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Friday, June 6, 2014
China Shuts Google Down But Can You Trust Either One?
before the 25th anniversary of the deadly Tiananmen Square protests,
where 2,600 died in pursuit of leading a democratic revolution in a communist
nation the size of five Americas, China shut down Google in the largest-scaled
act of censorship in the history of the planet.
a little less than 1 in 4 humans live in China, accounting for 1.6 billion out
of a planet of 7 billion people. Not only were those in China blocked from
communicating via Gmail or
widgets search, images, or translation services, but anyone from anywhere in
the world could not use Google to connect with those in China.
Though we’ve come to expect such actions from
the Chinese, the level of intensity appears unprecedented.
It makes you realize how information is
controlled and influenced by governments, corporate gatekeepers like Google
itself, service providers like Amazon, and mercenary hackers who have their own
Even in the era of social media, where
everyone has access to reach everyone (in theory), the democratization of the
Internet can be compromised any time the giant forces want to throw their
The truth is we rarely have free speech in
its purest form. For instance:
·Can you tell your boss to drop dead? Yes, but
you’ll be unemployed.
·Can you tell people, in a personal blog, that
you have bad things to say about someone? Yes, but you’ll be sued or
·Can you tell the government what you think of
it—and not be jailed? Yes, but if your comments are found online by job or
dating prospects, you could be shamed or even discriminated against.
·Sometimes too much information is shared just
because it could be. Too often, people are too quick to post things online that
they’d never say in person or even by phone.
We are trying to evolve—morally, legally, and
capitalistically—with the ever-expanding growth of the digital landscape. But
even when we should be concerned by a government like China, we should be more
concerned with the near-monopolistic power of tech giants like Google, Amazon,
Facebook, and Twitter. They influence and control the creation, sharing,
selling, and presentation of knowledge, ideals, and information.
Our digital information is still vulnerable
·Data storage limitations or power outages
·Equal access to speedy Net data
·Format or technology becomes outdated
·Those who use the Net for anger release
Concentrated power is always dangerous and
right now every bit of data is touched by just a handful of entities that could
purposely or accidentally destroy, alter, or delay the transmission of
information. Who should we trust??