US Congress steps into Chinese Web censorship

Reuters reports Cisco, Google, Microsoft and Yahoo have all been called to a congressional hearing on global human rights next week.The hearings follow Google's announcement on Tuesday that the company would block taboo terms in China such as democracy, Tibet, Falun Gong, and not offer email, chat and blog publishing services that could be used for political protest.

The moves by lawmakers come as Internet experts are evaluating the effectiveness of the self-censorship, which one Chinese blogger called Google's "eunuch version"; a reference to the emasculated palace servants of historic China.

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Good for Congress

I don't care whether it's an election year or not. American companies should not be able suffocate the free flow of information. If China wants a filtered 'net, let them build their own index.Of course, if our Congress weren't on a witch hunt against P2P and so obsessed with Digital Rights Managment, it'd be easier for dissidents in many countries to communicate and share information.It's my (undocumented) belief that many of the content restriction technologies (DRM, geolocation) created here in America are used by repressive countries like China to block access to unapproved information.Besides, it'll be healthy to document that whatever the search engines are doing for China, they can do for the United States whenever the "inherent power" to "defend the country" calls for it.

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