Microsoft takes down Chinese blogger (my opinions on that)

OK, this one is depressing to me. It’s one thing to pull a list of words out of blogs using an algorithm. It’s another thing to become an agent of a government and censor an entire blogger’s work. Yes, I know the consequences. Yes, there are thousands of jobs at stake. Billions of dollars. But, the behavior of my company in this instance is not right.

Rebecca MacKinnon has the details in a post titled Microsoft takes down a Chinese blogger.

Why is this so important to me? Well, you ignore the voices of individual people at your peril. And, I’ve been raised by people who taught me the value of standing up for the little guy. My mom grew up in Germany. Her mom stood up to the Nazis (and got a lot of scorn from family and friends for doing so).

I do believe in a slippery slope. If they come after you today, maybe they’ll come after me tomorrow. Gotta stop this kind of stuff while we’re still talking about you.

Oh, and to: Zhao Jing, aka Michael Anti I’d like to offer you a guest blog here on my blog. I won’t censor you and you can write whatever you’d like.

Guys over at MSN: sorry, I don’t agree with your being used as a state-run thug.

This whole post has a couple of disclaimers. 1) I am assuming all the facts are as Rebecca has presented them. She’s a former CNN reporter and I trust her a lot, but there might be more to the story than is being told — I’m going to try to find out. 2) These are my own opinions, obviously.

I’m copying this post to Christopher Payne, corporate Vice President over on MSN and will try to get his point of view on this.

Update: someone over on MSN Spaces just wrote me and said he hadn’t heard of this and that he’s raising this up the management chain too. I’ll report more as I hear more. he told me that Steve Liffick is the VP in charge of MSN Spaces and that he reports to Blake Irving. I’ve sent email to both of those guys on this issue.

Comments

  1. Damn right.

    We should have absolutely no part in censoring political voices.

    MSN folks- you’re spineless cowards. When it comes to morals, you have none. You should be banished to China.

  2. Damn right.

    We should have absolutely no part in censoring political voices.

    MSN folks- you’re spineless cowards. When it comes to morals, you have none. You should be banished to China.

  3. Heh. Good news: I agree with you. Both on the issue (which isn’t the first time) and on the way you raise it.

    Your first caveat, your use of the words “depressing” and “sorry,” your polite approach of Christopher Payne… All good things.

    It’s a change from the “They should be fired!” tone of voice (and that’s a Good Thing).

    Regards.

    Marc Snyder

  4. Heh. Good news: I agree with you. Both on the issue (which isn’t the first time) and on the way you raise it.

    Your first caveat, your use of the words “depressing” and “sorry,” your polite approach of Christopher Payne… All good things.

    It’s a change from the “They should be fired!” tone of voice (and that’s a Good Thing).

    Regards.

    Marc Snyder

  5. You work for a corporation. You are not an individual at work.

    Besides, just go fix the situation instead of blogging about it.

  6. You work for a corporation. You are not an individual at work.

    Besides, just go fix the situation instead of blogging about it.

  7. Shame on you, Bill Gates!

    What does the head-geek-in-charge think he’s doing? Censoring Chinese bloggers just like communist China does? What goes on here?
    Microsoft’s MSN Spaces is censoring bloggers. American blogger Rebecca MacKinnon has the scoop:
    On December 16…

  8. How would you recommend he “just go fix the situation” if not by blogging about it? It would be nice if Robert could call a quick meeting of senior management and get to the bottom of this and change the policy, but I don’t think that’s within the scope of his job.

  9. How would you recommend he “just go fix the situation” if not by blogging about it? It would be nice if Robert could call a quick meeting of senior management and get to the bottom of this and change the policy, but I don’t think that’s within the scope of his job.

  10. Take action. I wrote MSN and told them I have chosen to avoid all MSN content, as I would rather pay for content than to receive it free with censorship.

    If blog providers really want to stick it to MSN and Google, they would advertise their blog hosting as censorship free. I would pay a few dollars a month to have a blog w/o censorship.

  11. Take action. I wrote MSN and told them I have chosen to avoid all MSN content, as I would rather pay for content than to receive it free with censorship.

    If blog providers really want to stick it to MSN and Google, they would advertise their blog hosting as censorship free. I would pay a few dollars a month to have a blog w/o censorship.

  12. I absolutely agree with everything that’s been said on this. However, I would just like to throw out the opposing point of view – that MSN is duty bound to reflect the laws of the land it operates in. How would you like it if a corporation declared itself above the law?

    In this case, though, I don’t think that defence is strong enough. (I want to make that clear – just playing Devil’s advocate somewhat.)

  13. I absolutely agree with everything that’s been said on this. However, I would just like to throw out the opposing point of view – that MSN is duty bound to reflect the laws of the land it operates in. How would you like it if a corporation declared itself above the law?

    In this case, though, I don’t think that defence is strong enough. (I want to make that clear – just playing Devil’s advocate somewhat.)

  14. Well done Scobles.. “Now, It is VERY important to note that the inaccessible blog was moved or removed at the server level and that the blog remains inaccessible from the United States as well as from China. This means that the action was taken NOT by Chinese authorities responsible for filtering and censoring the internet for Chinese viewers, but by MSN staff at the level of the MSN servers” –

    This appears to bevested interests in terms of Microsoft !!! Why ????

  15. Well done Scobles.. “Now, It is VERY important to note that the inaccessible blog was moved or removed at the server level and that the blog remains inaccessible from the United States as well as from China. This means that the action was taken NOT by Chinese authorities responsible for filtering and censoring the internet for Chinese viewers, but by MSN staff at the level of the MSN servers” –

    This appears to bevested interests in terms of Microsoft !!! Why ????

  16. This is going to be an interesting situation to watch. Dealing with the Chinese government is certainly no fun and since Microsoft is expanding and looking to expand so much in China, they have to meet the government’s demands.

    So, who will Microsoft side with? The Chinese government or the swarming bloggers? At this time, I’m betting on the Chinese government. Bloggers whining isn’t enough. If the mainstream media makes this individual case into international news (a la Terri Shiavo, Elian Gonzalez, etc.) and if because of that politicians get involved, I can see Microsoft fighting the Chinese government.

    And I don’t consider restoring this one guy’s blog fighting the Chinese government either. That wouldn’t stop their rampant censorship. As Rebecca said, this was Microsoft that did this. I’m betting it was somebody with a title like Censorship Specialist II that pulled the blog of his own free will, not a direct order from the government, but I could be wrong.

  17. This is going to be an interesting situation to watch. Dealing with the Chinese government is certainly no fun and since Microsoft is expanding and looking to expand so much in China, they have to meet the government’s demands.

    So, who will Microsoft side with? The Chinese government or the swarming bloggers? At this time, I’m betting on the Chinese government. Bloggers whining isn’t enough. If the mainstream media makes this individual case into international news (a la Terri Shiavo, Elian Gonzalez, etc.) and if because of that politicians get involved, I can see Microsoft fighting the Chinese government.

    And I don’t consider restoring this one guy’s blog fighting the Chinese government either. That wouldn’t stop their rampant censorship. As Rebecca said, this was Microsoft that did this. I’m betting it was somebody with a title like Censorship Specialist II that pulled the blog of his own free will, not a direct order from the government, but I could be wrong.

  18. Scoble this seems like a double-edged sword…I mean I understand why this shouldn’t be the case in the ideal world…but sadly this is not the ideal world…

    you should absolutely hate Chinese laws for allowing this…BUT if you were running a business in that country: what would you do?

    the utopian view would be to shut down MSN Spaces there over free-speech issues…or shut down all your services over such a issue…BUT then you’d be ignoring almost a billion customers…

    I’d try to find a middle ground…i.e. ask them to filter such things themselves and not put it on the service provider (like Microsoft)…

  19. Scoble this seems like a double-edged sword…I mean I understand why this shouldn’t be the case in the ideal world…but sadly this is not the ideal world…

    you should absolutely hate Chinese laws for allowing this…BUT if you were running a business in that country: what would you do?

    the utopian view would be to shut down MSN Spaces there over free-speech issues…or shut down all your services over such a issue…BUT then you’d be ignoring almost a billion customers…

    I’d try to find a middle ground…i.e. ask them to filter such things themselves and not put it on the service provider (like Microsoft)…

  20. [...] To his great credit, Robert Scoble – prominent Microsoft evangelist and blogger – has swiftly and unambiguously condemned MSN’s actions in this case. In his words, “Guys over at MSN: sorry, I don’t agree with your being used as a state-run thug.” Scoble has contacted the Microsoft exec in charge of MSN Spaces, and it will be interesting to see his response. [...]

  21. It’s all very well for the self-appointed Freedom Fighters to scream but this post troubles me. This is what I SEE from this post and its associated comments, even if it is not entirely reflective of the conversation so far.

    1. At Les Blogs 2.0 I listened to Rebecca and others talk in considerable detail about the complexities and difficulties in fathoming the Chinese authorities attitudes towards censorship. It made me realise there are no quick fixes and that comment about such things ‘we’ regard as abuse needs handling with extreme care. And in that I would defer to Rebecca any day of the week. She’s been there, she knows the terrain.
    2. Given the issues Rebecca details and the political sensitivities in play, would it not have been better to find out from MSN what they have to say before blowing your foghorn Robert?
    3. The focus now is not on the wider issue at hand but looks like deteriorating into yet another f**k MSFT fest – I’m sure that’s not Robert had in mind at all. It takes away from the central arguments.
    4. I’d love nothing more than to see everyone having the kind of voice Robert espouses. But there are times when diplomacy matters and where remaining tight lipped – if only to establish the facts – is more appropriate than what seems to me at least, to be something of a knee jerk reaction on Robert’s part.
    5. Just how would giving Zhao Jing space on Robert’s site make any difference? If anything, I can imagine it ticking off Chinese officials even more than Zhao’s current activities.

    Having said that, if MSN is acting as some sort of unofficial censor then the circumstances of those activities are worthy of scrutiny. But only when MSN has had the opportunity to put its case forward.

  22. It’s all very well for the self-appointed Freedom Fighters to scream but this post troubles me. This is what I SEE from this post and its associated comments, even if it is not entirely reflective of the conversation so far.

    1. At Les Blogs 2.0 I listened to Rebecca and others talk in considerable detail about the complexities and difficulties in fathoming the Chinese authorities attitudes towards censorship. It made me realise there are no quick fixes and that comment about such things ‘we’ regard as abuse needs handling with extreme care. And in that I would defer to Rebecca any day of the week. She’s been there, she knows the terrain.
    2. Given the issues Rebecca details and the political sensitivities in play, would it not have been better to find out from MSN what they have to say before blowing your foghorn Robert?
    3. The focus now is not on the wider issue at hand but looks like deteriorating into yet another f**k MSFT fest – I’m sure that’s not Robert had in mind at all. It takes away from the central arguments.
    4. I’d love nothing more than to see everyone having the kind of voice Robert espouses. But there are times when diplomacy matters and where remaining tight lipped – if only to establish the facts – is more appropriate than what seems to me at least, to be something of a knee jerk reaction on Robert’s part.
    5. Just how would giving Zhao Jing space on Robert’s site make any difference? If anything, I can imagine it ticking off Chinese officials even more than Zhao’s current activities.

    Having said that, if MSN is acting as some sort of unofficial censor then the circumstances of those activities are worthy of scrutiny. But only when MSN has had the opportunity to put its case forward.

  23. Couple of points

    1.) Given that you work at Microsoft and know folks on the Spaces team, isn’t the intelligent thing to do to get the facts straight first before faning the flames of speculation and making inflammatory comments (e.g. “state run thug”)?

    2.) Christopher Payne runs MSN Search, he is nowhere in the management hierarchy for MSN Spaces.

    This post seriously makes you come off as a jack ass.

  24. Couple of points

    1.) Given that you work at Microsoft and know folks on the Spaces team, isn’t the intelligent thing to do to get the facts straight first before faning the flames of speculation and making inflammatory comments (e.g. “state run thug”)?

    2.) Christopher Payne runs MSN Search, he is nowhere in the management hierarchy for MSN Spaces.

    This post seriously makes you come off as a jack ass.

  25. Dare: fair enough. I will give any Microsoft employee or executive (including you, since you’re also a Microsoft employee, and work on the team in question) a guest blog here too to say what they think of me (or to give us facts that we don’t yet have in our possession).

    Plus, my comments are open, and my trackbacks are open.

    It may yet turn out that I’m wrong. In that case I’ll have egg on my face. I was willing to take that risk. So, what are the facts that I should have waited for?

  26. Dare: fair enough. I will give any Microsoft employee or executive (including you, since you’re also a Microsoft employee, and work on the team in question) a guest blog here too to say what they think of me (or to give us facts that we don’t yet have in our possession).

    Plus, my comments are open, and my trackbacks are open.

    It may yet turn out that I’m wrong. In that case I’ll have egg on my face. I was willing to take that risk. So, what are the facts that I should have waited for?

  27. What if it comes down to China pressuring Microsoft into doing taking down these blogs by threatening to ramp up piracy of Microsoft titles, delay Xbox components, or doing other things that could hurt Microsoft’s business? This is one problem I have with China. To do business there you have to play by their rules.

  28. What if it comes down to China pressuring Microsoft into doing taking down these blogs by threatening to ramp up piracy of Microsoft titles, delay Xbox components, or doing other things that could hurt Microsoft’s business? This is one problem I have with China. To do business there you have to play by their rules.

  29. I don’t care much for politics BUT I want to know how you were able to change your gosh darn WordPress theme??? Show me, show me now! ;-)

    What good is a holiday site if it doesn’t reflect the gosh darn holiday season! LOL!!!

    Pweez?

    Thanks,

    Aaron

  30. I don’t care much for politics BUT I want to know how you were able to change your gosh darn WordPress theme??? Show me, show me now! ;-)

    What good is a holiday site if it doesn’t reflect the gosh darn holiday season! LOL!!!

    Pweez?

    Thanks,

    Aaron

  31. holidays: Matt Mullenweg, founder of WordPress.com, did it for me. He is working on that feature so everyone else will be able to do it soon for themselves.

  32. holidays: Matt Mullenweg, founder of WordPress.com, did it for me. He is working on that feature so everyone else will be able to do it soon for themselves.

  33. Very interesting to see how this plays out.

    My blog seems to be censored in China – or at least friends report they can’t get to it from mainland China (no probs in Hong Kong). Somehow I don’t see myself as any threat, although I do blog on China occasionally (I’ve got a startup there).

    You pretty much got to play by the country’s laws to play in the country – any country. When you consider laws you consider unethical, you’ve got a dilemma.

    Based on the evidence available right now, I strongly agree with you Robert!

  34. Very interesting to see how this plays out.

    My blog seems to be censored in China – or at least friends report they can’t get to it from mainland China (no probs in Hong Kong). Somehow I don’t see myself as any threat, although I do blog on China occasionally (I’ve got a startup there).

