“If Google can drop China, it can drop you”

January 30, 2010

My vote for quote of the month on Google was “If Google can drop China, it can drop you.”

This profound razor-sharp insight was said by Howard Shelanski, speaking for himself, not the Federal Trade Commission, at the Free State Foundation’s annual conference at the National Press Club in Washington DC on Friday.

Mr. Shelanski is currently Deputy Director of the Bureau of Economics at the FTC, a former Chief economist at the FCC, and a widely respected economist and antitrust expert.

I am spotlighting his quote because it sheds light on the broader implications of the world censorship policeman role Google is asserting for itself in the world.

If Google is going to take the position that it unilaterally will withdraw access to its search engine from hundreds of millions of Chinese, if the Chinese Government does not do what Google tells it to do, it puts everyone else in the world on notice that Google has the power, interest and wherewithal to withdraw access to its search engine to anyone who might disagree with Google politically.

 

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