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September 11, 2018

CREDIT WHERE IT’S DUE: Heaven knows, PEN International often sounds like it was written by the old TASS editors, and they often have trouble with allowing viewpoints that differ from theirs (libertarian, conservative) but when they’re right, they’re right. PEN’s Chief Executive Officer Suzanne Nossel wrote in Foreign Policy magazine that:

In demonstrating that a company as mighty as Google was unable to resist the allure of the Chinese market, despite the terms of entry, Beijing will advance its campaign to remake global internet governance on its own terms. The utopian notion of an internet that unifies people across borders, fosters the unfettered flow of information, and allows truth and reason to triumph is already under attack on multiple fronts. The trade-off, to date, has been that countries insistent on controlling the internet have had to forfeit access to the world’s most powerful and innovative online services in favor of local providers.

To be fair, Google is not the only company to sell its soul to China for filthy lucre. Faux social justice warriors Apple and Starbucks come to mind, as does Bloomberg, who happily agreed to filter out delivery of news to China that made the government uncomfortable, despite a spate of editorial resignations.