    You pretty much got to play by the country’s laws to play in the country – any country. When you consider laws you consider unethical, you’ve got a dilemma.

    Based on the evidence available right now, I strongly agree with you Robert!

  35. your mum in Germany growing up? which part? I am in Germany!

    By the way: congrats on standing up and defending Chinese blogger. Please note that Yahoo has given IP address and access data of a guy in China and because of Yahoo, he was jailed by Chinese government! And guess what, Russell bastard Beattie (employee of Yahoo) has not commented on it at all! You comment on similar issue. I admire your courage.

  36. your mum in Germany growing up? which part? I am in Germany!

    By the way: congrats on standing up and defending Chinese blogger. Please note that Yahoo has given IP address and access data of a guy in China and because of Yahoo, he was jailed by Chinese government! And guess what, Russell bastard Beattie (employee of Yahoo) has not commented on it at all! You comment on similar issue. I admire your courage.

  37. Is anyone really surprised? No, I’m not the cynic who believes MS is evil. But there are some real hazards to doing intellectual property business in China. I mean, come on! Don’t tell me this isn’t a scenario that MS didn’t expect, in one form or another. How does MS maintain its integrity in a situation like this? First, they need to (on an internal basis) own up to the fact that they made a deal with the devil (so to speak). Second, they comprehensive strategy for dealing with pressures from the Chinese government in a way that doesn’t compromise the core values of the company. This means being politically savvy, and understanding the difference between passive and active cooperation. If MS didn’t do this when they expanded their business in Asia, then they’ve done the equivalent of walking into a minefield, blindfolded.

    I’m hoping MS still has an idea of the bigger picture here.

  38. Is anyone really surprised? No, I’m not the cynic who believes MS is evil. But there are some real hazards to doing intellectual property business in China. I mean, come on! Don’t tell me this isn’t a scenario that MS didn’t expect, in one form or another. How does MS maintain its integrity in a situation like this? First, they need to (on an internal basis) own up to the fact that they made a deal with the devil (so to speak). Second, they comprehensive strategy for dealing with pressures from the Chinese government in a way that doesn’t compromise the core values of the company. This means being politically savvy, and understanding the difference between passive and active cooperation. If MS didn’t do this when they expanded their business in Asia, then they’ve done the equivalent of walking into a minefield, blindfolded.

    I’m hoping MS still has an idea of the bigger picture here.

  39. Call me crazy but I think Scoble should have waited for a MS response to the allegations before going to press with this story.

  40. Call me crazy but I think Scoble should have waited for a MS response to the allegations before going to press with this story.

  41. Daniel: you’re not the only one who believes that (see Dare’s comment). I hear that feedback. The last word hasn’t been written on this issue yet. That’s one thing about blogs. The picture might start blurry, but it gets clearer over time as more and more people add their views in, and as more and more facts get reported.

  42. Daniel: you’re not the only one who believes that (see Dare’s comment). I hear that feedback. The last word hasn’t been written on this issue yet. That’s one thing about blogs. The picture might start blurry, but it gets clearer over time as more and more people add their views in, and as more and more facts get reported.

  43. This is the ugly side of globalization. I mean, I essentially agree that MSN Spaces should not have taken the blog down nor should they cooperate in any censorship. OTOH, if they (or Yahoo or Google or IBM, other companies who have been in similar situations) don’t cooperate and are kept out of China for it, the Chinese tech market will still evolve and perhaps be spurred to develop native competitors ot MYGI. In the long run they may do just that anyway but in the long run we are all dead too. I believe this is a prime example of a Hobson’s Choice…

  44. Dare:Not sure where your coming from. This is a geninue voice that needs to play the corporate Speech line. Why should it be termed as “jackass post” ??

    remember ?? I Fail At Life, Liberty and The Pursuit of Happiness posting that was a rant about yourself which made you sound like a jackass.. IMHO !! yeah happy new year too Dare :)-

  45. This is the ugly side of globalization. I mean, I essentially agree that MSN Spaces should not have taken the blog down nor should they cooperate in any censorship. OTOH, if they (or Yahoo or Google or IBM, other companies who have been in similar situations) don’t cooperate and are kept out of China for it, the Chinese tech market will still evolve and perhaps be spurred to develop native competitors ot MYGI. In the long run they may do just that anyway but in the long run we are all dead too. I believe this is a prime example of a Hobson’s Choice…

  46. Dare:Not sure where your coming from. This is a geninue voice that needs to play the corporate Speech line. Why should it be termed as “jackass post” ??

    remember ?? I Fail At Life, Liberty and The Pursuit of Happiness posting that was a rant about yourself which made you sound like a jackass.. IMHO !! yeah happy new year too Dare :)-

  47. Steven: really? Should we allow child pornography through then?

    How about spam?

    See, the problem with this issue is there are local laws that we need to comply with. It’s just that the local laws there aren’t ones we understand or agree with.

  48. Steven: really? Should we allow child pornography through then?

    How about spam?

    See, the problem with this issue is there are local laws that we need to comply with. It’s just that the local laws there aren’t ones we understand or agree with.

  49. I think any sort of censorship on any medium is unacceptable. Just because a technology gives one the ability to censor, does not mean that one should. The only reason censorship exists is to give off an image of power and scare people into believing or behaving a certain way. I know this is blatant self-promotion, but I recently started a website dedicated to free speech – http://liberdictus.com. Those of you here from digg.com will know the general idea behind it: anyone can submit articles which remain in a queue until they get a certain number of votes. The biggest difference, though, is that these articles are written by users, not just links to articles written by others. I really hope that it becomes a platform for true free speech. It is completely uncensored, and accepts content no matter the content.

  50. I think any sort of censorship on any medium is unacceptable. Just because a technology gives one the ability to censor, does not mean that one should. The only reason censorship exists is to give off an image of power and scare people into believing or behaving a certain way. I know this is blatant self-promotion, but I recently started a website dedicated to free speech – http://liberdictus.com. Those of you here from digg.com will know the general idea behind it: anyone can submit articles which remain in a queue until they get a certain number of votes. The biggest difference, though, is that these articles are written by users, not just links to articles written by others. I really hope that it becomes a platform for true free speech. It is completely uncensored, and accepts content no matter the content.

  51. Gotta play by their rules, gotta play by their rules. Playing by their rules is how we ended up China as both a predator consumer *and* a predatory supplier. Goodness knows, there’s very little in that country that counts as communism outside of using the word, but what was that about “selling us the rope we need to hang them”?

    Right now, our people are giving in because it’s inconvenient to raise a fuss.

    Here’s what i think: the individuals in China who run these entities have the resources and the desire to make money under any set of rules. Why not inconvenience them for a change. I think they’ll discover that they want the money more than they want to erode someone else’s freedom on behalf of the authorities. They’ve been exploiting our greed, let’s exploit there’s.

  52. Gotta play by their rules, gotta play by their rules. Playing by their rules is how we ended up China as both a predator consumer *and* a predatory supplier. Goodness knows, there’s very little in that country that counts as communism outside of using the word, but what was that about “selling us the rope we need to hang them”?

    Right now, our people are giving in because it’s inconvenient to raise a fuss.

    Here’s what i think: the individuals in China who run these entities have the resources and the desire to make money under any set of rules. Why not inconvenience them for a change. I think they’ll discover that they want the money more than they want to erode someone else’s freedom on behalf of the authorities. They’ve been exploiting our greed, let’s exploit there’s.

  53. While I don’t agree with what happen you have to realize that freedom of speech does not apply here. The blog is owned and operated by MSN. If they don’t like what you wrote they can remove it. If you want your freedom of speech pay for your own web space.

  54. Will “Tibet Independence” soon be censored by MSN in the USA I am sure this will get them a few extra pieces of Chinese silver.

  55. While I don’t agree with what happen you have to realize that freedom of speech does not apply here. The blog is owned and operated by MSN. If they don’t like what you wrote they can remove it. If you want your freedom of speech pay for your own web space.

  56. Will “Tibet Independence” soon be censored by MSN in the USA I am sure this will get them a few extra pieces of Chinese silver.

  57. Does anyone have the e-mail addresses for Steve Liffick and Blake Irving at MS/MSN? I’m not planning to flame them or anything, I’d just like to follow up on this further.

  58. Does anyone have the e-mail addresses for Steve Liffick and Blake Irving at MS/MSN? I’m not planning to flame them or anything, I’d just like to follow up on this further.

  59. [...] Now there is a catchy title that will get me some hits but seriously now, Microsoft is now supporting China’s anti-free speech laws by censoring the entire blog of a Chinese man. That, in my humble opinion, is totally uncool. It is so uncool in fact that even Microsoft employees are upset about it. [...]

  60. Aye. If this were a petition, this would be my signature, in support.

    Thanks for spreading the word, Robert.

  61. Aye. If this were a petition, this would be my signature, in support.

    Thanks for spreading the word, Robert.

  62. [...] Rebecca MacKinnon, Dave Weinberger and Robert Scoble provide a great public service today. MacKinnon first and most importantly with her post on Michael Anti (Zhao Jing), and Weinberger and Scoble with their follow posts to bring the issue more public attention (I saw it first on Weinberger this morning, and then again on scoble through memeorandum, leading ultimately to MacKinnon). They are evidence of how blogs can actually be good and useful and important (I’ve been a skeptic in the past and posts about important issues, written with authority and passion, like these three cause me to revisit that skepticism). [...]

  63. If this guy really doesn’t want to be sensored then he needs to go pay a hosting provider to host his own website. Then he can blog about what ever he wants. I host my blog on my own website because I know I can trust myself to not victimize myself with political concerns.

  64. If this guy really doesn’t want to be sensored then he needs to go pay a hosting provider to host his own website. Then he can blog about what ever he wants. I host my blog on my own website because I know I can trust myself to not victimize myself with political concerns.

  65. To agree with brave Scoble is noble but scarcely revealing:

    1) I vaguely remember having to accept the msn.spaces “MSN Website Terms of Use and Notices”, so legally, MSN had all the rights to do what they did.

    2) When it comes to Business in/with China politics are ALWAYS involved. It would be just [bold]naive[un-bold] to believe people would be allowed “free speech” or using the internet in ways the Chinese Government does not allow.

    3) So as noble it is to be “against” the policies of MSN in this case, it is ignorant not to see that western/global companies always choose “profit” and “business” over “moral” and “ethics”.

    We all know it, and – working for them or paying them – we quietly accept them to be the way they are. That certainly does not mean it is right.

  66. To agree with brave Scoble is noble but scarcely revealing:

    1) I vaguely remember having to accept the msn.spaces “MSN Website Terms of Use and Notices”, so legally, MSN had all the rights to do what they did.

    2) When it comes to Business in/with China politics are ALWAYS involved. It would be just [bold]naive[un-bold] to believe people would be allowed “free speech” or using the internet in ways the Chinese Government does not allow.

    3) So as noble it is to be “against” the policies of MSN in this case, it is ignorant not to see that western/global companies always choose “profit” and “business” over “moral” and “ethics”.

    We all know it, and – working for them or paying them – we quietly accept them to be the way they are. That certainly does not mean it is right.

  67. It will be interesting to see whether Scoble will succeed in creating a new positive good-employee stereotype and leading Microsoft employees and potential hires uncomfortable with the currently accepted Microsoft good-employee stereotypes to a place where they can be more comfortable with themselves, or if he’ll be slapped down.

  68. It will be interesting to see whether Scoble will succeed in creating a new positive good-employee stereotype and leading Microsoft employees and potential hires uncomfortable with the currently accepted Microsoft good-employee stereotypes to a place where they can be more comfortable with themselves, or if he’ll be slapped down.

  69. With globalization, businesses are adopting classroom politics: the class can only go as fast as the slowest student. The applies in the context of political restrictiveness. MS’s behaviour is ultimately bounded by the outliers like China. The question is whether corporations should take a moral-relativist approach and accept these boundaries, or overtly support human-rights organizations that aim to reduce the occurence of scenarios like Zhao Jing’s.

  70. With globalization, businesses are adopting classroom politics: the class can only go as fast as the slowest student. The applies in the context of political restrictiveness. MS’s behaviour is ultimately bounded by the outliers like China. The question is whether corporations should take a moral-relativist approach and accept these boundaries, or overtly support human-rights organizations that aim to reduce the occurence of scenarios like Zhao Jing’s.

  71. I’m not sure how I feel here. I just read through the MSN Spaces Code of Conduct again. It seems to quite clearly indicate that this type of censorship takes place and that by creating an MSN Spaces account, you agree to abide by those rules. How and by whom those rules are enforced is I suppose a different story and probably what I’d raise a bigger fuss about. Also, is the censorship uniform?

    I’d tend to agree here that if you don’t want to be censored, you need to host your own blog on your own server. Just my .02

  72. I’m not sure how I feel here. I just read through the MSN Spaces Code of Conduct again. It seems to quite clearly indicate that this type of censorship takes place and that by creating an MSN Spaces account, you agree to abide by those rules. How and by whom those rules are enforced is I suppose a different story and probably what I’d raise a bigger fuss about. Also, is the censorship uniform?

    I’d tend to agree here that if you don’t want to be censored, you need to host your own blog on your own server. Just my .02

  73. Just my 2p…

    (if this is what has happened, and if this is how it is and if this is the whole story then) I can understand why Microsoft did what they did, and I would probably do the same in their situation. It is not their job to impose a different set of rules on a country. Sure, I know they didn’t, its a free world and a US server, but at the end of the day, a Chinese guy started doing something which the Chinese authorities didn’t like, and they asked MSFT to do something for them. There’s a lot at stake here commercially (obviously) – an awful lot. But I also don’t think MSFT should be using its weight to “impose” democracy and free speech – after all, it isn’t what everyone wants (be that a good thing or not). Yes, it smells. But really, they were stuck between a rock and a hard place, and decided to choose a bit of bad low-level publicity versus potentially high-level publicity, law suits, even their software being banned in the country concerned.

  74. Just my 2p…

    (if this is what has happened, and if this is how it is and if this is the whole story then) I can understand why Microsoft did what they did, and I would probably do the same in their situation. It is not their job to impose a different set of rules on a country. Sure, I know they didn’t, its a free world and a US server, but at the end of the day, a Chinese guy started doing something which the Chinese authorities didn’t like, and they asked MSFT to do something for them. There’s a lot at stake here commercially (obviously) – an awful lot. But I also don’t think MSFT should be using its weight to “impose” democracy and free speech – after all, it isn’t what everyone wants (be that a good thing or not). Yes, it smells. But really, they were stuck between a rock and a hard place, and decided to choose a bit of bad low-level publicity versus potentially high-level publicity, law suits, even their software being banned in the country concerned.

  75. I can’t work out whether this is post was run past MS bosses before it hit the ‘presses’. If not, I’m assuming it can be justified by ensuring MS gets a scandal-reducing ‘good cop’ story out of it? Scoble to the rescue! (Again.)

