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Posted: 1/7/2006 7:58:42 AM EDT
AKA "following the law"h=85%

Microsoft Shuts Down Chinese Blog
Jan 06 8:53 AM US/Eastern

BEIJING
Microsoft Corp. has shut down the Internet journal of a Chinese blogger that discussed politically sensitive issues including a recent strike at a Beijing newspaper.

The action came amid criticism by free-speech activists of foreign technology companies that help the communist government enforce censorship or silence dissent in order to be allowed into China's market.

Microsoft's China-based Web log-hosting service shut down the blog at the Chinese government's request, said Brooke Richardson, group product manager with Microsoft's MSN online division at the company headquarters in Redmond, Washington.

Though Beijing has supported Internet use for education and business, it fiercely polices content. Filters block objectionable foreign Web sites and regulations ban subversive and pornographic content and require service providers to enforce censorship rules.

"When we operate in markets around the world we have to ensure that our service complies with global laws as well as local laws and norms," Richardson said.

Richardson said the blog was shut down on Dec. 30 or 31 but wouldn't give any other details about the reason.

But the blog, written under the pen name An Ti by Zhao Jing, who works for the Beijing bureau of The New York Times as a research assistant, touched on sensitive topics such as China's relations with Taiwan. Last week, he used the blog to crusade on behalf of a Beijing newspaper.

Reporters at the Beijing News, a daily known for its aggressive reporting, staged an informal one-day strike after their chief editor was removed from his post. The editor's removal and the strike attracted comments on Chinese online bulletin boards, which censors then erased.

Online bulletin boards and Web logs have given millions of Chinese an opportunity to express opinions in a public setting in a system where all media are government-controlled.

But service providers are required to monitor Web logs and bulletin boards, erase banned content and report offenders.

Foreign companies have adopted Chinese standards, saying they must obey local laws.

Microsoft's Web log service bars use of terms such as "democracy" and "human rights." On the China-based portal of search engine Google, a search for material the Dalai Lama, Taiwan and other sensitive topics returns a message saying "site cannot be found."

Last year, Web portal Yahoo! was the target of criticism when it was disclosed that the company provided information that was used to convict a Chinese reporter on charges of revealing state secrets.

Reporter Shi Tao was sentenced to 10 years in prison based on an e- mail that he had sent abroad with details of a memo read out at his newspaper about media controls.

In September, a Chinese journalist was sentenced to seven years in prison on subversion charges after writing articles that appeared on Web sites abroad that are blocked in China.

China also is in the midst of a crackdown on online smut. The police ministry said last month that it had shut down 598 Web sites with sexually explicit content and arrested 25 people.

David Wolf, a Beijing-based technology consultant, said that while Microsoft might be hurt abroad by controversy over its actions in China, Chinese Internet services routinely exercise similar censorship.

"They simply do it as a matter of course," said Wolf, managing director of Wolf Group Asia. "When you're looking around China, there is nothing that Microsoft and Yahoo have to do that is any different from what Chinese companies already are doing."



Wait, this can't be true - I thought free trade and new markets would bring the world prosperity and democracy - the "free flow of ideas". Or is it that they really just want to prostitute themselves to fulfill the purposes of corrupt regimes in exchange for the almighty dollar? Couldn't be...hinking.gif

Their slogan should be "Microsoft - bringing Communist totalitarian repression into the 21st century."
Link Posted: 1/7/2006 8:53:39 AM EDT
Their country, their rules.

Would you go to China to protest Communism, then at your trial after being arrested complain about free speech? Give me a break. If the server is in China, it must abide by their laws.

I don't like it anymore than you, but that's life.
Link Posted: 1/7/2006 8:59:08 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Fly-Navy:
Their country, their rules.

Would you go to China to protest Communism, then at your trial after being arrested complain about free speech? Give me a break. If the server is in China, it must abide by their laws.

I don't like it anymore than you, but that's life.




It's not mentioned in this article, but the blog was on a US based MS site.

So it's our laws and their enforcements.

Glad to see the freedom of speech doesn't apply HERE if china doesn't like it.
Link Posted: 1/7/2006 9:08:40 AM EDT
It would be really nice if the big international fiber providers simply shut off the internet for China, and told them to come back when they have a First Amendment of their own.
Link Posted: 1/7/2006 9:32:51 AM EDT
Microsoft's duty is to its shareholders, not to the civil rights of Chinese nationals.
Link Posted: 1/7/2006 10:44:14 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Tannim:

Originally Posted By Fly-Navy:
Their country, their rules.

Would you go to China to protest Communism, then at your trial after being arrested complain about free speech? Give me a break. If the server is in China, it must abide by their laws.

I don't like it anymore than you, but that's life.




It's not mentioned in this article, but the blog was on a US based MS site.

So it's our laws and their enforcements.

Glad to see the freedom of speech doesn't apply HERE if china doesn't like it.




Microsoft's China-based Web log-hosting service shut down the blog at the Chinese government's request, said Brooke Richardson, group product manager with Microsoft's MSN online division at the company headquarters in Redmond, Washington.


Sounds like it was in China.
Link Posted: 1/7/2006 10:49:04 AM EDT

Their country, their rules.

Would you go to China to protest Communism, then at your trial after being arrested complain about free speech? Give me a break. If the server is in China, it must abide by their laws.

I don't like it anymore than you, but that's life.



I'm not argueing the fact that its their country, their rules (to the extent we both realize that its not the people who are making the rules, but the communist party and its members). I'm pointing out that capitalism unrestrained by conscience is ruling the day here. The "opening" of China and engagement in business will never succeed in making the people of China free if American business aren't willing to put principles over profits.

In order to do business in China, Microsoft and Yahoo directly participate in human rights violations. The only following orders defence was shot down at Nuremburg.

At some point in time, maybe still, the Chinese gov't did not have the technological capability to pursue disidents etc. who committed "offenses" online. Western companies give them that ability. If they collectively told the Chi-coms to take a hike or have no ISP's, there wouldn't be anything they could do.
Link Posted: 1/7/2006 10:52:40 AM EDT

Microsoft's IG Farben's, IBM's duty is to its shareholders, not to the civil rights of Chinese nationals. German Jews


IBM and the Holocaust
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