I've always dreamed of getting myself banned from something. So I'm seizing the chance ... to get banned from an entire country.
Google announced yesterday that it will offer China a special version of its search engine, Google.cn, that excludes e-mail messaging and the ability to create blogs. Why? The Chinese government is concerned sensitive or illegal information may find its way into or out of the country. It has monitored Internet information for years, blocking sites it deems inappropriate for its citizens. Like Google.com.
Thus the reason for the creation of Google.cn. Google's new Chinese platform also will censor sites in accordance with Chinese law. These will likely include antigovernment news and opinion pieces from the Web, as well as sites and blogs that question governmental authority, all of which China has stringently policed in recent years.
As one who enjoys spewing my random thoughts into cyberspace, I gotta say:
"C'mon, China. Let your people post their digital photos of family picnics. Let them blog about what they did last weekend. Let Jia Li and Li Ming make plans via e-mail to catch a movie."
I don't understand why any government would keep such wonderful tools as blogs and e-mail out of the hands of its people. If saying that gets this blog banned from Google.cn, that's OK.
I just hope I don't need to travel to China anytime soon.
Version of Google in China Won't Offer E-Mail or Blogs