  76. I can’t work out whether this is post was run past MS bosses before it hit the ‘presses’. If not, I’m assuming it can be justified by ensuring MS gets a scandal-reducing ‘good cop’ story out of it? Scoble to the rescue! (Again.)

  77. Um, Scoble, quick correction to comment #54. I (epigonic) said nada about you being in the same or different division as MSN. Not really relevant to my post. Will be interesting to see how this plays out for your colleagues nevertheless.

  78. Um, Scoble, quick correction to comment #54. I (epigonic) said nada about you being in the same or different division as MSN. Not really relevant to my post. Will be interesting to see how this plays out for your colleagues nevertheless.

  79. Is Microsoft against freedom of speech?

    I noticed over at Scoble’s blog that MSN has blocked access to the blog of a chinese guy. The details about this have been posted here. This is going to cause some issues for Microsoft.
    As a company obviously Microsoft wants to do business in Chi…

  80. Greetings,
    To allow the morals of the most-strict to judge what content can be seen by groups whose basic moral values are different is actually a form of moral ABSOLUTISM. It’s more akin to a pr0n site’s ISP kicking them off the net, because somewhere out there is an anti-pr0n user. It’s implicitly saying that there is a moral absolute, and it is the UNION of everything every influential group in the world thinks is bad.

    Moral relativism instead suggests that it is China’s responsibility to block off content that is unappealing to it. Microsoft shouldn’t, because it may be appealing to someone else, and it would be wrong to deny that ‘someone else’ access to it purely because China finds it unpleasant.

    I’m going to make a SWAG that the blog was removed for activity (statements?) that would be criminal in the users home country. I believe that the criminality of data should only be considered in the context of the hosting country, and then requires a government action to remove, but that is understandably a utopian view (from my Usenet years), undistorted by the need to make money in environments where politics and business are so irrevocably intertwingled.

    — Morgan Schweers, CyberFOX!

  81. Greetings,
    To allow the morals of the most-strict to judge what content can be seen by groups whose basic moral values are different is actually a form of moral ABSOLUTISM. It’s more akin to a pr0n site’s ISP kicking them off the net, because somewhere out there is an anti-pr0n user. It’s implicitly saying that there is a moral absolute, and it is the UNION of everything every influential group in the world thinks is bad.

    Moral relativism instead suggests that it is China’s responsibility to block off content that is unappealing to it. Microsoft shouldn’t, because it may be appealing to someone else, and it would be wrong to deny that ‘someone else’ access to it purely because China finds it unpleasant.

    I’m going to make a SWAG that the blog was removed for activity (statements?) that would be criminal in the users home country. I believe that the criminality of data should only be considered in the context of the hosting country, and then requires a government action to remove, but that is understandably a utopian view (from my Usenet years), undistorted by the need to make money in environments where politics and business are so irrevocably intertwingled.

    — Morgan Schweers, CyberFOX!

  82. Well done, just too bad it’s another crisis, designed to take mind off the other crisis. Sleight of hand tricks. Back-channel the one most in immediate flames, cue up long-term problem, place on central burner, turn on high, divert attention. It’s Crisis Management PR 101.

    Cynical? Hey, I know PR.

    He already got burnt in another China mishap, not about to make same mistake twice. Least it learns. But you need mainstream media and political wailing to make this stick. Glad to have helped out. ;)

  83. Well done, just too bad it’s another crisis, designed to take mind off the other crisis. Sleight of hand tricks. Back-channel the one most in immediate flames, cue up long-term problem, place on central burner, turn on high, divert attention. It’s Crisis Management PR 101.

    Cynical? Hey, I know PR.

    He already got burnt in another China mishap, not about to make same mistake twice. Least it learns. But you need mainstream media and political wailing to make this stick. Glad to have helped out. ;)

  84. Morgan and all the other moral relativsts: if you think that moral values are not absolute: what if the case had been about childporn or racism instead? There is a set of irreducible, culture-independent set of principles that are necessary for human society to exist.

    The right for you not to be tortured/killed in cold blood is absolute. Also, do not confuse what is legal with what is moral. Hiding behind legalisms is for moral cowards with no spine.

    Regarding this case: MS did the commercially-correct morally-wrong thing. Yahoo/Google bow to China too. Should organisations be amoral? Complex world with lots of grey…

  85. Morgan and all the other moral relativsts: if you think that moral values are not absolute: what if the case had been about childporn or racism instead? There is a set of irreducible, culture-independent set of principles that are necessary for human society to exist.

    The right for you not to be tortured/killed in cold blood is absolute. Also, do not confuse what is legal with what is moral. Hiding behind legalisms is for moral cowards with no spine.

    Regarding this case: MS did the commercially-correct morally-wrong thing. Yahoo/Google bow to China too. Should organisations be amoral? Complex world with lots of grey…

  86. [...] Scoble is fired up and extending an invitation to Michael Anti to use his blog instead (Anti has since changed to a different third-party hosted blog service — why doesn’t this guy buy his own domain and host this himself?): OK, this one is depressing to me. It’s one thing to pull a list of words out of blogs using an algorithm. It’s another thing to become an agent of a government and censor an entire blogger’s work. [...]

  87. “It’s one thing to pull a list of words out of blogs using an algorithm.”

    Bull, that was *still* enabling censorship, the tool of these butchers. You’re almost there with this post, well done, now how about taking it all the way and stating that MS should not perform ANY censorship on behalf of totalitarian states?

  88. “It’s one thing to pull a list of words out of blogs using an algorithm.”

    Bull, that was *still* enabling censorship, the tool of these butchers. You’re almost there with this post, well done, now how about taking it all the way and stating that MS should not perform ANY censorship on behalf of totalitarian states?

  89. The whole censorship argument aside for a moment … what I don’t understand here is if this Anti guy wanted more control, why didn’t he setup his own domain and his own hosting? Why does he go to a third party blog host in China that has a very restrictive TOS?

    Bloggers need to stop crying censorship when they agree to a TOS in advance.

    The fact that Anti ran back to his previous third party host tells me this guy isn’t looking at this very intelligently.

  90. The whole censorship argument aside for a moment … what I don’t understand here is if this Anti guy wanted more control, why didn’t he setup his own domain and his own hosting? Why does he go to a third party blog host in China that has a very restrictive TOS?

    Bloggers need to stop crying censorship when they agree to a TOS in advance.

    The fact that Anti ran back to his previous third party host tells me this guy isn’t looking at this very intelligently.

  91. Mao Tse Gates?

    So I wonder what the man representing one-third of of the Times Persons of the Year has to say about political censorship of MSN Spaces blogs? As quoted by LaShawn Barber, Glenn Reynolds, Evan Coyne Maloney, and the Scobelizer, Rebecca MacKinnon expl…

  92. Dude, you practice censorship of a more heinous variety on Channel 9.

    Get in touch with reality.

    …and consider one of those protein diets.

    I love you too!

    xx00

    shooby

  93. Dude, you practice censorship of a more heinous variety on Channel 9.

    Get in touch with reality.

    …and consider one of those protein diets.

    I love you too!

    xx00

    shooby

  94. Dennis: I’ll have more to say on this issue after I hear back from the folks involved. This decision was made in China so it’ll take some time, maybe even a day or two. Not to mention lots of stakeholders are scattered all over the world at the moment due to CES and other events.

  95. Dennis: I’ll have more to say on this issue after I hear back from the folks involved. This decision was made in China so it’ll take some time, maybe even a day or two. Not to mention lots of stakeholders are scattered all over the world at the moment due to CES and other events.

  96. I never understand why people complain about companies everytime something like this happens. Will everybody complains quit buying products that originate from china because they support their policies. Probably not.

    You guys get worked up over things once in a while, but never think through what your actions could cause too, but point at google, or yahoo or microsoft about something they did.

    Personally, I think if there is really a need for freedom of speech in china, the chinese can fight for it, it is no my place to tell them what rights they need. I am sure a 1.2 billion people can figure out what they want…

  97. This will be put on this weeks episode of Tech Talk for our current events section, keep up the good work.

  98. I never understand why people complain about companies everytime something like this happens. Will everybody complains quit buying products that originate from china because they support their policies. Probably not.

    You guys get worked up over things once in a while, but never think through what your actions could cause too, but point at google, or yahoo or microsoft about something they did.

    Personally, I think if there is really a need for freedom of speech in china, the chinese can fight for it, it is no my place to tell them what rights they need. I am sure a 1.2 billion people can figure out what they want…

  99. Microsoft Removes Chinese Blog

    Rebecca MacKinnon writes:
    Microsoft’s MSN Spaces continues to censor its Chinese language blogs, and has become more aggressive and thorough at censorship since I first checked out MSN’s censorship system last summer. On New Years Eve, MSN Space…

  100. This will be put on this weeks episode of Tech Talk for our current events section, keep up the good work.

  101. [...] A good reason to ignore this site By Dennis Howlett Regular readers know I believe this medium is great for creating valuable and profitable relationships. So when things go badly wrong (see comments #17, 72 and response 75) , everyone suffers. IMHO, that happened today. Robert Scoble, a Microsoft (MSFT) employee and key influencer of the technologies called out MSN in the following manner:"OK, this one is depressing to me. It’s one thing to pull a list of words out of blogs using an algorithm. It’s another thing to become an agent of a government and censor an entire blogger’s work. Yes, I know the consequences. Yes, there are thousands of jobs at stake. Billions of dollars. But, the behavior of my company in this instance is not right."By any standard, these are harsh words. For this sie, this is neither the time nor place to argue politics nor economics. AccMan Pro is not into that stuff. But it is into promoting best practice. I’ve met both Rebecca MacKinnon, the person whose words piqued Robert’s ire and Robert Scoble himself. I respect them both but in different ways. On this occasion I believe Robert has made a serious mis-step. While at Les Blogs 2.0 . I listened to Rebecca MacKinnon and recorded a Chinese national who explained the rudiments of the way Chinese  people (not government) responds to Western views. I understood that even though this may seem hard, we do well to remember the words of Ayatollah Khomenei who said: "Islam is politics, all else is meaningless."  Or something very similar. I am sure Robert means no harm. I am equally sure Robert wants the best for everyone. I am more than sure Robert is alive to the risks he takes. Why? I’ve met the man and I know I’m not a poor judge of character. Time of course will be my ultimate judge. But on this occasion, I think Robert is plain wrong and hurts those that are looking at this environment and thinking ‘Should I/shouldn’t I?Follow the links, see if this makes sense to you… Blogging issues, Compliance, msn censorship This entry is filed under Compliance, Blogging issues. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site. Leave a Reply [...]

  102. [...] Of course, there’s always another side to the ledger in dealing with the Chinese government. Rebecca Mackinnon, a Research Fellow at the Havard Law School’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society, reports that Microsoft’s MSN apparently took down the blog of Zhao Jing who was doing more investigative reporting than was appreciated by the government. Microsoft’s Robert Scoble looks into the case, offers him blog space, and has an followup. Posted @ 10:20 pm. Filed under Alliances, Governmental Relations, Outsourcing, General Business, Offshoring   [Permalink] [...]

  103. [...] 1. You currently can not play with the themes though Robert Scoble from Microsoft tells me today that (when I asked him how he was aable to edit his theme): Matt Mullenweg, founder of WordPress.com, did it for me. He is working on that feature so everyone else will be able to do it soon for themselves. [...]

  104. [...] もう一つは、MSN が中国人ジャーナリスト Michael Anti の blog を削除したというニュースで、RConversation で取り上げられ、tech.memeorandum でもトップを飾り、Robert Scoble が MSNは間違ってる とするコメントを出してる 今回削除された blog は、中国政府からのブロックを受けておらず、MSN の自主的規制らしい こういうメディアの自主規制てのは、日本にも自粛っていう困った習慣があるけど、全くどうしたものかな [...]

  105. Microsoft have been disgusting. As someone who has traveled around china for a few months, government oppression is very very very real there. That an american company should be complicit in helping the government is disgusting.

    I fully support your dissent to your own company. Don’t feel afraid to raise your voice about this.

  106. Microsoft have been disgusting. As someone who has traveled around china for a few months, government oppression is very very very real there. That an american company should be complicit in helping the government is disgusting.

    I fully support your dissent to your own company. Don’t feel afraid to raise your voice about this.

  107. “As someone who has traveled around china for a few months….”

    Ah! A real expert! If I had a nickel for everyone who’s been in China for a few months and understands everything….

    Microsoft should not be aiding the Chinese government in this matter. I have hope but little confidence that scobleizer will be able to change MS policy.

  108. “As someone who has traveled around china for a few months….”

    Ah! A real expert! If I had a nickel for everyone who’s been in China for a few months and understands everything….

    Microsoft should not be aiding the Chinese government in this matter. I have hope but little confidence that scobleizer will be able to change MS policy.

  109. [...] A Chinese journalist and blogger has had his blog removed by MSN Spaces, alleges former CNN journalist Rebecca McKinnon. Popular Microsoft employee and blogger Robert Scoble has taken a stand against MSN’s removal of the blog. It’s been put back up on blog site Blog-city, although it is blocked by Chinese ISPs. The blogger, “Michael Anti,” claims to be releasing an English version that, to the disappointment and scorn of commenters on the related shoutbox, currently only contains a not-quite-so-eloquent post. Added: Of course, there’s the obligatory MeFi link. Also I originally got this from BB and click-trail’d to the rest of the links. [...]

  110. From Rebecca McKinnon’s blog

    “On December 16th I created a blog and attempted to make various posts with politically sensitive words. When I attempted to post entries with titles like “Tibet Independence” or “Falun Gong” (a banned religious group), I got an error message saying: “This item includes forbidden language. Please delete forbidden language from this item

    This was on Friday December 16th. By Monday the 19th, the whole blog had been taken down, just like Anti’s was on Dec.31st, with an error message: “This space is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.”

    For the apologists above, no, you don’t need to be a criminal (Falun Gong isn’t criminal, just banned). You just need to use words that MSN spaces has banned!

    “the blog remains inaccessible from the United States as well as from China. This means that the action was taken NOT by Chinese authorities responsible for filtering and censoring the internet for Chinese viewers, but by MSN staff at the level of the MSN servers.”

    For those in favour of the censorship/talking about Terms of Service – I didn’t notice you supporting Sony with their outrageous terms of service.

    @Scoble: Takes courage (for a change) to have posted what you did, I think you’ll find people will respect you for that, whatever the facts turn out to be.

  111. From Rebecca McKinnon’s blog

    “On December 16th I created a blog and attempted to make various posts with politically sensitive words. When I attempted to post entries with titles like “Tibet Independence” or “Falun Gong” (a banned religious group), I got an error message saying: “This item includes forbidden language. Please delete forbidden language from this item

    This was on Friday December 16th. By Monday the 19th, the whole blog had been taken down, just like Anti’s was on Dec.31st, with an error message: “This space is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.”

