbers of the computers who performed the searches, the U.S. government is threatening to take us down the same road as China.

It made me think of that PeoplePC commercial. (China might contest the copyright on that one). Shows all those black-shaded people drudgingly carrying on thier pointless lives on some planet, until one of them lights up in blue (the color of the company’s logo, of course) and then spreads the words to the others, making them blue as well. That’s symbolism for revolution, people. If it was a government commercial you’d probably see a bunch of tanks running the blue stick-figures over and tear gas exploding in the ranks of blue rioters.

‘PeoplePC… A better way to internet – without the subversives’.

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