Monday, December 19, 2005

Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, et al ... made in China?

The other day I briefly mentioned the involvement of various U.S.-based companies in assisting the Chinese government filter Internet content.

Concurring Opinions (Should Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft Help China Filter Searches?) brings up some great points with the benefit of some legal insight as well as just plain common sense.
Should Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft be cooperating? Is business always business? Or should businesses refuse to cooperate with certain foreign legal regimes? If it is acceptable for businesses to cooperate, is there a limit to the level of cooperation that should be provided?

These questions don't have an easy answer. Is it acceptable when Yahoo or Google help France and Germany filter out pro-Nazi websites? Hypothetically, would it have been acceptable for Yahoo or Google to have helped the Nazi regime in identifying Jews? Where should the line be drawn?

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