    For the apologists above, no, you don’t need to be a criminal (Falun Gong isn’t criminal, just banned). You just need to use words that MSN spaces has banned!

    “the blog remains inaccessible from the United States as well as from China. This means that the action was taken NOT by Chinese authorities responsible for filtering and censoring the internet for Chinese viewers, but by MSN staff at the level of the MSN servers.”

    For those in favour of the censorship/talking about Terms of Service – I didn’t notice you supporting Sony with their outrageous terms of service.

    @Scoble: Takes courage (for a change) to have posted what you did, I think you’ll find people will respect you for that, whatever the facts turn out to be.

  112. Use your head for a second. The Chinese government is allowing foreign companies to do business there as long as they follow certain guidelines. One of these guidelines is to bow to govermental censorship when requested. They write the rules and if you want to play at all, you must obey. I doubt the msn people feel good about this.

    What is a solution to this? The only one that I see is that the Chinese people themselves tear down this evil system. Are you suggesting that non-governmental organizations like Microsoft and Google become catalysts for mass political change? The sad fact is that this isn’t what businesses do. Maybe corporate expectations are changing, due to our decaying planet, but I doubt this will change soon enough.

    This of course would be an excellent time for Apple to sponsor an underground democracy movement in China through proxied blogging. Hell, if you can fool the people into thinking that you actually give a shit about something more than turning a fast buck, then you have a chance of winning.

  113. Use your head for a second. The Chinese government is allowing foreign companies to do business there as long as they follow certain guidelines. One of these guidelines is to bow to govermental censorship when requested. They write the rules and if you want to play at all, you must obey. I doubt the msn people feel good about this.

    What is a solution to this? The only one that I see is that the Chinese people themselves tear down this evil system. Are you suggesting that non-governmental organizations like Microsoft and Google become catalysts for mass political change? The sad fact is that this isn’t what businesses do. Maybe corporate expectations are changing, due to our decaying planet, but I doubt this will change soon enough.

    This of course would be an excellent time for Apple to sponsor an underground democracy movement in China through proxied blogging. Hell, if you can fool the people into thinking that you actually give a shit about something more than turning a fast buck, then you have a chance of winning.

  114. Thank you for this post. It bring new hope that people inside Microsoft will fight this censorship. And we shall also try to fight very hard in our western world for the signs of censorship here. There might not be the same kind of censorship, but the goal is the same – the people with power use power to shut down in people that potensially decrease their power.

    I like to draw your attention to censorship in our western world – inside Myspace, one of the most popular social networks for teenagers. Last week before Christmas Myspace.com censored all mentioning of Youtube.com and all linking to youtube videoclips. See more information on my blog here:

    http://samkoma.net/videoblog/?p=17

    Myspace also shut down my myspace account for a while, I assume it was because I was critical of the censorship and the blogoshere was starting up heated discussion about this. My account was later reopened. Myspace seem to be eager to destroy all traces of this censorship and evidence that it ever took place. This is very interesting example of how powerful and invisible censorship in our western world can be and how important it is for activism not to be dependent upon the media channels you are targeting.

  115. Thank you for this post. It bring new hope that people inside Microsoft will fight this censorship. And we shall also try to fight very hard in our western world for the signs of censorship here. There might not be the same kind of censorship, but the goal is the same – the people with power use power to shut down in people that potensially decrease their power.

    I like to draw your attention to censorship in our western world – inside Myspace, one of the most popular social networks for teenagers. Last week before Christmas Myspace.com censored all mentioning of Youtube.com and all linking to youtube videoclips. See more information on my blog here:

    http://samkoma.net/videoblog/?p=17

    Myspace also shut down my myspace account for a while, I assume it was because I was critical of the censorship and the blogoshere was starting up heated discussion about this. My account was later reopened. Myspace seem to be eager to destroy all traces of this censorship and evidence that it ever took place. This is very interesting example of how powerful and invisible censorship in our western world can be and how important it is for activism not to be dependent upon the media channels you are targeting.

  116. Wonderful post.

    The issue, S. Jorbs, is not so much Microsoft following the CCP’s rules. It is about Microsoft, an American company, on American soil, deleting blogs read all around the world because they have content that annoys the Chinese Communist Party. What will our world be like if American corporations, in their feverish pursuit of those 1.2 billion Chinese consumers, abandon all ethics and stoop to deeds hitherto unthinkable by an American company?

  117. Wonderful post.

    The issue, S. Jorbs, is not so much Microsoft following the CCP’s rules. It is about Microsoft, an American company, on American soil, deleting blogs read all around the world because they have content that annoys the Chinese Communist Party. What will our world be like if American corporations, in their feverish pursuit of those 1.2 billion Chinese consumers, abandon all ethics and stoop to deeds hitherto unthinkable by an American company?

  118. Hi Scobleizer, thanks for standing up and I do admire your courage.

    A lot here have been said about doing business in China must follow the Chinese rules or practices. This certainly has its merit, however this is only the half truth. Why most American companies will not and can not bribe their ways out in China as their Chinese competitors normally do? Because there is something called ‘Foreign Corrupt Practices Act(FCPA)’. The dire financial & reputational consequences of breaching such a US law prevent most Americans from doing under-the-table tricks which are ubiquitous in China. Do American business suffer? I assume so. Why not a lot of people cry for this?

    So the question is really at what price the Amercians, especailly the American government, will hold their moral high ground. Comparing with the billions of dollors the Americans (or at least half of the Americans) are willingly to shed to promote democracy in Middle-east, I do believe the financial consequences of Microsoft or Google or whoever who do not comply with Chinese blackmails will be just peanuts.

    Certainly, from any single corporation’s point of view, especially for those with big stake in China, loss of revenue there is an immediate pain. This is why I think the American government should step in, establishing something similar to the FCPA, forbiding US companies from assisting foreign governments to curb any democratic initiatives.

    Call me a dreamer at your will. As a Chinese who himself shed blood in Tiananmen square in 1989, I know how difficult it is for normal people to stand up and fight within. Anti is a courageous young man, he should be supported at any costs.

    PS1: Talking about Chinese laws, it is in China’s constitution that people have freedom of speech, freedom of forming parties etc. The only notable lack of freedom from a legal point of view is that Chinese are not allowed to strike, which suits American MNCs handsomely.

    PS2: I live in southern Germany, 2 miles from Swiss border, maybe not too far from your mom’s hometown :-)

  119. Hi Scobleizer, thanks for standing up and I do admire your courage.

    A lot here have been said about doing business in China must follow the Chinese rules or practices. This certainly has its merit, however this is only the half truth. Why most American companies will not and can not bribe their ways out in China as their Chinese competitors normally do? Because there is something called ‘Foreign Corrupt Practices Act(FCPA)’. The dire financial & reputational consequences of breaching such a US law prevent most Americans from doing under-the-table tricks which are ubiquitous in China. Do American business suffer? I assume so. Why not a lot of people cry for this?

    So the question is really at what price the Amercians, especailly the American government, will hold their moral high ground. Comparing with the billions of dollors the Americans (or at least half of the Americans) are willingly to shed to promote democracy in Middle-east, I do believe the financial consequences of Microsoft or Google or whoever who do not comply with Chinese blackmails will be just peanuts.

    Certainly, from any single corporation’s point of view, especially for those with big stake in China, loss of revenue there is an immediate pain. This is why I think the American government should step in, establishing something similar to the FCPA, forbiding US companies from assisting foreign governments to curb any democratic initiatives.

    Call me a dreamer at your will. As a Chinese who himself shed blood in Tiananmen square in 1989, I know how difficult it is for normal people to stand up and fight within. Anti is a courageous young man, he should be supported at any costs.

    PS1: Talking about Chinese laws, it is in China’s constitution that people have freedom of speech, freedom of forming parties etc. The only notable lack of freedom from a legal point of view is that Chinese are not allowed to strike, which suits American MNCs handsomely.

    PS2: I live in southern Germany, 2 miles from Swiss border, maybe not too far from your mom’s hometown :-)

  120. My best guess is that Microsoft censored the free blog because someone spoke to someone who spoke to someone.
    It’s not as if the blogger in question is low profile and it’s not as if this is the first time someone deliberately blogged controversial items in a rhetorical fashion.

    I’m more disappointed in Microsoft for being gullible enough to be used as a political tool.

    95% of bloggers live in the free world and yet they fail to understand that their selected webtool of free speech is neither free nor theirs. Some bloggers are aware of the above and and play the game, and the people, accordingly.

  121. My best guess is that Microsoft censored the free blog because someone spoke to someone who spoke to someone.
    It’s not as if the blogger in question is low profile and it’s not as if this is the first time someone deliberately blogged controversial items in a rhetorical fashion.

    I’m more disappointed in Microsoft for being gullible enough to be used as a political tool.

    95% of bloggers live in the free world and yet they fail to understand that their selected webtool of free speech is neither free nor theirs. Some bloggers are aware of the above and and play the game, and the people, accordingly.

  122. Google PC kerfuffle (and meta-sign)

    In today’s IT Blogwatch, we look at the swirling rumors about Google’s PC and are heard to mutter, "I want that one." Not to mention a warning sign warning you not to hit your head on the warning sign…
    If the CES rumor mill springs true, …

  123. Microsoft, censoring now uuummmmmm, what next are they going to take on the role of the American Government? One wonders, what the hell they’re playing at. If Microsoft, want play at censoring, then why don’t they start censoring porn site with young children. I know every one should have freedom of speech on the web, but when it come to showing child porn then that should be censored!

  124. Microsoft, censoring now uuummmmmm, what next are they going to take on the role of the American Government? One wonders, what the hell they’re playing at. If Microsoft, want play at censoring, then why don’t they start censoring porn site with young children. I know every one should have freedom of speech on the web, but when it come to showing child porn then that should be censored!

  125. [...] Enkele dagen geleden besloot MSN echter om de weblog van Michael Anti te verwijderen. Een van de achterliggende redenen (volgens Roland Soong) was Anti’s steun voor zijn stakende collega’s bij de krant Beijing News. Verschillende Amerikaanse webloggers beschuldigen Microsoft van samenwerking met het Chinese regime om de vrijheid van meningsuiting te bestrijden. Een deprimerende beslissing, vind Microsoft Weblogger Robert Scoble (interview met DNR). OK, this one is depressing to me. It’s one thing to pull a list of words out of blogs using an algorithm. It’s another thing to become an agent of a government and censor an entire blogger’s work. Yes, I know the consequences. Yes, there are thousands of jobs at stake. Billions of dollars. But, the behavior of my company in this instance is not right. [...]

  126. We all have to stand up together, some how we have to make the world we live in a better and free place for all manking no matter what collour or creed we are. We should not have to put up with the Bill Gate of this world.

  127. We all have to stand up together, some how we have to make the world we live in a better and free place for all manking no matter what collour or creed we are. We should not have to put up with the Bill Gate of this world.

  128. [...] I originally heard that Microsoft had shut down a Chinese blogger at MSN spaces from Scoble. His response was pretty clear. OK, this one is depressing to me. It’s one thing to pull a list of words out of blogs using an algorithm. It’s another thing to become an agent of a government and censor an entire blogger’s work. Yes, I know the consequences. Yes, there are thousands of jobs at stake. Billions of dollars. But, the behavior of my company in this instance is not right. [...]

  129. Time was when the CEO of any American company would openly denounce “Communism” in the normal course of doing business. Indeed, anti-communism was de rigeur in the business world and elsewhere. The idea of supporting a Communist regime in any way was looked on as unthinkably treasonous. Now that the “commies” are providing Wal-Mart and other corporations with cheap slave labor, I guess anti-communism is out of style, right?

    Apropos of what you said above, my own grandparents ran for their fucking lives from Nazi Germany. My grandmother’s sister and her family didn’t make it.

    I understand that according to the FBI, the greatest category of illegal immigrants to the USA is not Mexicans but Chinese. Did anyone stop to think about why people in that country would pay gangs of criminals called “snakeheads” to seal them into shipping containers with no windows, no toilets and no ventilation for a voyage across the Pacific which they might not even survive?

    As for confronting your employer, Mr. Scoble, I know that’s easier said than done. Most people would not even do what you’ve done here.

  130. Time was when the CEO of any American company would openly denounce “Communism” in the normal course of doing business. Indeed, anti-communism was de rigeur in the business world and elsewhere. The idea of supporting a Communist regime in any way was looked on as unthinkably treasonous. Now that the “commies” are providing Wal-Mart and other corporations with cheap slave labor, I guess anti-communism is out of style, right?

    Apropos of what you said above, my own grandparents ran for their fucking lives from Nazi Germany. My grandmother’s sister and her family didn’t make it.

    I understand that according to the FBI, the greatest category of illegal immigrants to the USA is not Mexicans but Chinese. Did anyone stop to think about why people in that country would pay gangs of criminals called “snakeheads” to seal them into shipping containers with no windows, no toilets and no ventilation for a voyage across the Pacific which they might not even survive?

    As for confronting your employer, Mr. Scoble, I know that’s easier said than done. Most people would not even do what you’ve done here.

  131. I’m here via BB, and given that one of the biggest struggles of the 21st century is likely to be the Freedom of the Internet vs. Oppressive States + Complicit Corporations, I’m very glad you’ve chosen to publicly take this position (thanks!)

    I sincerely hope you continue to say things like this, and make sure your company knows what it should not be doing, who it should not be complying with just to keep profit rolling in.

    China is only going to open itself to a free internet if it needs to. If Microsoft and other biggies comply instead of holding fast to values of freedom, there will be no need, and nothing will happen.

    The Oppression For Profit folks at Yahoo! and Google should be taking notes.

  132. I’m here via BB, and given that one of the biggest struggles of the 21st century is likely to be the Freedom of the Internet vs. Oppressive States + Complicit Corporations, I’m very glad you’ve chosen to publicly take this position (thanks!)

    I sincerely hope you continue to say things like this, and make sure your company knows what it should not be doing, who it should not be complying with just to keep profit rolling in.

    China is only going to open itself to a free internet if it needs to. If Microsoft and other biggies comply instead of holding fast to values of freedom, there will be no need, and nothing will happen.

    The Oppression For Profit folks at Yahoo! and Google should be taking notes.

  133. I know Robert Scoble is angry about that, me too.

    but do you know these statistics?
    Illiteracy population in China is 8.507 million. 80 million contrymen who are got low level education.

    I don’t know how much of them will listen to the high IQ clerisy and just do what they hear and never think it carefully. but I know that’s a very big number which can get the country to commotion, it will be bigger than the France commotion.

    And is Mr.Anti is the delegate of Chinese?

    ps. I am Chinese who are live in China, too.

  134. Dare, really, when has Robert ever let fact checking get in the way of his self-aggrandizement as “hero for the people”? I mean, this isn’t the first time he’s gone on the attack against fellow MSFT employees without checking the facts first. It’s always “post first, verify and apologize later, never let anything get in the way of having the biggest first post penis”.

