Google vs. Choogle: Hypocrisy or High Road?
If Google's tag line is “Do No Evil”, Choogle's is “Do No Hypocrisy.”
Human rights and free speech are said to be at the core of Google's sudden, stunning announcement that it may withdraw its operations out of China over recent Gmail cybersyping attacks and censorship issues. As LWOH reported here, China has dismissed Google's threat to potentially withdraw it's operations as one of “hypocrisy.” Is China right?
What about legalized slave labor policies by U.S. corporations? U.S. corporations have for years openly exploited cheap human labor abroad in countries such as China and India within manufacturing and technology sectors, and have displaced millions of American workers by importing cheap labor under guest worker and student visa programs. Where is the collective outrage over such specific slave labor practices legally sanctioned by the same U.S. corporations expressing “outrage” over China's human rights practices? What about our own missing labor rights protections for American citizens? Jared Newman at PC World reports that while Google reacts to cyber-attacks on Chinese activists by strong-arming China into letting Google operate without censorship, human rights groups are now pressuring other tech companies to follow suit.
Newman reports that the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and Human Rights Watch both issued statements calling for broader changes in policy from companies that operate in China. “Too many of them have been willing to comply with Chinese demands that they check their values at the border,” wrote EFF International Outreach Coordinator Danny O'Brien. But what about corporate America's own values towards American citizens and workers' rights?
The EFF, coincidentally, also issued this recent statement regarding the “deeply dangerous and wrong” action regarding a New Jersey judge's order issued two days before Christmas to shut down three anti-H-1B visa Web sites, which is drawing sharp criticism from an attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation according to this Computerworld article by Patrick Thibodeau.
If Google truly wants to take the high road on human rights abuses, it could start with leading by example to put Americans first in their hiring practices both here and abroad. Isn't it time for America to start cleaning up its own corporate backyard for a change?