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Skype joins Microsoft, Google, Yahoo, among other companies to censor material for the Chinese government

Skype is the latest company that will agree to censor material to ensure that it will be allowed to operate in the country.  The company admitted to filtering certain words in text messages, including "Falun Gong" and "Dalai Lama," according to the Financial Times.  China is one of Skype's biggest markets, so the public announcement is not too shocking.  The announcement from Skype comes at a time when China is defending its right to police the Internet, and companies are under heavy fire for agreeing so quickly to censor material.  According to the Financial Times:

He claimed that compliance with Chinese censorship was no different from obeying rules governing business in western countries. China, along with the US and Germany, is one of Skype’s three biggest markets in terms of active users of its free telephony service, which routes encrypted calls between computers via the internet.

Currently, US companies like Yahoo, Google and Microsoft censor material to comply with the Chinese government's demands.


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It is not my place
By Milliamp on 4/20/2006 5:02:22 PM , Rating: 2
These companies are just following local law, they can lobby to chnage those laws but there is very little they can do to stand in the way of them.

China: Give us the data for userx.
US Co: No.
China: OK, get out of China then.

So the only real way for them to stand up to China is to just go elsewhere and I don't see them or any other US companies doing that.

But I just don't get how so of my fellow Americans feel they have a right to tell China how to govern their people.




RE: It is not my place
By Sager on 4/20/2006 5:11:17 PM , Rating: 2
They did it to South Africa...


RE: It is not my place
By alcalde on 4/20/2006 7:55:03 PM , Rating: 2
Your fellow Americans declared in a document called the "Declaration Of Independence" that it was SELF-EVIDENT that all people have certain INALIENABLE rights, including the right to LIBERTY. Consequently, your fellow Americans believe that China has no right to "govern their people", but that it is, rather the SELF-EVIDENT (meaning, everyone that exists realizes it, including you) right of the people to govern China. By the very definition of the beliefs that gave rise to this nation, Americans do not recognize the right of a government to impose itself on a people, and do not recognize the existence of any such government that does not derive its power from the consent of the governed.



RE: It is not my place
By DRUGGDEELER on 4/22/2006 3:45:31 AM , Rating: 2
Except cases in which governments make available goods at a cheap price assembled by some worker at slave wages.


RE: It is not my place
By Wwhat on 4/20/2006 11:43:21 PM , Rating: 2
So if it was 1940 it would be ok for skype and google to report jews for extermination? it's local rules after all what can they do...
I think the 'local law' argument is ridiculous when you speak about crimes against basic rights of humans.
CEO's have responsibilities to their fellow man too.


"We are going to continue to work with them to make sure they understand the reality of the Internet.  A lot of these people don't have Ph.Ds, and they don't have a degree in computer science." -- RIM co-CEO Michael Lazaridis

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