    Robert will of course, end up apologizing for the thugs comment, (which was completely out of line), and make another empty promise to be better about checking facts before posting.

    Really, I think if it wasn’t part of their jobs to do so, I’ll guess that a lot of MS people would hesitate to talk to Robert, since he doesn’t care who he damages on his way to be first.

  135. Dare, really, when has Robert ever let fact checking get in the way of his self-aggrandizement as “hero for the people”? I mean, this isn’t the first time he’s gone on the attack against fellow MSFT employees without checking the facts first. It’s always “post first, verify and apologize later, never let anything get in the way of having the biggest first post penis”.

    Robert will of course, end up apologizing for the thugs comment, (which was completely out of line), and make another empty promise to be better about checking facts before posting.

    Really, I think if it wasn’t part of their jobs to do so, I’ll guess that a lot of MS people would hesitate to talk to Robert, since he doesn’t care who he damages on his way to be first.

  136. John C. Welch, what is exactly the fact as you know? MSN Space shut off the whole blog of a well known Chinese political disident. How do you explain this? If Anti has broken any Chinese law, why he is still at large?

  137. John C. Welch, what is exactly the fact as you know? MSN Space shut off the whole blog of a well known Chinese political disident. How do you explain this? If Anti has broken any Chinese law, why he is still at large?

  138. postpostmodern: “The right for you not to be tortured/killed in cold blood is absolute.” While the world may currently recognize this as a basic human right, it’s a bit “out there” to suggest that this is “absolute.” I get fairly annoyed at moral relativism myself, but I’m perfectly aware that the morals that are culturally ingrained in me are just that… ingrained from my culture.

    Are sharks immoral because they kill in cold blood? No, they are amoral with regard to the moral context that I use. If you are a shark, you have a much different set of moral values.

    Likewise, were the members of the Donner Party immoral? Is it moral relativism to suggest that they did what was necessary to survive? Is it any less necessary for the Chinese gov’t to behave in a certain way to preserve itself? If they do not know any other way to survive but to continue along the same path they’ve been on for a generation, is it surprising that they would behave this way?

    There are cultures that have no problems with selling children into prostitution for the family to survive. It’s easy for me to call them immoral, but I’m not the one staring at the possibility of the rest of my family starving to death in an impoverished nation and no opportunities to “pull myself up by my own bootstraps.”

    Drawing morally lines in the sand is fun, but to suggest that there are culturally independent demarcations is a bit naive, don’t you think?

  139. postpostmodern: “The right for you not to be tortured/killed in cold blood is absolute.” While the world may currently recognize this as a basic human right, it’s a bit “out there” to suggest that this is “absolute.” I get fairly annoyed at moral relativism myself, but I’m perfectly aware that the morals that are culturally ingrained in me are just that… ingrained from my culture.

    Are sharks immoral because they kill in cold blood? No, they are amoral with regard to the moral context that I use. If you are a shark, you have a much different set of moral values.

    Likewise, were the members of the Donner Party immoral? Is it moral relativism to suggest that they did what was necessary to survive? Is it any less necessary for the Chinese gov’t to behave in a certain way to preserve itself? If they do not know any other way to survive but to continue along the same path they’ve been on for a generation, is it surprising that they would behave this way?

    There are cultures that have no problems with selling children into prostitution for the family to survive. It’s easy for me to call them immoral, but I’m not the one staring at the possibility of the rest of my family starving to death in an impoverished nation and no opportunities to “pull myself up by my own bootstraps.”

    Drawing morally lines in the sand is fun, but to suggest that there are culturally independent demarcations is a bit naive, don’t you think?

  140. [...] 记者安替位于MSN的Blog被删除,此前曾为微软设立中文敏感词过滤的微软员工Robert Scoble(亦是一名知名Blogger)曾任这是自己做过的最缺心眼的事。昨天,在其Blog上对安替MSN Space被删除事件作个人表态,对微软同仁说,sorry, I don’t agree with your being used as a state-run thug(抱歉,你们被用作了国家暴徒,对此我无法苟同)。并称愿意在自己的地盘上为安替提供机会发表其任何言论。 [...]

  141. Internet Censorship in China

    Bloggers all over the world are up in arms over Microsoft’s alleged censorship of a popular Chinese language blog on their free and widely used MSN spaces website builder. Some blogs in China get blocked for mentioning certain highly specific keywords…

  142. [...] It does the heart good to see Microsoft’s top blogger, Scoble, laying into part of the Microsoft empire. He’s having a big go at MSN Spaces for taking down a Chinese blogger (although he adds the rider that he does not know for sure that the reports are true). He says he likes to subvert his employer for the good, and so long as he does so, I entirely disagree with the view that he has outlived his usefulness at Microsoft. blogosphere microsoft scoble [...]

  143. I commend you on your challenging the bosses terrible actions!
    Supporting a regime that thrives on propaganda, brutality, and violence to anyone who voices dissent is a serious black mark on your employers’ record.
    While many blogs are simply an online diary that gives us the opportunity to whine about the ex husbands or how tiring our Xmas shopping was (mine included), it upsets me that people have had their very lives jeopardized simply for putting their thoughts online.
    For shame, Bill!

  144. I commend you on your challenging the bosses terrible actions!
    Supporting a regime that thrives on propaganda, brutality, and violence to anyone who voices dissent is a serious black mark on your employers’ record.
    While many blogs are simply an online diary that gives us the opportunity to whine about the ex husbands or how tiring our Xmas shopping was (mine included), it upsets me that people have had their very lives jeopardized simply for putting their thoughts online.
    For shame, Bill!

  145. Robert,

    when you get a chance you need to read this:
    http://www.cia.gov/nic/NIC_2020_project.html

    and you also want to glance at this:
    http://weblog.jrc.cec.eu.int/comments/wallstrom/Weblog/corporate_responsibility

    and I guess you’ve followed this:
    http://weblogs.asp.net/edaniel/archive/2006/01/05/434548.aspx

    It’s not easy, it’s complex – what’s easy is what the business needs to do – what is complex is making the decision to do what is in the interest of business over other issues – where does the capitalist’s conscience lie? I recently read USA gave more aid to Uzbekistan than the entire African continent (http://www.voidstar.com/node.php?id=2640)- I guess it’s a good job Bill’s doing his bit for HIV in Africa.

  146. Robert,

    when you get a chance you need to read this:
    http://www.cia.gov/nic/NIC_2020_project.html

    and you also want to glance at this:
    http://weblog.jrc.cec.eu.int/comments/wallstrom/Weblog/corporate_responsibility

    and I guess you’ve followed this:
    http://weblogs.asp.net/edaniel/archive/2006/01/05/434548.aspx

    It’s not easy, it’s complex – what’s easy is what the business needs to do – what is complex is making the decision to do what is in the interest of business over other issues – where does the capitalist’s conscience lie? I recently read USA gave more aid to Uzbekistan than the entire African continent (http://www.voidstar.com/node.php?id=2640)- I guess it’s a good job Bill’s doing his bit for HIV in Africa.

  147. MSN Space是大陸的嗎?

    怪了, M$應該是美國公司, 難道他想賺大陸的錢想瘋了.
    所以要去親大陸政府的屁股嗎? 然後過濾不當言論.
    雖然我覺得現在再回頭仔細看MSN Space的term of service,
    應該會發現有一些模棱兩可的部份,…

  148. [...] Scobelizer has a link to this post by Rebecca MacKinnon: Microsoft’s MSN Spaces continues to censor its Chinese language blogs, and has become more aggressive and thorough at censorship since I first checked out MSN’s censorship system last summer. On New Years Eve, MSN Spaces took down the popular blog written by Zhao Jing, aka Michael Anti.[…] Note, his blog was TAKEN DOWN by MSN people. Not blocked by the Chinese government. [...]

  149. [...] Η πρώην συντάκτρια του CNN Rebecca McKinnon έχει την ιστορία αναλυτικά στο blog της. O Robert Scobble (κορυφαίος blogger της Microsoft) εξέφρασε τη διαφωνία του για την πράξη της εταιρείας στην οποία εργάζεται, λέγοντας “the behavior of my company in this instance is not right.”. [...]

  150. What MSN is doing for their Communist Chinese masters isn’t all that different from what Yahoo does. Lost Budgie wrote of Yahoo’s helping to jail a dissident…

    “Chinese Journalist Shi Tao dared to mention the 15th Anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre.

    He will now be rotting in a Chinese prison for the next TEN YEARS because Yahoo! “enthusiastically” assisted Chinese Secret Police thugs to find the journalist’s identity”

    “During an address to the Alibaba China Internet Summit, Yahoo’s Chief Jerry Yang admitted that his company assists the Chinese Secret Police, but excused the behaviour by saying, “I don’t like the outcome of what happened with this thing, we get a lot of these orders, but we have to comply with the law and that’s what we need to do.”

    “Lost Budgie’s Aunt Reby reminds Mr. Yang that he sounds an awful lot like some other people in Germany and France who, in another time, made similar statements about having to comply with the law – no matter what the consequences.”

    OF COURSE, we have to remember that the Communist Chinese are very resourceful…

    From 101 Uses For An Executed Chinese

    Gotta hand it to those Communists in China…

    So resourceful! So innovative!

    So Evil.

    A Chinese cosmetics company is using skin harvested from the corpses of executed convicts to manufacture beauty products.

    No surprise, really. After all, these are the same Communist despots who drive tanks over teenagers, kick old people to death for possessing a Bible, kidnap pregnant women to perform abortions and sterilizations against their will, and sentence people to death based upon the government’s ability to sell executed prisoners’ body parts.

  151. What MSN is doing for their Communist Chinese masters isn’t all that different from what Yahoo does. Lost Budgie wrote of Yahoo’s helping to jail a dissident…

    “Chinese Journalist Shi Tao dared to mention the 15th Anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre.

    He will now be rotting in a Chinese prison for the next TEN YEARS because Yahoo! “enthusiastically” assisted Chinese Secret Police thugs to find the journalist’s identity”

    “During an address to the Alibaba China Internet Summit, Yahoo’s Chief Jerry Yang admitted that his company assists the Chinese Secret Police, but excused the behaviour by saying, “I don’t like the outcome of what happened with this thing, we get a lot of these orders, but we have to comply with the law and that’s what we need to do.”

    “Lost Budgie’s Aunt Reby reminds Mr. Yang that he sounds an awful lot like some other people in Germany and France who, in another time, made similar statements about having to comply with the law – no matter what the consequences.”

    OF COURSE, we have to remember that the Communist Chinese are very resourceful…

    From 101 Uses For An Executed Chinese

    Gotta hand it to those Communists in China…

    So resourceful! So innovative!

    So Evil.

    A Chinese cosmetics company is using skin harvested from the corpses of executed convicts to manufacture beauty products.

    No surprise, really. After all, these are the same Communist despots who drive tanks over teenagers, kick old people to death for possessing a Bible, kidnap pregnant women to perform abortions and sterilizations against their will, and sentence people to death based upon the government’s ability to sell executed prisoners’ body parts.

  152. Fait divers: MSN censure un blog chinois

    Saluons les prouesses de la technologie capable d’identifier automatiquement les blogs coupables d’utiliser des mots tabous. La censure comme option d’une prestation commerciale. Apres une histoire similaire qui concernait Yahoo, c&#8…

  153. [...] Las reacciones a esta “medida” de Microsoft fueron bastante impresionantes; desde Robert Scoble, el blogger “Oficial” de Microsft, criticando a la empresa y ofreciendole a Zhao un espacio junto a el para que nadie lo censure… desafiante no?. Otro MSoftie mientras le decia a RS que “porque no esperas a escuchar las dos campanas antes de hablar mal de la empresa”. [...]

  154. Say No to MSN Spaces

    Say No To MSN SpacesOriginally uploaded byIsaac Mao.MSN Spaces变本加厉,在关键词过滤的行为上又作了“更邪恶”的事情,竟然把用户的Blog关闭,内容删除,还假以所谓的“遵循中国法律”为名。这种行为…

  155. [...] For those not familiar with Robert Scoble, he is Microsoft’s “official” blogger. His job, for the most part, is to blog on issues and items related to Microsoft and the industries they touch. Now, most people would probably assume that Robert sits around and plays cheerleader for the company all day; and while that sometimes appears to be the case, it is clear that Robert is given the freedom to write whatever he feels is accurate, regardless of whether it depicts his employer in a good or bad light. Case-in-point is this blog post by Scoble, where he effectively compares Microsoft to the Nazis. It’s nice to see that Microsoft has the courage to realisticly challenge themselves with someone like Scoble, and it’s nice to see that Scoble has the courage to stand up for what is right. [...]

  156. Rob, you say “it’s another thing” to censor an entire blogger’s work. I disagree – deleting certain words like Democracy and human rights is MORE pernicious than deleting an entire article. It presents an article censored and approved by the Chinese government as if it were true and independent. At least, if the work is deleted entirely, the empty space stands as a stinging indictment of censorship and an embarrasment to the authorities. It could be the catalyst for widespread resistance against such censorship, whereas tolerating the ongoing interference ensures it continues, unnoticed and unchallenged.

  157. Rob, you say “it’s another thing” to censor an entire blogger’s work. I disagree – deleting certain words like Democracy and human rights is MORE pernicious than deleting an entire article. It presents an article censored and approved by the Chinese government as if it were true and independent. At least, if the work is deleted entirely, the empty space stands as a stinging indictment of censorship and an embarrasment to the authorities. It could be the catalyst for widespread resistance against such censorship, whereas tolerating the ongoing interference ensures it continues, unnoticed and unchallenged.

  158. [...] Microsoft appears to be sensoring Chinese-language blogs at its MSN Spaces site, even when viewed outside of China, reports Rebecca MacKinnon. (HT: JunkYardBlog.) Microsoft employee and blogger Robert Scoble has more and a follow-up. (Related: Yahoo May Have Helped China Jail Journalist.) [...]

  159. [...] How much grip does the China Blogosphere have? Well … if the coverage of MSN’s takedown of Chinese journalist Zhao Jing’s blog, which I first read about Danwei here but also reported on here, here, here, and here is any indication then it’s got enough juice to open up a can of whup a#$ before you can say 一, 二, 三. [...]

  160. I guess this is the future.

    The most important task of any government that isn’t even pretending to be an open society is control of the information environment.

    Yahoo and Microsoft are so desperate — for bona fide bottom line purposes — for their cut of the huge Chinese market that they play by China’s rules.

    China hasn’t asked these tech giants to sell them tanks and machine guns to use to suppress free speech violently as they did in Tienamen Square.

    No … they’re insisting that Yahoo and Microsoft help them with the electtronic information infrastructure — they’re asking Microsft and Yahoo for the digital tools to suppress free speech. And Microsoft and Yahoo are cooperating. Yahoo’s cooperation — supplying e-mail origin data to the police — has put a Chinese human rights activist in prison. Microsoft so far is just helping the Chinese government gag its people.

