The Great Firewall of China has axed Google Spreadsheets, causing a lot of unnecessary headaches. Were dissidents using it to calculate finances? Create histograms of explosives on hand? Or perhaps even doing their taxes?

I can’t wait for “Google Proxy” or “Google VPN.” It would kill them in China for sure, but Google is pervasive and powerful enough to pull something like that off. The idea of an American supercorporation competing with the Chinese Ministry of Information would make a great movie. Americans would love Google for it (spreading freedom, liberty, blah blah blah) and it would put the Chinese government in an awkward position. Would they flat-out ban everything Google? Surely Google could find a way to get around such a ban.

Google aside, I’m surprised there are no major open-source proxy programs. Open-source is all about freedom of information and collaboration without barriers. Even if you’re not a crazy
evangelical democrat, you have to appreciate an unrestricted internet. The economic benefits alone justify it, not to mention the gains to personal freedom. If people can vent against the government in a blog or tweet, they’re less apt to hit streets (currently the only method of expressing displeasure with the ruling powers). It works pretty well in Singapore.

Advertisements