Sergey Brin Admits Google Compromised Its Principles On China Deal

Posted on June 7, 2006

Google co-founder Sergey Brin admitted that Google compromised its principles when it cut a deal with China in which it agreed to censor sites that the Chinese government doesn't approve of.

Google Inc. co-founder Sergey Brin acknowledged Tuesday the dominant Internet company has compromised its principles by accommodating Chinese censorship demands. He said Google is wrestling to make the deal work before deciding whether to reverse course.

Meeting with reporters near Capitol Hill, Brin said Google had agreed to the censorship demands only after Chinese authorities blocked its service in that country. Google's rivals accommodated the same demands � which Brin described as "a set of rules that we weren't comfortable with" � without international criticism, he said. "We felt that perhaps we could compromise our principles but provide ultimately more information for the Chinese and be a more effective service and perhaps make more of a difference," Brin said.

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Brin visited Washington to ask U.S. senators to approve a plan that would prevent telephone and cable companies from collecting premium fees from companies such as Google, Microsoft and Yahoo! for faster delivery of their services. Brin, dressed casually in jeans, sneakers and a black sport jacket, said he wasn't sure whether he changed any lawmakers' minds. Google's China-approved Web service omits politically sensitive information that might be retrieved during Internet searches, such as details about the 1989 suppression of political unrest in Tiananmen Square. Its agreement with China has provoked considerable criticism from human rights groups. "Perhaps now the principled approach makes more sense," Brin said.

Do you think Sergey really wore jeans when trying to lobby members of Congress? He needs to make a good impression, because we really don't want telephone and cable companies collecting premium fees from anyone to get priority delivery of their services. Net Neutrality is clearly the way to go.


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