    These are American companies, whatever that means. But the big question is: As American supercompany tech evolves over the next decade, how will giants like Microsoft and Yahoo resist US government pressures to control and censor the public’s information environment? Doesn’t the US government — NSA, FBI, Homeland Security — have a powerful argument with “You did it for China. Why won’t you do it for your own country?”

    In other words, market pressure on the tech infrastructure giants is pressure to play ball with every country’s organs of state security. We’ve just seen the Chinese vanguard first. China is barely embarrassed about its totalitarian police-state nature.

    But how will Microsoft, Yahoo and the other US tech and telecommunications giants behave when the US government asks them to Play Ball in ways not strictly required by existing laws? With Microsoft and Yahoo’s help, I think we’re seeing the last days of free Internet speech in the USA. Citizens’ and customers’ rights can’t compete with the need to succeed and grow in the marketplace.

  161. I guess this is the future.

    The most important task of any government that isn’t even pretending to be an open society is control of the information environment.

    Yahoo and Microsoft are so desperate — for bona fide bottom line purposes — for their cut of the huge Chinese market that they play by China’s rules.

    China hasn’t asked these tech giants to sell them tanks and machine guns to use to suppress free speech violently as they did in Tienamen Square.

    No … they’re insisting that Yahoo and Microsoft help them with the electtronic information infrastructure — they’re asking Microsft and Yahoo for the digital tools to suppress free speech. And Microsoft and Yahoo are cooperating. Yahoo’s cooperation — supplying e-mail origin data to the police — has put a Chinese human rights activist in prison. Microsoft so far is just helping the Chinese government gag its people.

    These are American companies, whatever that means. But the big question is: As American supercompany tech evolves over the next decade, how will giants like Microsoft and Yahoo resist US government pressures to control and censor the public’s information environment? Doesn’t the US government — NSA, FBI, Homeland Security — have a powerful argument with “You did it for China. Why won’t you do it for your own country?”

    In other words, market pressure on the tech infrastructure giants is pressure to play ball with every country’s organs of state security. We’ve just seen the Chinese vanguard first. China is barely embarrassed about its totalitarian police-state nature.

    But how will Microsoft, Yahoo and the other US tech and telecommunications giants behave when the US government asks them to Play Ball in ways not strictly required by existing laws? With Microsoft and Yahoo’s help, I think we’re seeing the last days of free Internet speech in the USA. Citizens’ and customers’ rights can’t compete with the need to succeed and grow in the marketplace.

  162. What it means to be an ‘American company’ is that they’re subject to American law. Although you can question whether it’s appropriate or not generally, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of the U.S.A. governs the conduct of ‘American’ companies wherever they do business.
    If MSN, Yahoo, and others had bribed the Chinese gov’t with cash, material gifts, etc. to win or retain business, they could and probably would be prosecuted in the U.S.A. under this Act. But apparently the U.S. Justice Department is taking the position that staying in the good graces of Chinese officials for the welfare of their business by ‘bribing’ them with censorship, violations of client confidentiality and other repugnant behaviors is not a violation of the Act.
    I wonder if U.S. courts would view it the same way, and I wonder if it’s possible for private individuals to sue under the F.C.P.A.?

  163. What it means to be an ‘American company’ is that they’re subject to American law. Although you can question whether it’s appropriate or not generally, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of the U.S.A. governs the conduct of ‘American’ companies wherever they do business.
    If MSN, Yahoo, and others had bribed the Chinese gov’t with cash, material gifts, etc. to win or retain business, they could and probably would be prosecuted in the U.S.A. under this Act. But apparently the U.S. Justice Department is taking the position that staying in the good graces of Chinese officials for the welfare of their business by ‘bribing’ them with censorship, violations of client confidentiality and other repugnant behaviors is not a violation of the Act.
    I wonder if U.S. courts would view it the same way, and I wonder if it’s possible for private individuals to sue under the F.C.P.A.?

  164. Thank you for taking a stand on this issue – it is a tough one to be sure – exporting our beliefs and culture to another nation is a tough issue, but in this case, the conversation should focus on the universal right of self expression – if only we could get a broader authority involved here, but there is no quick solution for the Chinese oppression. The gun they hold to the head of the corporation is obvious – we need a better strategy…

  165. Thank you for taking a stand on this issue – it is a tough one to be sure – exporting our beliefs and culture to another nation is a tough issue, but in this case, the conversation should focus on the universal right of self expression – if only we could get a broader authority involved here, but there is no quick solution for the Chinese oppression. The gun they hold to the head of the corporation is obvious – we need a better strategy…

  166. [...] Robert Scoble, festangestellter Microsoft Blogger kritisiert auf seinem Blog seinen eigenen (!!!) Arbeitgeber äusserst scharf: OK, this one is depressing to me. It’s one thing to pull a list of words out of blogs using an algorithm. It’s another thing to become an agent of a government and censor an entire blogger’s work. Yes, I know the consequences. Yes, there are thousands of jobs at stake. Billions of dollars. But, the behavior of my company in this instance is not right. Robert Scoble dürfte damit seinen Hut nehmen, schätze ich mal oder zumindestens seine erste Abmahnung abkassieren (haben die in den USA sowas, bevor man gekündigt wird?). Aber bei Robert munkelt man schon länger, daß Microsoft seine Dienste nicht mehr benötigt, nachdem die halbe Firma bloggt. [...]

  167. [...] MSN Space took down blog of Zhaojing (a.k.a Anti), a journalist blogger, who was out-spoken on some sensitive political issues. Rebecca Mackinnon reported the issue with more follow-up links. She also raised the question of corporate responsibility for internet companies. Issac Mao, founder of CNBlog, called people to “say no to MSN Space”. Robert Scoble expressed his anger and personal opinion on this matter. Now Anti has moved to Blog-City, which would not censor his content as it was based in US. But readers in mainland China are inaccessible to the new blog. [...]

  168. My european voice:
    I’m not surprised by the Microsoft’s behavior. “Microsoft makes money” – is there any other ethical policy? Robert is right: Today Microsoft’s opportunism costs a single and independent opinion inside a regime – tomorrow may be it will cost the independency of any minority. Staff of Microsoft: YOU are Microsoft’s voice and not some top managers who have forgotten the basic principle “protect those who have no political protection”.

  169. My european voice:
    I’m not surprised by the Microsoft’s behavior. “Microsoft makes money” – is there any other ethical policy? Robert is right: Today Microsoft’s opportunism costs a single and independent opinion inside a regime – tomorrow may be it will cost the independency of any minority. Staff of Microsoft: YOU are Microsoft’s voice and not some top managers who have forgotten the basic principle “protect those who have no political protection”.

  170. Ein Argument mehr gegen Microsoft…

    …ist die Zensur gegen ein chinesisches Weblog auf MSN Spaces. Siehe dazu auch den Artikel in der Netzeitung bzw. den Kommentar von Stowe Boyd. Selbst der Scobleizer ist »not amused«.
    Menschenrechte? USA? Ach ja…
    [Hr. Kantel]

  171. [...] One of Microsoft’s own most public bloggers, Scobleizer, the “Microsoft Geek Blogger”, had this to say: OK, this one is depressing to me. It’s one thing to pull a list of words out of blogs using an algorithm. It’s another thing to become an agent of a government and censor an entire blogger’s work. Yes, I know the consequences. Yes, there are thousands of jobs at stake. Billions of dollars. But, the behavior of my company in this instance is not right. [...]

  172. I think it is too much to ask of any corporation, to go and actually break a law of Chinese govt.

    Though the situation raises some serious ethical concerns, it is not upto Microsoft, Yahoo or one single corporation to interfere in the politics of the region. Maybe US government should ponder over this issue and talk to the Chinese govt.

    I personally think, corporations should stick to what they do the best, i.e. business and leave political affairs to politicians. When companies start taking ethical matters into their hands and start breaking national laws, it might prove to be disastrous.

  173. I think it is too much to ask of any corporation, to go and actually break a law of Chinese govt.

    Though the situation raises some serious ethical concerns, it is not upto Microsoft, Yahoo or one single corporation to interfere in the politics of the region. Maybe US government should ponder over this issue and talk to the Chinese govt.

    I personally think, corporations should stick to what they do the best, i.e. business and leave political affairs to politicians. When companies start taking ethical matters into their hands and start breaking national laws, it might prove to be disastrous.

  174. [...] It’s a popular way to describe Microsoft. I myself have never used it before. The news on the wires right now have changed my tune. Microsoft has taken down a Chinese language blog that was critical of the Chinese government. This blog was not not a .cn site it was a .com. It is being censored not only in China but throughout the rest of the world. Here are some good links on this. Microsoft takes down Chinese Blogger. A take on the story from Microsoft Employee Robert Scoble. And the Metafilter’s comments section on this story. You know my brain gets it. They are in it for the money. Sometimes I just want to believe in a company a little bit. Sometimes I want to think that they are designing products to make the world a better more just place. Sure that’s naive but why shouldn’t there be a little romance in business. [...]

  175. Oh yeah! I like what MS has done! you see in the end it’s the Chinese government that pays MS big moneys under the table in the long run! I don’t think the chinese want to register any shiitt windows at all! I bet they’d rather stick it with the cheap Linux or Mac, only dudes whom play PC games needs plush sshhiitt winodws of MS’s …

  176. Oh yeah! I like what MS has done! you see in the end it’s the Chinese government that pays MS big moneys under the table in the long run! I don’t think the chinese want to register any shiitt windows at all! I bet they’d rather stick it with the cheap Linux or Mac, only dudes whom play PC games needs plush sshhiitt winodws of MS’s …

  177. Huh?! That the chinese government bans dudes in china? or was that there’s no DUDES in CHINA after all? IF they’ve got dudes in CHINA, why the ffuucckk they bans this & that all over the places?!

  178. Huh?! That the chinese government bans dudes in china? or was that there’s no DUDES in CHINA after all? IF they’ve got dudes in CHINA, why the ffuucckk they bans this & that all over the places?!

  179. [...]   Or at least an accuracy warning?  Publishing anything on the Internet is incredibly easy, without the checks and balances and editorial control applied in the traditional media.  That’s part of its beauty, but it comes with some risks.  That means that you need to take care in how you use the words you’ll find, and sometimes corroborate your sources in the way a journalist would before he published anything.  Hear are some examples of what I mean from major to minor. Wikipedia is a really excellent resource.  The encyclopaedia written and kept up to date by us.  However, it is not perfect and contains widely publicised inaccuracies.  There was quite a furore back in December.  Wikipedia’s own pages now explain the issue: The John Seigenthaler Sr. Wikipedia biography controversy occurred after an anonymous editor posted a hoax in the Wikipedia entry for John Seigenthaler Sr. in May 2005. In September, Victor S. Johnson, Jr., an old friend of Seigenthaler’s, discovered the entry, which suggested that Seigenthaler may have had a role in the assassinations of both John F. Kennedy and Robert F. Kennedy. As you might imagine, this generated a lot of heat.  Danah Boyd on Many 2 Many tells some more about the story, and it has led to some changes in editorial procedure at Wikipedia.  In some areas the resource is quite amazing, but in others you need to take care.  My football team, West Ham United, is listed, but until a few days ago it was described as a semi professional team (original entry clearly written by a Spurs, Arsenal or Chelsea supporter!) but the page has just been updated by some Happy Hammer – thank heavens.  Back on 3rd January, Robert Scoble caused a stir from his blog by castigating his own company, Microsoft,  for taking down Zhao Jing’s blog site in China after government pressure, and then backtracking on his comments.  Corante has a good analysis of the events.  To get away from assassinated presidents and global politics, on a more mundane footing I recently referred to a comparison of blogging software in my “insider’s guide to blogging“, only to be told by a colleague that there are inaccuracies in the chart.  Whether this is because things have changed since the time the author penned the article, or because of her lack of knowledge, I don’t know.  However, for me it is a lesson learned to take care, issue disclaimers where appropriate, and check my facts like any good reporter.  As with many  things it’s caveat emptor.  Oh, and that’s one you can look up on Wikipedia and get the right answer. Technorati Tags : Internet, accuracy, Wikipedia, Siegenthaler, Scobleiser, Corante, blogging, WHUFC  Powered By Qumana [...]

  180. THE Scobleizer..inator…master hero dude…

    Way to goooo!!!!! You had the courage to stand up and be HEARD and now Microsoft has changed its policy. I know Microsoft wants to do business in China and they are trying to balance their interests with the government, but in this case, MSN was being a pawn of oppression. Clearly. You were right and you stood on sound moral ground. Being IN China can help in making changes over time, but at some point a company must honor ITS values and those of caring about people. Microsoft has done the right thing…thanks to YOU and your friends there. MAJOR!!!!

  181. THE Scobleizer..inator…master hero dude…

    Way to goooo!!!!! You had the courage to stand up and be HEARD and now Microsoft has changed its policy. I know Microsoft wants to do business in China and they are trying to balance their interests with the government, but in this case, MSN was being a pawn of oppression. Clearly. You were right and you stood on sound moral ground. Being IN China can help in making changes over time, but at some point a company must honor ITS values and those of caring about people. Microsoft has done the right thing…thanks to YOU and your friends there. MAJOR!!!!

  182. [...] Today seems to be “bang on censorship day” (shouldn’t every day?) and while it’s helpful that MS is rolling back a little, it’s still not enough. Lam1969 writes “Microsoft attorney Brad Smith says that the company has a new policy to deal with a foreign government’s request that alleges posted material violates its laws. The policy was apparently developed after Microsoft’s own employees complained after a Chinese blogger hosted by Microsoft was censored. From the article ‘Smith said Microsoft will only remove blogs when given proper legal notice, and even then, will only block access to that material within the country where it is deemed unlawful. The site will still be viewable from outside the country, he said.’” [...]

  183. Microsoft is but-kissing, it kisses the US in order
    to gain favors, now it is kissing China,s ass in
    order to gain favors there since the EU does
    not favor Microsoft’s ass kissing. That is the sole
    reason of why Ms operates as it does.

  184. Microsoft is but-kissing, it kisses the US in order
    to gain favors, now it is kissing China,s ass in
    order to gain favors there since the EU does
    not favor Microsoft’s ass kissing. That is the sole
    reason of why Ms operates as it does.

  185. From Bill Clinton era:

    Supporting Freedom of Speech on the Internet
    by Bill Gates
    CEO Microsoft
    From the Internet

    “…The Internet’s potential is enormous, and the stakes are high. The Internet can raise the quality of political debate, the quality of education, the quality of life. It is precious and important, and we must not take it for granted…

    …The free exchange of ideas on a global basis is something that is important for the U.S. politically and economically. Let’s not undermine the world-wide trend toward free expression by setting a bad example when it comes to free speech on a computer network.

    http://www.hevanet.com/kort/GATES1.HTM

    Fast forward to:
    January, 27 2006

    Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft, took the rare step of standing up for arch-rival Google today as he argued that state censorship was no reason for technology companies not to do business in China.

    http://business.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,19149-2012784,00.html

    It’s reasons like this that make me glad I use Linux. http://fedora.redhat.com/

    Money talks, bs walks.

