Best Defense

Thomas E. Ricks' daily take on national security.

Which side are you on, Bill Gates?

Congratulations to Google for doing the right thing, and also to GoDaddy.com for following suit Wednesday and declining to go along with an intrusive new Chinese law that requires turning over personal information. And shame on Microsoft and others for not having as much moral courage. It might be time to consider banishing Microsoft’s search ...

The Humanaught/flickr
The Humanaught/flickr

Congratulations to Google for doing the right thing, and also to GoDaddy.com for following suit Wednesday and declining to go along with an intrusive new Chinese law that requires turning over personal information. And shame on Microsoft and others for not having as much moral courage. It might be time to consider banishing Microsoft's search engine from your computer, little grasshoppers. And IBM is said to be developing software for China that actually will help track down people. Which side of the Great Firewall are you on, boys?

Here my thoughtful CNAS colleague Richard Fontaine summarizes the state of internet freedom of speech. His concluding warning: "The autocracies have figured out their way forward on this issue. We must do so as well." We might begin by warning American companies that there are consequences for supplying the tools of repression to autocratic regimes.

Congratulations to Google for doing the right thing, and also to GoDaddy.com for following suit Wednesday and declining to go along with an intrusive new Chinese law that requires turning over personal information. And shame on Microsoft and others for not having as much moral courage. It might be time to consider banishing Microsoft’s search engine from your computer, little grasshoppers. And IBM is said to be developing software for China that actually will help track down people. Which side of the Great Firewall are you on, boys?

Here my thoughtful CNAS colleague Richard Fontaine summarizes the state of internet freedom of speech. His concluding warning: "The autocracies have figured out their way forward on this issue. We must do so as well." We might begin by warning American companies that there are consequences for supplying the tools of repression to autocratic regimes.

Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at ricksblogcomment@gmail.com. Twitter: @tomricks1

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