Apple 友; 伙伴; 同志 CEO Tim Cook makes no apologies for promoting and buckling under to the Chinese government in censoring its internet. Quartz:
Is this part of the reason they own $52.6 Billion in U.S. Treasuries?Apple removed dozens of virtual private network (VPN) apps from its Chinese app store, depriving many users of tools that are critical to jumping the country’s Great Firewall. The move marked a major capitulation to China’s censorship regime, and follows similar requests to block various apps and content in the country.[.]Mark Zuckerberg, meanwhile, has defended his company’s compliance with censorship requests in countries like Pakistan and Thailand by arguing that it serves citizens’ best interests to “continue operating” rather than risk getting shut down for not blocking content.
And with Zuckerberg and Pakistan and Thailand, this is nothing new.
Remember Google, the "Do No Evil" company and how they promised, in 2007, to fight global internet censorship?
Then, January 2010, Google threatened to yank their business out of China if they couldn't resolve their censorship restrictions with the Chinese Government.
Come March 2010, Google shut down their China service, redirecting to its server in Hong Kong.
Eventually, Google gave up in January, 2013.
Even CNN couldn't put a positive spin on Google in January, 2015. Same link, Google also kowtowed to censorship by the Turkish government.
By December of 2014, the Chinese Government pulled the plug on Google Gmail, Google Drive and many other Google services.
Besides, Google is not evil, are they?
Or are they?
Well, they dropped the "Don't be Evil" motto, so maybe they are?
Dotcom companies certainly aren't the only industries that play ball with repressive governments.
Then again, dotcom companies, especially the search engine and social media platforms, are companies that exist in a special area, unlike companies in manufacturing or other industries that work within the confines of a country like China or Turkey who control unfiltered information available in their country.
Email and social media companies are specifically in the business of communication(s), speech and information. Ideally, yes, everyone om earth would have the freedom to have unfiltered access to the information available on the web. What are the ethical obligations, if any, of communication companies agreeing with governments who censor the information available to its citizens?
I'm not sure I have any answers right now. Do you?