公民力量关于google搜索退出中国的声明

2010年3月23日,世界最大的搜索引擎商Google公司宣布停止审查google中国的搜索内容,并将网站链接转入香港服务器,与此同时,中国国务院新闻办及官方媒体连篇累牍发表针对google的措辞强硬的谈话和报道,表明google与中国官方的关系彻底恶化,对此,我们表示遗憾。自1月份以来,google公司与中国网络管理当局的矛盾就已公开化,此后的两个月内,我们对于google与中国政府的磋商保持了密切关注,并与google公司代表进行了交流。由于深知在中国推动文明进步事业的艰难,因此,我们一直希望google与中国政府的谈判能够取得进展,使中国网民可以继续享受google公司的服务,遗憾的是,由于中国政府封锁信息自由流通的强权意志,google公司不得不放弃被迫过滤信息的做法,并转移服务器,很显然,这一选择无法见容于中国政府,google公司实际上等于撤出了当今世界网民数量最多的国家。

我们认为,google公司在未能与中国政府达成妥协的情况下做出这一选择,表明了google对自由价值观的坚守,这种为自由价值而放弃商业利益的做法并不常见,值得我们尊重和敬佩。毫无疑问,信息自由流通是互联网业本身发展的需要,但是,在专制国家中,为取得商业上的进展,互联网从业者常常不得不与当权者达成某种程度的折衷和妥协,以部分牺牲自由而换来发展的空间,人们善意地期望这样的妥协可以拓展信息流通市场,最终以更有效的方式影响并不令人满意的社会现实。但基于人类共同的自由理念,这种妥协是有限度的,我们认为,google公司已为此做出了不懈的努力,它的坚守和撤出都有令人信服的理由。我们将坚定地站在google公司一边,抗议中国政府强制性的信息过滤和政策打压。

长期以来,google公司为推动信息自由传播做了大量努力,它不仅为我们奉献了世界上最自由、最强大的信息搜索引擎,还通过创办www.globalnetworkinitiative.org等网站,致力于保护表达自由及网民隐私权,面对不合理的政府限制,明确了保护基本人权的原则。3月初,google公司派代表参加了第二届日内瓦人权、宽容和民主高峰会,这次会议通过了《日内瓦互联网自由宣言》,该宣言呼吁在联合国及其它国际组织体系内支持面临威胁的互联网自由,为此,我们将采取行动,呼吁在世界范围内以立法的方式反对专制政府不合理的网络管制,并敦促更多的互联网公司致力于维护网络自由,而不向专制者弯腰。我们愿意与google公司一道坚守自由与正义,为全人类的表达、交流及行动的自由而继续努力。

自由的表达和信息流通是公民社会及民主制度的基础,只有抗争才能保护我们的基本人权,只有对权力的越界保持警惕并大声说不,才不至于让我们的生活和理想遭受践踏与破坏。互联网是无国界的,全世界热爱自由的人们,应该团结起来,反对一切粗暴、简单、无理的信息管制。我们没有退路,但基于历史的经验和对未来的信心,我们坚信自由对专制的抗争必将获胜。

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Initiatives for China’s Announcement on Google Search’s Retreat from China

March 22nd, 2010 - World’s largest search engine Google announces that it will stop censoring its search content in China. Rather, it will redirect users to its Hong Kong site. The deterioration in relationship between Google and Chinese authorities is indicated by several strongly worded reports issued by the State Council Information Office in China and Chinese official media against Google. Initiatives for China express regrets regarding this matter. The disagreement between Chinese authorities and Google began in January. In the past two months, Initiatives for China followed the negotiations closely and kept in contact with Google. Although aware of the difficulties in promoting progressive change in China, there was hope that negotiations might yield some developments so that Internet users in China can continue to enjoy the services of Google. Regretfully, Chinese authorities insisted adamantly to filter information, leaving Google with no alternative than to switch server in defiance of Chinese censorship. While this is a challenge to Chinese authorities, Google has practically withdrawn from its most populated market.

Google valued Internet freedom and is unable to reach a compromise with Chinese authorities. This is worthy of respect since commercial gain is rarely given up for freedom. Indisputably, access to information is necessary for the development of the Internet. However, in autocratic China, Internet users often have to reach a certain degree of compromise with the authorities in power. Hence, some freedom is compromised for room to develop. There was hope, in good faith, that this compromise will still ensure growth and development effective to address any unsatisfying social realities. However, there is a limit to this compromise. Google has made enduring efforts on its end. Its withdrawal is understandable. Initiatives for China stand by Google, against the Chinese authorities’ coercive policy of filtering and suppressing information.

For some time now, Google, as the world’s most free and powerful search engine, has contributed tremendously towards the freedom of information. It started websites like www.globalnetworkinitiative.org, which is a site dedicated to freedom of expression and Internet privacy. Google also stood against unreasonable governmental restrictions and protected the principles of basic human rights. At the beginning of March, Google sent two representatives to the 2nd Geneva summit for Human Rights, Tolerance and Democracy. The Declaration of Internet Freedom encourages the United Nations and other international organizations to support Internet freedom, starting from within their own organizational structures. In response to this, Initiative for China will act to encourage the international community to take legal actions against unreasonable censorship of the Internet by autocratic nations, as well as urge more Internet companies to safeguard Internet freedom and not bend over to autocratic authorities. We wish to stand by Google, and to work justly to safeguard freedom of expression and information.

Freedom of expression and information are the foundations of a democratic society. We have to defend these foundations to defend our basic human rights. Our lives and dreams will not be trampled upon and destroyed if we are critical and reject when boundaries are overstepped. There are no national borders on the Internet. Everyone who value freedom should unite against backwards and unreasonable Internet censorship. There cannot be regression. With the experience of history and confidence for the future, Initiatives for China strongly believe freedom will prevail against autocracy.

(www.chinaeweekly.com)
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