How not to solve a problem

While I strongly disagree with Google’s decision to capitulate to the Chinese government’s censorship wishes, this proposed legislation from Congress is NOT going to do a thing to make the problem any better. From today’s USA Today:

Bill would keep servers out of China

By Jim Hopkins, USA TODAY
FRANCISCO — Free-speech advocates have blasted Google and other
Internet companies for bowing to China’s demands that they censor or
fork over information the communist government deemed objectionable.
A partial screen shot of's search returns on the words A partial screen shot of’s search returns on the words “Tiananmen Square”:

Congress is stepping in with proposed legislation that could hobble the
companies as they plunge deeper into one of the world’s hottest
economies. This is Round 2 for Congress. Last year, it scrutinized and
slowed other business deals with ties to China’s government among oil
companies and computer makers.

Rep. Chris
Smith, R-N.J., is drafting a bill that would force Internet companies
including Google, Yahoo and Microsoft to keep vital computer servers
out of China and other nations the State Department deems repressive to
human rights. Moving servers would keep personal data they house from
government reach. But that also could weaken the firms’ crucial
Internet search engines.


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