I was reading a post at Dean’s World by Aziz P, with whom I have given up hope of expecting any sense. In this case, he comes close to having a making a valid argument but manages to miss it once again. Still, it seems to me that he has a point that the cries of “censorship!” with regard to Google’s deal with the ChiComs is quite possibly overwrought.
Consider this: if the word “censorship” is to mean anything useful, it must mean decreasing or restricting the information available to the average citizen. This makes it a natural question to ask, will Google’s actions in China do that? Will there be less information available to the average subject of the PRC because of Google’s actions? If not, how can it possibly be censorship? It may well not provide the maximal amount of information that one could concieve of Google providing, but unless it restricts information already available, I just can’t get on board with a claim of censorship.
On the flip side, however, one might ask what it would mean should the blogospheric pressure on Google lead to that company parting ways with the ChiComs and having their entire search engine banned in China. Wouldn’t that decrease the information available in China? Who would be the censors then?