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back to article Gates backs China in Google censorship spat

Lovable, huggable ex-monopolist Bill Gates has more often than not found himself batting for China in a recent publicity drive as head of the Gates Foundation. On his way to the World Economic Forum in Switzerland, the Microsoft-chief-turned philanthropist appears unmoved over China's position on internet censorship after Google …

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Silver badge
Badgers

Complicit in china's censorship

Not complacent

\spelling nazi

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Gates Horns

"China, not as bad as mentioning the Nazis"

I guess Bill's never heard of Godwin's Law...

Anyway, to paraphrase: "Microsoft will be more than happy to make money taking up the slack should Google choose to leave markets on the basis of mere points of principle"

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Anonymous Coward

What law?

There's Godwin's Law:

"As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches."

- Which, if we read the article properly, Gates did not transgress - in fact quite the opposite.

And there's Sodwin's Law:

"In any discussion of actual or emerging totalitarianism, we will quote Godwin's Law. That way we can flow with the tide and still feel good about ourselves."

You pays yer money....

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Go

Go to agree with him...

...the UK censors content, the US Censor content (indirectly by banning companies dealing with the likes of Cuba), Germany censors content, as do many, many others.

Chances are Google are pissed that the Chinese are better at gathering personal data than they are.

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Silver badge

I hate to say it ...

... but Bill's right when he says:

"“And so you have got to decide, do you want to obey the laws of the countries you are in or not. If not, you may not end up doing business there,” Gates said."

Sovereign law is sovereign law, regardless ... If you want to sell your peaches, apples, jalapenos or squash at my road-side fruit/veggie stand, they better stand up to my standards! If they don't, forget about it, I don't sell crap under signage that includes my name. I don't want your take on produce to reflect on my personal aesthetic in the minds of my consumers.

Now expand the above to include nation-sized trade ...

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Anonymous Coward

That's Gates!

Doesn't see the ethical difference between Germany banning pro-Nazi propoganda and the attempted and near-successful absolute repression in China? But then, I guess, to go by his haircut, he can't tell the difference between 'Before' and 'After' anyway.

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Gold badge
Paris Hilton

Is this really controversial?

“And so you have got to decide, do you want to obey the laws of the countries you are in or not. If not, you may not end up doing business there,”

Sheesh! If any of Microsoft's competitors find such views surprising then it is little wonder that Bill managed to run rings around them when he was in charge. He's clearly got two brain cells to knock together and that's clearly two more than they have. (On the moral point, notice that he didn't say you have to obey those laws. He made it quite clear that you have the option of staying away.)

Can we have a bear in the woods icon? Oh, hang on, this one's probably more attractive.

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Anonymous Coward

Todays word is

Realpolitik - I think Gates seems to have it sussed.

Things happen - live with it

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Gates Halo

Credit?

“Now, if Google ever chooses to pull out of the United States, then I'd give them credit.”

He'd give them more than credit, he'd give them a great big hug.

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Gates Horns

Is there really any doubt it was China?

The software might not have originated in China, the hack itself might not have originated in China but who, other than the Chinese, would be concerned enough about human rights activists in China to want to hack into their accounts?

Fwiw, Microsoft et al. are "complicit" in, not "complacent" in Chinese censorship.

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Thumb Up

Didn't everyone hate google when...

They opened their services in china by censoring... and now some people don't support them when they threaten to pull out.

Funny.

But yes I do agree with Bill on this one, if you want to do business you better follow the rules and accept the fact your servers will be hacked by the chinese government (directly or indirectly) whenever they like.

If you are happy with that, go forward and prosper.

So if MS were to take up the slack and they get hacked and got their source code stolen then they better not say a word ^^.

But I very much doubt google will pull out, they will just have to fire all their chinese employees and up their security.

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Gold badge

Microsoft's code

"So if MS were to take up the slack and they get hacked and got their source code stolen then they better not say a word ^^."

I think you'll find the Chinese have access to most of Microsoft's source code already, through various deals offered quite voluntarily by MS themselves.

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Gates Horns

Pot, meet kettle

“And so you have got to decide, do you want to obey the laws of the countries you are in or not. If not, you may not end up doing business there,” Gates said.

So if for example lawmakers in a country don't care much about software piracy, and really cannot be bothered to write laws that should make piracy illegal, then that is ok too? Or ... oh ... eh ... no ... that is different, perhaps?

But since when is Gates an expert on morals and ethics? I mean, everyone is entitled to his opinion but now it seems the former boss of the former Most Evil Empire of the world disagrees with the morality of the present boss of the present Most Evil Empire of the world.

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FAIL

As the Catholic Church gets back into the business of simony

Don't expect Pope Benedict XVI to make a statement any time soon about human rights repression in China - after all, the Gates Foundation donated $1 million to Catholic Relief Services, and that's enough to look the other way, isn't it?

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on pots and kettles

I'm just glad to see all the Google supporters not buying anything from China anymore.

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Big Brother

B & M G Foundaton

"... but Bill's right when he says:

"And so you have got to decide, do you want to obey the laws of the countries you are in or not. If not, you may not end up doing business there,” Gates said."

No, Jake, he's NOT right because he SUPPORTS China.

But then what do you expect from one of the heads of a Foundation that has supported China in its 'one child' policy. How would YOU feel if your parents weren't allowed to let you have a brother or sister, or if you weren't allowed to have more than one child. Is it OK to murder girl children?

Like his father before him, Gates is a eugenicist; just like a little man with an unusual moustache who likewise wanted to dominate the world for at least a thousand years.

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Silver badge

Excuse me, Ascylto?

What did your (thankfully short) diatribe have to do with what I posted?

By the way ... see that button labeled "Reply to this post"? Kindly think about what that means, and by extension what it is for. Thanks.

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Pot.. Kettle.. v2

<<“They've done nothing and gotten a lot of credit for it,” Gates sniped at Google...>>

Gee Bill, that sounds awfully familiar...

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