Death by HTML

China seems hellbent on preventing its people from having the basic right of thought, of being able to communicate these thoughts with each other, and the right to knowledge. The government there routinely and emphatically censors Web content and punishes, sometimes to death, anyone who violates these laws (provided they can get their hands on them.) Think about it, bloggers and webmasters being imprisoned or killed. It’s ludicrous.

More so perhaps is the idea that American companies like Cisco and Yahoo! aid in this, the former providing technology that directly promotes censorship and Yahoo!, aside from being the search engine with the most censorship in China, has helped to imprison three Chinese citizens at the government’s request.

Certainly one can say “Well, them’s the laws over there in China, so companies needs to be respectin’ them laws.”

“Hong Kong Fooey,” I reply. How can any company who has made their fortunes in a land where freedom is not only a basic right, it’s a cliché so rich in sarcasm and pointlessness that we don’t feel it even means anything anymore? Yahoo! would not exist were the US to have enforced similar practices on our Internet access as the Web began to develop, and certainly Cisco cannot exist without information, the very commodity they’re helping China to suppress.

The hypocrisy is too great to bear. The exploitation of an entire people in exchange for the profits they can simultaneously provide. Both of the above articles are an eye-opening, or at least eye-reopening, insight into the realities of human cruelty, greed and desensitization.

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