Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Microsoft Under Fire For Censoring China Blogs

This item may seem like a departure for a blog that usually focuses on the Gospel and efforts to proclaim it in our world. But I have mentioned in previous posts attacks by the Chinese government on Christians, particularly those who attempt to share their faith.

Now, according to an article in Computer World, Microsoft and other providers of internet services in China are helping the government there to censor news and blog discussions pertaining to the most basic issues of human rights:

"Putting itself in the middle of a major Web controversy, Microsoft acknowledged that its new MSN China Internet venture is censoring words such as "freedom," "democracy" and "human rights" on its free online journals."

Does this include censorship of religious ideas? Another article indicates that it does.

The article went on to add, "China represents the world's second-largest Internet market with 94 million users at the end of 2004, a number expected to rise to 134 million by the end of this year, according to official data."

If the concept of human rights is to have any sort of universally understood meaning, we cannot allow U.S. companies doing business in China to hide behind claims that they are simply abiding by the "laws, regulations and norms of each country" in which they operate, lest the denial of freedoms there lead to the erosion of freedoms everywhere.

You can contact any of these companies via their websites. Write and let them know you care: Microsoft, Yahoo, eBay, Amazon.com, InterActiveCorp, Sun Microsystems, Cisco Systems, Nortel Networks, Websense Inc.

No comments: