The National Post is this morning reporting that, after several years of humming and hawing, Google has quietly tipped off the fence and agreed to launch a version of its search engine in China that allows for state censorship. As usual, the choice is between principle, in this case the defence of free speech, and the siren song of the Chinese market. "Google is waking up to smell the coffee," consultant Andy Mok is quoted as saying. “Not being in China is a huge strategic miscalculation. The liberals of this world obviously will recoil at the idea."
Mok is right. Liberals will indeed recoil, as well they should. Not since IBM sold the Third Reich its punch-card technology has a U.S.-based data-management behemoth knowingly acquiesced to a foreign dictatorship on such an epic scale.
The silver lining? We can stop pretending that the whiz kids running Google are uniquely virtuous.