  186. From Bill Clinton era:

    Supporting Freedom of Speech on the Internet
    by Bill Gates
    CEO Microsoft
    From the Internet

    “…The Internet’s potential is enormous, and the stakes are high. The Internet can raise the quality of political debate, the quality of education, the quality of life. It is precious and important, and we must not take it for granted…

    …The free exchange of ideas on a global basis is something that is important for the U.S. politically and economically. Let’s not undermine the world-wide trend toward free expression by setting a bad example when it comes to free speech on a computer network.

    http://www.hevanet.com/kort/GATES1.HTM

    Fast forward to:
    January, 27 2006

    Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft, took the rare step of standing up for arch-rival Google today as he argued that state censorship was no reason for technology companies not to do business in China.

    http://business.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,19149-2012784,00.html

    It’s reasons like this that make me glad I use Linux. http://fedora.redhat.com/

    Money talks, bs walks.

  187. This is a repost… apparently my post was taken down, not sure why all I had to say was this:
    From the Bill Clinton era
    http://www.hevanet.com/kort/GATES1.HTM

    Supporting Freedom of Speech on the Internet
    by Bill Gates
    CEO Microsoft
    from the Internet
    The Internet is the first medium that allows anyone with reasonably inexpensive equipment to publish to a wide audience. It is the first medium that distributes information globally at almost no marginal cost.
    The Internet’s potential is enormous, and the stakes are high. The Internet can raise the quality of political debate, the quality of education, the quality of life. It is precious and important, and we must not take it for granted…
    …The free exchange of ideas on a global basis is something that is important for the U.S. politically and economically. Let’s not undermine the world-wide trend toward free expression by setting a bad example when it comes to free speech on a computer network.

    Then forward to January 27, 2006:

    Billionaire and Microsoft founder Bill Gates took the rare step of standing up for arch-rival Google today as he argued that state censorship was no reason for technology companies not to do business in China.

    http://business.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,19149-2012784,00.html

    It seems my post was removed because maybe it was the fact that I left a link to my favorite penguin?
    Whatever the reason, it seems that Billy made an about face.

    If in fact my post has not been removed, then I apologize. If it has been intentionally removed, then that’s Irony!

  188. This is a repost… apparently my post was taken down, not sure why all I had to say was this:
    From the Bill Clinton era
    http://www.hevanet.com/kort/GATES1.HTM

    Supporting Freedom of Speech on the Internet
    by Bill Gates
    CEO Microsoft
    from the Internet
    The Internet is the first medium that allows anyone with reasonably inexpensive equipment to publish to a wide audience. It is the first medium that distributes information globally at almost no marginal cost.
    The Internet’s potential is enormous, and the stakes are high. The Internet can raise the quality of political debate, the quality of education, the quality of life. It is precious and important, and we must not take it for granted…
    …The free exchange of ideas on a global basis is something that is important for the U.S. politically and economically. Let’s not undermine the world-wide trend toward free expression by setting a bad example when it comes to free speech on a computer network.

    Then forward to January 27, 2006:

    Billionaire and Microsoft founder Bill Gates took the rare step of standing up for arch-rival Google today as he argued that state censorship was no reason for technology companies not to do business in China.

    http://business.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,19149-2012784,00.html

    It seems my post was removed because maybe it was the fact that I left a link to my favorite penguin?
    Whatever the reason, it seems that Billy made an about face.

    If in fact my post has not been removed, then I apologize. If it has been intentionally removed, then that’s Irony!

  189. [...] DePaulMicrosoft Revises Blog Censorship Policy3 February 2006 @ 9:33AM Since the beginning of the year, both Microsoft and Google have seenself-inflicted public relations disasters stem from their decisions to censor political content deemed inconvenient by the Chinese government. Now, Microsoft has decided to make its censorship policy ever-so-slightly-less-offensive: In the face of outrage from many of its own employees over its abrupt censoring of a Chinese blogger, Microsoft Corp. has formulated a new policy to deal with requests from a government that alleges that posted material violates its laws. The measures were detailed by Microsoft’s top lawyer, Brad Smith, at the Government Leaders Forum in Lisbon today. Smith said Microsoft will remove blogs only when given proper legal notice. And even then, it will block access to that material only within the country where it is deemed unlawful. The site will still be viewable from outside the country, he said. [...] “Obviously, what we are trying to do with the kinds of principles we articulated today is … obey the law in the countries in which we do business but also pay appropriate respect to the needs of our users, both those who put information up on a blog and those who want to read that information around the world,” Smith said. [...]

  190. “But, the behavior of my company in this instance is not right.”

    I think you meant:

    “But, the bevaious of the company that employees me in this instance is not right.”

    Your writing style is teh suck!1

    Of course, a normal person wouldn’t have made this mistake, very Freudian, you have issues.

  191. “But, the behavior of my company in this instance is not right.”

    I think you meant:

    “But, the bevaious of the company that employees me in this instance is not right.”

    Your writing style is teh suck!1

    Of course, a normal person wouldn’t have made this mistake, very Freudian, you have issues.

  192. [...] Though the article centered on Microsoft’s shameful acquiescence in a Chinese directive to shut down the MSN Spaces blog site of a Chinese dissident (bravo for Robert Scoble telling his friends at MSN that they were wrong), Google came in for its share of shame: Microsoft was only the latest technology company to be criticized for cooperating with the Chinese government. Yahoo, Cisco and Google have all been accused of helping to maintain what the United States-China Economic and Security Review Commission, a Congressional investigatory body, has called “the most sophisticated Internet control system in the world.” [...]

  193. [...] China is the best in the world at blocking people from seeing content that the state finds objectionable. One tough question is how Western technology firms – especially those that putatively value freedom of expression and don’t want to be evil – should engage China, or participate in its market. I’ve sounded off on this issue, as have others (Rep. Chris Smith, Rebecca MacKinnon, Ethan Gutmann, Hiawatha Bray, Robert Scoble, and many others). There are (at least) two salient questions. First, what constraints should Western companies observe when offering services in, or to, China? The U.S. limited export of encryption technology for a long time – along with supercomputers such as those made by my former employer, IBM – and our courts once banned publication of a magazine article with technical details about hydrogen bombs. We accept that freedom to trade must at times yield to other concerns. [...]

  194. i will tell u same thing. billgates was being b-mailed by Ramseys and wanted it to stop.he hired it done through paul allen.the Alameda mob handled the recruitment of muscle. the muscle and brains were flown from cal to colo to perform a nefarious deed.the Ramsey jet was used. a Red Lear. and a white cargo plane met the lear at end of runway and surrepticiously transferred both men . they bailed tandom over boulder and set down near 15th street.a gate to storm drain tunnel had been compromised and two blue and white trail bikes were w8ing.the two went thru the tunnel and stopped under 15th st. they muscled up the manhole cover and emerged about midnite and wlked crx the st to gate. a short butler let them in. a girl was in basement. she knew the whereabouts of master disk. John Ramsey entered the alcove where the comp was waving a handgun. He was disarmed. he was made to hold a string at bottom of door to basement that held the life of jonbenet in its balance. a blue floor lamp and a blu box where she stood. the lamp was held up by string and the cord was around her nek she stood on blue wooden box. the disk was given up ass part of secret compartment in alcove . it was in a box and tapes of b-mail vicims seducing jonbenet were in box. a disk was put in commodore and after pounding the way in the names of victims appeared on screen. each with code name. katzenjammer etc. teddy bear.john was left on his knees and the perps left thru the bak. they crawled out to manhole cover in bakyard and muscled up cover.the bikes were warm and reddy at bottom of ladder.they rode to the culvert and emerged on road where limo picked them upa dn drove them a short ways to roadside. a lift was in place and a plane was coming. the hook grabbed and they were lifted out and over to Vegas. where they were met by paul Allen and Lear jet. the disk was checked over and then the muscle was flown bak to cal.

  195. i will tell u same thing. billgates was being b-mailed by Ramseys and wanted it to stop.he hired it done through paul allen.the Alameda mob handled the recruitment of muscle. the muscle and brains were flown from cal to colo to perform a nefarious deed.the Ramsey jet was used. a Red Lear. and a white cargo plane met the lear at end of runway and surrepticiously transferred both men . they bailed tandom over boulder and set down near 15th street.a gate to storm drain tunnel had been compromised and two blue and white trail bikes were w8ing.the two went thru the tunnel and stopped under 15th st. they muscled up the manhole cover and emerged about midnite and wlked crx the st to gate. a short butler let them in. a girl was in basement. she knew the whereabouts of master disk. John Ramsey entered the alcove where the comp was waving a handgun. He was disarmed. he was made to hold a string at bottom of door to basement that held the life of jonbenet in its balance. a blue floor lamp and a blu box where she stood. the lamp was held up by string and the cord was around her nek she stood on blue wooden box. the disk was given up ass part of secret compartment in alcove . it was in a box and tapes of b-mail vicims seducing jonbenet were in box. a disk was put in commodore and after pounding the way in the names of victims appeared on screen. each with code name. katzenjammer etc. teddy bear.john was left on his knees and the perps left thru the bak. they crawled out to manhole cover in bakyard and muscled up cover.the bikes were warm and reddy at bottom of ladder.they rode to the culvert and emerged on road where limo picked them upa dn drove them a short ways to roadside. a lift was in place and a plane was coming. the hook grabbed and they were lifted out and over to Vegas. where they were met by paul Allen and Lear jet. the disk was checked over and then the muscle was flown bak to cal.

  196. Now that Gates has announced his transition from msn to melinda gates foundation,do u think he is mimmune from ne prior responsibilities? since i have no paper trail connecting gates to jonbenet i need to dig it up.only my word that he hired me to do jonbenet. its not sufficient to bring gates to his knees.he is distancing himself slowly from msn. 2 years to get out.nothing is going to chx what he did. hiring a hit on jonbenet is unforgivable.the men in blak on the lear jet know what happened xmas 96. i wonder if they have been silenced?the crew that cut the lox on the storm drain gates. are they alive?there may be more casualties than just jonbenet.hope to keep things alive. luky

  197. Now that Gates has announced his transition from msn to melinda gates foundation,do u think he is mimmune from ne prior responsibilities? since i have no paper trail connecting gates to jonbenet i need to dig it up.only my word that he hired me to do jonbenet. its not sufficient to bring gates to his knees.he is distancing himself slowly from msn. 2 years to get out.nothing is going to chx what he did. hiring a hit on jonbenet is unforgivable.the men in blak on the lear jet know what happened xmas 96. i wonder if they have been silenced?the crew that cut the lox on the storm drain gates. are they alive?there may be more casualties than just jonbenet.hope to keep things alive. luky

  198. i am considering the possibilities or alternative avenues billg may have befor grand jury indicts him on rico statutes. connected to ordering the hit.what course i must take to see that gates fortune doesn’t wind up in a tax shelter. i am amazed that the treasury would let such a grand sum fall out of its jurisdiction. if i prevail very little of the money will go offshore.that’s a guarantee.of sorts. or not! he can settle with me on the court house steps if he wishes.so to speak.only bill or melinda can answer that.since it was melinda that set up the interview at Stone boatyard. i would say she is as much to blame as ne one.

  199. i am considering the possibilities or alternative avenues billg may have befor grand jury indicts him on rico statutes. connected to ordering the hit.what course i must take to see that gates fortune doesn’t wind up in a tax shelter. i am amazed that the treasury would let such a grand sum fall out of its jurisdiction. if i prevail very little of the money will go offshore.that’s a guarantee.of sorts. or not! he can settle with me on the court house steps if he wishes.so to speak.only bill or melinda can answer that.since it was melinda that set up the interview at Stone boatyard. i would say she is as much to blame as ne one.

  200. if billg chex out like ken boy did it will b tuff to get a judgement against him.kidnapping attempted murder murder organized criminal activity. he had the finest minds figure out how to get to joni.no one in thier rite mind would believe how it was really done.the planning and execution was superb. evry detail worked out to the minute.the question lingers.. who washed up the evidence? how were the ramseys able to keep the blue box and Blue lamp out of the authorities attn?it must have taken a lot of work to get rid of the Barby play house and all the rest of the junk.how did they get in the basement? the door knob was twisted and the pawl was broken. the jet pilot was questioned / or not.he was the bak up at the house in the plot to get the tape from ramsey. gates offered to pay . the money would be abord the jet from cal. billg had moved his alexander pres to Stone boatyard. the money was substituted for two men. the next move was on John Ramsey.

  201. if billg chex out like ken boy did it will b tuff to get a judgement against him.kidnapping attempted murder murder organized criminal activity. he had the finest minds figure out how to get to joni.no one in thier rite mind would believe how it was really done.the planning and execution was superb. evry detail worked out to the minute.the question lingers.. who washed up the evidence? how were the ramseys able to keep the blue box and Blue lamp out of the authorities attn?it must have taken a lot of work to get rid of the Barby play house and all the rest of the junk.how did they get in the basement? the door knob was twisted and the pawl was broken. the jet pilot was questioned / or not.he was the bak up at the house in the plot to get the tape from ramsey. gates offered to pay . the money would be abord the jet from cal. billg had moved his alexander pres to Stone boatyard. the money was substituted for two men. the next move was on John Ramsey.

  202. it seems that the truth must b aproved by some one. how does that occur? i tell the story and no one has the energy to check it o ut. oh well. who is to b believed. should it be decided by the networks? which are mostly msn. or should this be given closer scrutiny? what ever. at this rate it will never happen. so many interests in it not happening. stifled and cut off.get bak to me

  203. it seems that the truth must b aproved by some one. how does that occur? i tell the story and no one has the energy to check it o ut. oh well. who is to b believed. should it be decided by the networks? which are mostly msn. or should this be given closer scrutiny? what ever. at this rate it will never happen. so many interests in it not happening. stifled and cut off.get bak to me

  204. >>>it is possible there is proof billg and patsy ramsey came in contact at a beauty pagent pre xmas96.so b it. the red leer jet pilot could b a source of evidence. it was a long flight bak and i fell asleep but i herd one of the passengers yelling what scum i was.he was dressed in Blak as were the rest of the crew.i was hevily drugged and barely concious until we landed in cal. it figgered to me that so many peeps knew about the mission we would be caught soon. i suffered serious trauma and memory loss wen i was unceremoniously dumped into Alameda canal.my boat, the “loriet”,was sitting behind a alexander belonging to msn.i got loose and waited on other side from Stone Boat and then swam bak. i had been gone several days. time was not accounted for. i knew the mgm at the hotel paul Allen and i went to in Vegas would never forget me. I pulled up a tree from a large planter and set it on the gold carpet entrance. whereupon i sang a song. i was confronted by the owner. he said i had a good voice and he wanted me to sing at his restaurant next door.i told him i wasn’t sure i would live that long/. he assured me that as long as i was at his place nothing would happen to me. as long as i paid for the carpet to be cleaned. we met up with others and went to a very expensive flat. then we limoed to lvx and shttled bak to cal on the red lear.but the days after the dunking i was shaking. how many times would they try to kill me.?oh well i stuk it out for the next two years at fisherman’s wharf and ran into P A once more befor i felt it was necessary to flee to mexico. run south of the border. which i did.cont.

