Google News China omits sources which run afoul of government censors. But they've considered the matter carefully:
- "We also considered the amount of information that would be omitted," Google said in its blog. "In this case it is less than two percent of Chinese news sources. On balance we believe that having a service with links that work and omits a fractional number is better than having a service that is not available at all. It was a difficult tradeoff for us to make, but the one we felt ultimately serves the best interests of our users located in China."
That is to say, they aren't censoring much. Just the parts that the Chinese secret police can't manage to squelch on their own. Hey, no big deal.
Yahoo just got a reporter imprisoned for ten years, fingering him as a Western journalist's source for a relatively inoccuous memo. But they had to cooperate with the Chinese authorities, telling Reuters:
- "Just like any other global company, Yahoo! must ensure that its local country sites must operate within the laws, regulations and customs of the country in which they are based."
They might have located their servers outside the country, not subject to Chinese jurisdiction, but that would have been inconvenient.
I'm sure they'd be willing, under other circumstances, in a proper, measured way, to take some kind of a concrete stand against tyranny.