"Hailing Google, US lawmakers seek Internet law CNA 16 January 2010
WASHINGTON - US lawmakers on Thursday sought to prevent Internet companies from censoring information overseas, hailing Google's threat to pull out of China as a turning point but saying it needed official support.
Members of Congress said they had new momentum to enact a bill that would prohibit US firms from storing users' personal information in countries that restrict the peaceful expression of political and religious views online."
Oh dear, this is one heck of a big blow up building up!! Filled with emotion and thinned o n rationality!!
The USA folks, and this include the politicians, need to examine deeply what do they really want from this capitalistic system that they are operating outside the USA. If they want to become truly global, the USA businesses need to be in China, and, of course, India, in Asia. At the same time if they THINK, even for a second, that the US government can dictate to China, especially at this moment in time, to comply with its laws, it will be a grave mistake. China has never heeded USA's call to do this or that. In those situations that they did, they did so because it is advantages to them. No other reason should be ascribed to these situations.
Lessons for me are:
1. do not start another potential conflict with a nation where you are fairly dependent upon. A nation whose political system and government is very different from yours. If this laws go through and the US companies have to comply with, it will mean these companies will be out of China as the Chinese government will apply and enforce their laws with no mercy!;
2. Google is not exactly top dog in the Chinese market despite hiring some very senior and reputable Chinese (returnees or overseas Chinese) leaders to run its China operation. The Chinese users used their local version of Google and are pretty happy about it. There is NO real distinct advantages to use Google it seems! Even the all bullying Microsoft had to eat humble pie in China and be extremely patient and tolerant with some of the antics of the Chinese government on censorship restrictions and requests. So, Google must be careful not to 'over-state' its position on this 'censorship' row. (Though some say it is more about the 'coordinated' cyber attacks on its operation that is the real issue.);
3. as I wrote a few days back. Bite your lip, keep your ears close to the ground, put your head down and work harder. Do not confront in public your displeasure. Work quietly under the surface on your concerns. Eventually, the day will come when open debates on controversial topics like politics and religion can be vigorously and healthily discussed on the cyberspace -under the nose and eyes of the Chinese government!
Beware of biting off too much that you could chew!! Beware Google. Beware my dear US lawmakers!!