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Wednesday, June 22, 2005

The Shotgun is banned in China

On Monday I wrote about how Microsoft's MSN software for China -- called "Spaces" -- prohibits certain unCommunist words, like "freedom" and "demonstration".

Now comes word that China has banned every single blog on Typepad, including the Western Standard.

I don't blame private companies like Cisco or Microsoft, which exist to make money for shareholders, as much as I blame the West's politicians and diplomats, who exist to promote our values, including freedom.Cisco

I'm not sure I'm ready to append the following protest button to The Shotgun yet, but I'll post it here at least for now.

Posted by Ezra Levant on June 22, 2005 | Permalink


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Private companies can't be blamed for wanting to make a profit, but they can be blamed for co-operating with a repressive communist regime to do so. I agree that our leaders do not do near enought speaking and acting out in favour of freedom (especially our governments cozy relationship with China, which The WS detailed so well).
Private individuals, successful due to capitalism should remember that they would have none of that and Microsoft would have been possible had Bill Gates been born in China.
These private companies know they will probably not be blamed by either the right or the left, and nothing will change unless free countries place restrictions US-Cuba style.

Posted by: Charlotte | 2005-06-22 6:45:50 PM

I apologize for the lack of editing in my post above, I meant Microsoft would not have been possible had Gates been born in communist China.

Posted by: Charlotte | 2005-06-22 6:47:38 PM

I read this on the web somewhere last week, in a discussion on this topic: De/\/ocR4CY k4NN07 8e 84NNeD.

I read an essay about a year ago about how in the USSR people would figure out what was going on by paying attention to what the officials were *not* talking about.

My point is that overall, it's better to provide some access to conversational information that it is to provide none, because some is likely over time to become more.

Posted by: Tony | 2005-06-22 8:26:58 PM

So much for the theory that trade with China will lead to a gradual democratization of the country. Let's see...nope.

Posted by: Michael Dabioch | 2005-06-22 8:59:08 PM

There must be some way to shame these companies into cutting their contracts with the PRC. I don't think the general public knows anything about this at all. I have told all my friends but I don't have any connections to the MSM..........?

Posted by: Mallard | 2005-06-22 9:04:17 PM

I am honored to be the victim of a ban. I also admire the fiscal responsibility of the Chinese government -- in addition to planting 1,000 intelligence operatives in Canada, they have achieved this blog ban, at a fraction of what Allan Rock would have cost the Canadian taxpayer to do the same thing in Ottawa.

Posted by: Plato's Stepchild | 2005-06-22 9:42:26 PM

I wonder how long it will take for Chinese bloggers to get around this ban?

Posted by: EBD | 2005-06-22 10:00:12 PM

The pendulum will swing back and forth, EBD. Sometimes the individuals will be ahead of the government, and sometimes we'll lose. As Albert Camus wrote:

"I leave Sisyphus at the foot of the mountain. One always finds one's burden again. But Sisyphus teaches the higher fidelity that negates the gods and raises rocks. He too concludes that all is well. This universe henceforth without a master seems to him neither sterile nor futile. Each atom of that stone, each mineral flake of that night filled mountain, in itself forms a world. The struggle itself toward the heights is enough to fill a man's heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy."

Posted by: Tony | 2005-06-22 10:16:58 PM

Ideally these companies should all be following the model of doing what's best for their shareholders, even if it means trading with fascist and dangerous regimes. There is something kind of ironic, however, in the fact that these same firms don't mind spending scads of shareholder cash on so-called "corporate responsibility" initiatives in the U.S. but are happy to prop up a murderous regime abroad. I guess they only have a social conscious when it comes to American lives.

Some links:

CISCO's social commitment:

CISCO's ethical commitment:

Microsoft's commitment to Global Citizenship:

Posted by: Kevin Libin | 2005-06-22 11:09:19 PM

I am not so sure censorship-enabling Cisco and Microsoft are above censure for the business they are doing in China. Microsoft will surely one day pay a price for selling out Chinese freedom (as opposed to dumbocracy). Are North American corporations and financiers who did business with Nazi Germany, the USSR, or even South African Apartheid so easily forgiven?

Posted by: JC | 2005-06-23 1:07:33 AM

Folks, it's India not China......
India replacing China as new trade attraction

[jch] [[ddff-ltd] | Global Broadband Strategies] | POSTED: 06.22.05 @09:33

Posted by: maz2 | 2005-06-23 5:56:56 AM

Michael D. You're probably right. The Soveit Union was brought down because western countries denied them access to both technology AND capital.

With China we've done the opposite; we,ve fed them technological innovation and we,ve supplied them with endless quantities of capital.

The result?

The old communist guard has slowly morphed into a nationalist/fascist dictatorship.

But they DO look dapper in those western suits, don»'t they?

Who knows.........in another few years if the Chinese decide to withold shirts from the North American market, we'll all by typeing topless!

Free markets are a NECESSARY precondition for democracy, but they are NOT sufficient.

Posted by: John Palubiski | 2005-06-23 7:31:31 AM

Chinese spies come in from the Cold...only to get Heat
Posted by Jeff Head
On 06/23/2005 8:07:21 AM PDT · 3 replies · 48+ views

Asian Pacific Post ^ | June 2005 | Jagdeesh Mann
June 2005 They come from different backgrounds with the same story. But the countries they are in — Canada and Australia — refuse to believe them or publicly acknowledge what they are saying. Why? Because both administrations have huge and influential money ties with China which has never been closer. The latest diplomatic crises involving Chinese spies overseas is playing out in Australia after a Chinese First Secretary Chen Yonglin applied for asylum in Sydney. Chen has alleged there are 1,000 Chinese spies in Australia and that abductions sponsored by the Chinese Government take place Down Under. He said he..



Posted by: maz2 | 2005-06-23 9:32:17 AM

"Microsoft and Cisco should be ashamed of whoring themselves like this"

I agree.

""Private companies can't be blamed for wanting to make a profit"

Drug dealers can't be blamed for wanting to make a profit either."

One's legal, ones not. Real smart there, Rahbert.

Posted by: ld | 2005-06-23 11:14:39 AM

It's funny when Rube shows how stupid he is.

Posted by: jhuck | 2005-06-23 11:17:39 AM

Bob McClelland, i don't post here because I'm a right-winger; I post here because I'm a true progressive.

Islamo-fascist shariah crazed nutters running as NDP candidates? That, dear Bob, is where the right-wing is to be found these days.

Just ask any socially concious gay man.

Posted by: John Palubiski | 2005-06-23 11:25:12 AM

Ezra, thanks for adding the button. There are a few more at my site (following the link in Rebecca's post will get you there). FWIW: I'm not saying that Cisco is knowingly complicit in helping China censor the internet, although questions can be asked, but I feel that this is a better way to get attention than to attack the clear and proven culprits (the CPC). The CPC do not care and will not respond to the blogosphere's outrage on this. But if this does get picked up in Congress, or becomes a corporate-social-responsibility issue, there is a better chance for change.

Posted by: myrick | 2005-06-23 7:26:21 PM

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