  205. >>>it is possible there is proof billg and patsy ramsey came in contact at a beauty pagent pre xmas96.so b it. the red leer jet pilot could b a source of evidence. it was a long flight bak and i fell asleep but i herd one of the passengers yelling what scum i was.he was dressed in Blak as were the rest of the crew.i was hevily drugged and barely concious until we landed in cal. it figgered to me that so many peeps knew about the mission we would be caught soon. i suffered serious trauma and memory loss wen i was unceremoniously dumped into Alameda canal.my boat, the “loriet”,was sitting behind a alexander belonging to msn.i got loose and waited on other side from Stone Boat and then swam bak. i had been gone several days. time was not accounted for. i knew the mgm at the hotel paul Allen and i went to in Vegas would never forget me. I pulled up a tree from a large planter and set it on the gold carpet entrance. whereupon i sang a song. i was confronted by the owner. he said i had a good voice and he wanted me to sing at his restaurant next door.i told him i wasn’t sure i would live that long/. he assured me that as long as i was at his place nothing would happen to me. as long as i paid for the carpet to be cleaned. we met up with others and went to a very expensive flat. then we limoed to lvx and shttled bak to cal on the red lear.but the days after the dunking i was shaking. how many times would they try to kill me.?oh well i stuk it out for the next two years at fisherman’s wharf and ran into P A once more befor i felt it was necessary to flee to mexico. run south of the border. which i did.cont.

  206. it has been awhile since i blogged on.i am surprised at the lack of interest. the main points i am bringing to the table have not been confirmed.i have given this much thot and rackt my brain for more detasils. i need your questions. over

  207. it has been awhile since i blogged on.i am surprised at the lack of interest. the main points i am bringing to the table have not been confirmed.i have given this much thot and rackt my brain for more detasils. i need your questions. over

  208. karr is stealing the thunder. or not. he may have been in the house,even the basement.(how did he get to Boulder boudoir? did he write the ransom note. is there a secret door to the basement from her bedroom?. was Karr a co-conspirator? who put her in basement?she was a biter and a scratcher. favorite game..”u wanna see how hrd i can bite?” then bite you on forearm.leving teethmarks. full set except for 12year molars.and sharp claw mars on your bak, if u do her missionary. she never stops moving or talking. may be he(karr) was the one who found her and he may have been fall guy. but was helped out by MD or Fleet.Patsy was weak. she would not commit to saying for sure she wasn’t knowledgable. JR definitely cannot weather wx crx examine. who cleaned evrythang?Barby doll house. big Blue ceramic lamp. small long shanked eyebolt,shallow blue plywood tote? nylon line. the staircase. the computer the secret panel in room at top of stairs? lots of stuff was thrown away or changed. who did that?patsy drove away after the perps and took a picture. where is camera and film?how bout pictures of billg with her?my guerss is that he read the facts about basement on my blog the receipt of 118k he guessed at. her phyisical attributes he may have read about on internet. speculation. or the prof is full of it. just a glory seeker. strategists for DA should tell los angeles they don’t want him. he couldn’t have done it. sister gives him alibi for xmas96. film l8er..

  209. karr is stealing the thunder. or not. he may have been in the house,even the basement.(how did he get to Boulder boudoir? did he write the ransom note. is there a secret door to the basement from her bedroom?. was Karr a co-conspirator? who put her in basement?she was a biter and a scratcher. favorite game..”u wanna see how hrd i can bite?” then bite you on forearm.leving teethmarks. full set except for 12year molars.and sharp claw mars on your bak, if u do her missionary. she never stops moving or talking. may be he(karr) was the one who found her and he may have been fall guy. but was helped out by MD or Fleet.Patsy was weak. she would not commit to saying for sure she wasn’t knowledgable. JR definitely cannot weather wx crx examine. who cleaned evrythang?Barby doll house. big Blue ceramic lamp. small long shanked eyebolt,shallow blue plywood tote? nylon line. the staircase. the computer the secret panel in room at top of stairs? lots of stuff was thrown away or changed. who did that?patsy drove away after the perps and took a picture. where is camera and film?how bout pictures of billg with her?my guerss is that he read the facts about basement on my blog the receipt of 118k he guessed at. her phyisical attributes he may have read about on internet. speculation. or the prof is full of it. just a glory seeker. strategists for DA should tell los angeles they don’t want him. he couldn’t have done it. sister gives him alibi for xmas96. film l8er..

  210. [...] Robert Scoble (a.k.a Microsoft Geek Blogger) speaks out “It â??s another thing to become an agent of a government and censor an entire bloggerâ??s work. Yes, I know the consequences. Yes, there are thousands of jobs at stake. Billions of dollars. But, the behavior of my company in this instance is not right.”read more | digg story [...]

  211. JR should b charged with obstruction of justice,tampering with evidence,lying to police,accessory to murder.. B-mail activity,corruption of a minor,org criminal Rico statutes. etc. y can’t a polygraf be attached to him?

  212. JR should b charged with obstruction of justice,tampering with evidence,lying to police,accessory to murder.. B-mail activity,corruption of a minor,org criminal Rico statutes. etc. y can’t a polygraf be attached to him?

  213. i stopped by to see what condition my condition was in..a few things crx’d my mind. i neglected to say wen we left out the bak to the patio Matt D pulled a gun.. i took it away from him.. and wen we lifted off the ground i was unhooked and climbed over the”wiper” un hooked him and watched him fall by the light of the moon.if he was luky he was wearing the chute we came in on. i rem flying around the Rockies tossing out white bags 20# a pc. of weed. at various places. we landed at the old Jo Conforte’s Mustang Ranch. the Fly in ‘F’.i took the bouncers pistols and shot up the front of the place. then trew them bak as we took off.we landed in vegas and we were met by PA. he had us driven to the Gold trimmed hotel on the Vegas strip. i pulled up a tree and sang a song. the owner arrived and offerd me a job. PA paid the doorman a Black chip for the mess on the gold carpet. we met with hoods in a suite and then went bak to the Red leer jet. and flew bak to Alameda. i went bak to my boat the Loriet and was met by tow goons who tied me up and hrew me into the canal.. i worked my hands loose and swam to other side of Alameda canal. not one mile from Jack London Landing. what an apropriate place to wind up.

  214. i stopped by to see what condition my condition was in..a few things crx’d my mind. i neglected to say wen we left out the bak to the patio Matt D pulled a gun.. i took it away from him.. and wen we lifted off the ground i was unhooked and climbed over the”wiper” un hooked him and watched him fall by the light of the moon.if he was luky he was wearing the chute we came in on. i rem flying around the Rockies tossing out white bags 20# a pc. of weed. at various places. we landed at the old Jo Conforte’s Mustang Ranch. the Fly in ‘F’.i took the bouncers pistols and shot up the front of the place. then trew them bak as we took off.we landed in vegas and we were met by PA. he had us driven to the Gold trimmed hotel on the Vegas strip. i pulled up a tree and sang a song. the owner arrived and offerd me a job. PA paid the doorman a Black chip for the mess on the gold carpet. we met with hoods in a suite and then went bak to the Red leer jet. and flew bak to Alameda. i went bak to my boat the Loriet and was met by tow goons who tied me up and hrew me into the canal.. i worked my hands loose and swam to other side of Alameda canal. not one mile from Jack London Landing. what an apropriate place to wind up.

  215. u have the story and the connection between jbr and G. if it were ne one else u wud chek it out but since it is the man u r 2intimid8ed 2do so. i think the leer pilot is mr Cox. the traitor in JR’s co is Matt D who is also his biz partner Ramsey Squadron. his A&P mechanic was the “wiper’. from Alameda cal. sincew JR is friend of Bolten’s(probably being b-mailed by Ramsey ) he gets a pass?lou smit is incompetent as is DA Lacy. i don’t expect miracles but they cud do a lil work and chek out the veracity of my story.the press isn’t ready 4the truth but the public is dying 4it.wiki user talk jonbenet

  216. u have the story and the connection between jbr and G. if it were ne one else u wud chek it out but since it is the man u r 2intimid8ed 2do so. i think the leer pilot is mr Cox. the traitor in JR’s co is Matt D who is also his biz partner Ramsey Squadron. his A&P mechanic was the “wiper’. from Alameda cal. sincew JR is friend of Bolten’s(probably being b-mailed by Ramsey ) he gets a pass?lou smit is incompetent as is DA Lacy. i don’t expect miracles but they cud do a lil work and chek out the veracity of my story.the press isn’t ready 4the truth but the public is dying 4it.wiki user talk jonbenet

  217. Ci2i ist hergestellt worden, um zu verwirklichen, daß eine fachkundige u. lukrative Marktgelegenheit, die im Festland Westeuropa Versicherung Sektorverkaufen besteht, Versicherung Produkte über das Internet commoditized.

  218. Ci2i ist hergestellt worden, um zu verwirklichen, daß eine fachkundige u. lukrative Marktgelegenheit, die im Festland Westeuropa Versicherung Sektorverkaufen besteht, Versicherung Produkte über das Internet commoditized.

  219. Thank you very much for the percise and clear argument. I am studying economics and the development of social institutions and one of the critical issues in this field is the shrinking middle in just about everything: so I really appreciated your common sense argument.

    For what it is worth a big issue in american and international politics is to figure out how to put more well spoken people in the center, and how to talk to each other once more. I think blogging helps. :D

    Also the next generation of Chinese kids should be very interesting when they find more of their voice. They have had a middle class for awhile now and they were discussing things surreptiously through old poetry and issues that sound very unpolitical, such as the “one dog policy,” in Beijing. I don’t know when it will come to a head but it has become a very capitalist place and the dog is a symbol of the old upper and middle classes.

    For the most part I have the understanding that the Chinese Government is trying to stem the spread of ideas but that they have already given up part of their control of desired skilled citizens, who have outside knowledge and are finding ways of getting around the censorship, without letting anyone on the outside know. This preserves the status quo but possibly allowing it to form a new center for a new era. This could be an interpretation of Bill Gates switch in stance over Google, I don’t know enough but he has thrown his hat into the development field these days.

    Its difficult to get good information out of China as it is a closed country, and I’ve heard both positive things and extremely scary things. Its changing fast. I agree attention needs to be paid to the issue of censorship though, it is a huge concern.

  220. Thank you very much for the percise and clear argument. I am studying economics and the development of social institutions and one of the critical issues in this field is the shrinking middle in just about everything: so I really appreciated your common sense argument.

    For what it is worth a big issue in american and international politics is to figure out how to put more well spoken people in the center, and how to talk to each other once more. I think blogging helps. :D

    Also the next generation of Chinese kids should be very interesting when they find more of their voice. They have had a middle class for awhile now and they were discussing things surreptiously through old poetry and issues that sound very unpolitical, such as the “one dog policy,” in Beijing. I don’t know when it will come to a head but it has become a very capitalist place and the dog is a symbol of the old upper and middle classes.

    For the most part I have the understanding that the Chinese Government is trying to stem the spread of ideas but that they have already given up part of their control of desired skilled citizens, who have outside knowledge and are finding ways of getting around the censorship, without letting anyone on the outside know. This preserves the status quo but possibly allowing it to form a new center for a new era. This could be an interpretation of Bill Gates switch in stance over Google, I don’t know enough but he has thrown his hat into the development field these days.

    Its difficult to get good information out of China as it is a closed country, and I’ve heard both positive things and extremely scary things. Its changing fast. I agree attention needs to be paid to the issue of censorship though, it is a huge concern.

  221. As several commenters have noted, Yahoo once turned in a dissident to the Chinese authorities, this being rather worse than taking down his blog. Yet I still participate in Yahoo Groups, because not doing so would greatly curtail my ability to spread my own ideas. In effect, to boycott Yahoo is to be censored by Yahoo, and that’s no way to fight censorship.

    Similarly, if I were MSN, might I not take the view that to boycott China is to be censored by China?

    (Declaration: I’m a Linux user and no fan of Microsoft.)

  222. As several commenters have noted, Yahoo once turned in a dissident to the Chinese authorities, this being rather worse than taking down his blog. Yet I still participate in Yahoo Groups, because not doing so would greatly curtail my ability to spread my own ideas. In effect, to boycott Yahoo is to be censored by Yahoo, and that’s no way to fight censorship.

    Similarly, if I were MSN, might I not take the view that to boycott China is to be censored by China?

    (Declaration: I’m a Linux user and no fan of Microsoft.)

  223. I’m from China, getting here by using an austrilian proxy. know this thing long long before in China, all people talk about it on internet.

    Support Mr.Anti,
    and disappointed at Microsoft.

  224. I’m from China, getting here by using an austrilian proxy. know this thing long long before in China, all people talk about it on internet.

    Support Mr.Anti,
    and disappointed at Microsoft.

  225. my commend is about the show pepper dennis i think this show is amazing ,josh hopkins brook rebecca lindsay…just evrey one is amazing i always enjoyed my time watching this show .and i wish ther is going to be another season ,and if my words can go to the producer or anyone made this show i want to ask for another season because i loved this show from the bottom of my heart ,and this show effect on me .so my last words are please make another season. with my love i wish for another season .and bye

  226. my commend is about the show pepper dennis i think this show is amazing ,josh hopkins brook rebecca lindsay…just evrey one is amazing i always enjoyed my time watching this show .and i wish ther is going to be another season ,and if my words can go to the producer or anyone made this show i want to ask for another season because i loved this show from the bottom of my heart ,and this show effect on me .so my last words are please make another season. with my love i wish for another season .and bye

  227. Microsoft will continue to rule the world as long as the world continues to run off it’s software…why don’t we all just pull together and use Linux or Mac?
    If we stop footing MSN’s bills, they will change their ways or have to get real jobs like real people and live within their means instead of making more than $10,000 a minute

  228. Microsoft will continue to rule the world as long as the world continues to run off it’s software…why don’t we all just pull together and use Linux or Mac?
    If we stop footing MSN’s bills, they will change their ways or have to get real jobs like real people and live within their means instead of making more than $10,000 a minute

  229. I Turned HIM in on oct. 10 2008

    FBI
    WHERE IS BILL SIMPSON AKA LUKYK9
    What did you do with him!!!!!!!!