WASHINGTON – A Tibetan news agency operating outside the country dominated by China has picked up Joseph Farah’s indictment of Internet search engine Google for censoring news and information at the behest of the totalitarian government in Beijing.
Farah made the case against Google in his new book, “Stop the Presses! The Inside Story of the New Media Revolution,” characterizing the company as “evil.” Google’s corporate motto is “Don’t be evil.”
“Internet search engine Google, which WND reported earlier censors its search results in China to meet government demands, now is censoring criticism of China in the United States, according to one website owner,” reports Phayul.
The Tibetan news agency continues: “WND has documented that Google already disregards commemorations of national American holidays such as Memorial Day but honors China’s year of the pig, has refused to link to news sources critical of radical Islam but hosts blogs containing homosexual pornography, hosts blogs promoting ‘boy love’ and sexual relationships between men and adolescents but refuses to run ads from a Christian ministry to homosexuals, and has blocked ads attacking Bill and Hillary Clinton but welcomes ads attacking President Bush and other Republican leaders.”
Meanwhile, Chris Langdon of ChinaIsEvil says China is blocking criticism of China originating in the U.S. and has refused to accept his ads.
In “Stop The Presses,” Farah makes what is, to date, the most definitive moral case against Google, with the following indictments:
- The company refuses to give the U.S. government records of impersonal data regarding searches that threaten no one, but happily provides information about potential dissidents to the tyrannical, repressive dictators in Beijing.
- The company disregards commemorations of national American holidays such as Memorial Day, but never forgets to remind users about Halloween and Earth Day.
- The company has refused to link to some news sources critical of radical Islam, but hosts blogs containing homosexual pornography.
- The company hosts blogs promoting “boy love” and sexual relationships between men and adolescents, but refuses to run ads from a Christian ministry to homosexuals.
- The company’s top executive presides over a business that makes it easy to find out nearly anything about anyone, but protests when people use his service to find out about him.
- The company has blocked ads attacking Bill and Hillary Clinton, but won’t welcomes ads attacking President Bush and other Republican leaders.
- The company, apparently in its bid to romance Beijing, wiped Taiwan, an independent and free island nation, off the face of its Internet maps.
- The company, one of the great free enterprise success stories of the decade, gives nearly all of its political donations to those who seek to rein in and regulate capitalism.
An entire chapter of “Stop The Presses” is devoted to Google’s questionable – and, often, seemingly hypocritical, decisions and policies.
“I became passionate about Google in January 2006 when the company refused to hand over data on search patterns to the U.S. Justice Department in an investigation into child pornography,” explains Farah.
Google cited the privacy of its users.
“But understand that the U.S. government was not looking for details about personal usage – only for search patterns that would show the effectiveness of anti-porn filters,” Farah writes. “The government was trying to prove that minors could stumble on to child-porn websites by accident by entering quite innocent search terms. Its lawyers say that for its case to be tested, it needs a sample of actual searches.”
Yahoo!, Microsoft’s MSN and America Online all agreed to cooperate, insisting they would not hand over data that identified individual users. But Google, whose name has become synonymous with searches, refused.
“Now, I find it very, very difficult to rationalize that bad decision at Google,” wrote Farah. “But, let’s give the Google guys a break and imagine that they are trying to stand up against big government in some principled way. Let’s say that they resent centralized authority in general and believe it is dangerous to cave into its demands. There’s a little problem. If that were Google’s position, it went out the window a week later. When the Chinese government, a totalitarian force unrivaled in the world today for brutality, harshness and freakish control, asked Google to censor its search results in China in exchange for more access to the world’s fastest-growing Internet market, the search giant caved in without protest.”
Google agreed to create a unique address for China to ensure its people would not get access to information the government deemed threatening.
“You can be sure no one in China will be able to Google the content of, say, WorldNetDaily.com,” writes Farah. “To get the Chinese license, Google agreed to omit Web content that the country’s government finds objectionable. Incredibly, Google will base its censorship decisions on guidance provided by Chinese government officials. In other words, in case you don’t yet see the point, Google flouts reasonable government requests designed to protect children from the emotional and spiritual ravages of porn, but accedes without protest to the demands of dictators only interested in denying their people information.”
Google’s decision means Chinese Internet users will continue to be sheltered from reading about subjects such as Taiwan’s independence movement, 1989’s Tiananmen Square massacre, citizens protests about the environment and the country’s one-child population-control policies.
Google officials say they “agonized” over the decision.
“That suggests they know they did something wrong,” concludes Farah. “When you struggle with your own conscience like that, there’s a reason. But the bottom line and the continuing appeal of communism with weak-minded ‘progressives’ like those who run the company, won the day. No wonder Google hasn’t been using the ‘Don’t be evil’ slogan much: They can’t live by it – and they know it.”
How do Google executives justify their actions?
“We firmly believe, with our culture of innovation, Google can make meaningful and positive contributions to the already impressive pace of development in China,” said Andrew McLaughlin, Google’s senior policy counsel.
Farah says that translates: “We need this marketplace – at all costs. While we will never pay a price for fighting the U.S. government’s reasonable requests, we know there will be a huge economic impact for refusing Beijing’s demands.”
“This is a real shame,” said Julien Pain, head of Reporters Without Borders’ Internet desk. “When a search engine collaborates with the government like this, it makes it much easier for the Chinese government to control what is being said on the Internet.”
Farah writes: “Google has clearly chosen sides in the struggle for freedom in the world. It has chosen the side of slavery – and higher profits. It’s despicable. It’s evil. It’s immoral.”
What is the definition of irony?
“A company that gives nearly all its political money to the Democratic Party but bans searches of the word ‘democracy’ in countries that don’t permit it,” writes Farah. “When I say Google gives nearly all of its political contributions to one party, I am not exaggerating. As I reported in 2005, in the three previous election cycles, Google employee contributions went to the Democrats to the tune of $463,500, with a paltry $5,000 going to the Republicans.”
What made Farah track the money?
“Way back in the Watergate era we were told to ‘follow the money,'” he says. “It says so much about motivations. You can tell where people’s hearts are by watching their pocketbooks. And, if that saying is true, the hearts of Google employees – from the lowest level to the highest level – belong in the Democratic Party.”
Of approximately 200 individual Google employee political contributions to political candidates in 2004, 2002 and 2000, all but six went to Democrats, Democratic Party organizations and Democrat-supporting organizations such as MoveOn.org. One $250 contribution went to Ralph Nader, one went to President Bush’s campaign and three went to Utah Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch’s campaigns.
Google Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Eric Schmidt was by far the biggest benefactor, giving $100,000 to the Democratic National Committee in 2000, $25,000 to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in 2004, as well as maximum $2,000 contributions to 2004 Democratic presidential candidates Sens. John Kerry and Joe Lieberman, Gov. Howard Dean and Rep. Richard Gephardt.
The most striking thing about the list of Google political activists is the one-sided nature of the giving, Farah contends. From programmers to engineers to scientists to business development staff to general managers, there is near unanimity in support of Democrats and Democrat organizations.
“Now, should it surprise us when we see Google’s political values reflected in its content?” asks Farah. “I believe when you see that kind of rigid political regimentation and unity in a company, it should surprise you if you don’t see it.”