Roland Soong has translated the full text of an open letter to Sina.com (a Chinese portal and blog-hosting service) written by four Chinese lawyers. They are protesting the un-transparent, arbitrary, and unaccountable way in which Sina.com has been censoring blog posts by bloggers on its system. They write: "Unfortunately, while Sina.com's business has been growing, it lacks business ethics. While providing the space for our blogs, it has also seriously violated our freedom of speech."More here, including the full text of the complaint in English.
Link to full text, and Isaac's photostream is here. (Thanks also to O'Reilly Radar's Brady Forrest, who posted about this here: Link.)
Dear Larry and Sergey: I'm writing you the short letter on behalf of many Internet users in China to have some suggestions to resolve the current dilemma for Google in China, from both business and social perspectives.
During the National Day holiday week in 2002, when Google.com was blocked in China for the first time, Chinese Google users made an online protest spontaneously. They appealed to free the purer search engine wave by wave. Its seemed its also the first time grassroots power was demonstrated in China on Internet. You can imagine how eager they are to have a complete Internet instead of a shrunken one. At last, people won, Google backed. However, after 4 years, we started to question whether we should continue to support Google. Many users here were disappointed when they found Google.cn filtered many keywords. The compromise remarks by you in Davos made us more frustrated. Seems you are adopting self-censorship which hurts those loyal users a lot which also devalue your motto of "non-evil".
Google is ever regarded not only a leading Internet business, but a hope for many people around the world to open their thinking. Many bloggers in China still believes that in their everyday writings. We guess you were misled by incomplete information on how censorship is good to Chinese people. The fact is Google in the 130M-Internet-Users country is losing loyal users with loosing your principles. We understand its tough to anyone to make decisions. But it high time to change it back to the right track. Here we would like to propose 3 ideas to Google for its China strategy in a long term run, to survive, and live better...
Boing Boing editor/partner and tech culture journalist Xeni Jardin hosts and produces Boing Boing's in-flight TV channel on Virgin America airlines (#10 on the dial), and writes about living with breast cancer. Diagnosed in 2011. @xeni on Twitter. email: firstname.lastname@example.org.