In the pursuit of profits, principles often become collateral damage.
This is the dilemma U.S.-based internet companies operating in China struggle with. Economic opportunism, unchecked by moral and ethical concerns, incurs more than just bad publicity – it costs lives and personal freedom.
Western internet companies in China are navigating a precarious grey zone between collusion and collision, where compliance with domestic laws is often used to justify collaboration in China’s official censorship regime.
It is a reality that businesses must obey the rules and regulations of the country in which they operate. But at what point does industry have to take it upon itself to choose ethics over growth, and socio-political responsibilities over economic prosperity?
These are complex questions, and subjects of a new report by The SecDev Group, “Collusion and collision: Searching for guidance in Chinese cyberspace.”
China’s online monitoring and surveillance system is pervasive: It is a vast network of overlapping regulations and legislation coupled with a technically sophisticated filtering regime. It is officially known as the Golden Shield, but more aptly referred to as the “Great Firewall.” Behind it are almost half a billion internet users. It is a lucrative environment for western technology companies, and the lure of profits can tempt even the most ethical corporations.
Our report examines the actions of Yahoo!, Google, Microsoft, Skype, and Cisco. These companies demonstrated varying levels of complicity, but all of them acquiesced to Chinese online content restrictions or contributed to the climate of censorship.http://www.themarknews.com/articles/6859-collusion-and-collision-in-internet-censorship