It should come as no surprise to anyone -- least of all to Google founding whiz kids Sergey Brin and Larry Page -- that reporting of their company's recent announcement that it would stop cooperating with Chinese Internet censorship was itself heavily censored in China. Although, as the New York Times noted, "Some big Chinese news portals initially carried a short dispatch on Google's announcement," news of the decision "soon tumbled from the headlines." Later reports omitted all references to "free speech" and "surveillance."
Google is said to be considering shutting down its entire operation in China, and has predictably been getting lots of love and props in the blogosphere for doing the right thing and standing up to the Chinese "Evil Empire."
But does a company with a stated corporate goal of "Don't Be Evil" really deserve praise for finally pulling the plug on its longstanding cooperation with the Great Firewall of Chinese Internet control?
I think not.