An editorial in today's New York Times says Yahoo admitted that it "helped China sentence a dissident to 10 years in prison by identifying him as the sender of a banned email message." The Times also says that Microsoft, at the Chinese government's request, closed the blog of someone criticizing the government, in addition to enabling the Chinese government to censor MSN searches and blogs.
The Times calls this "obvious disregard for users' privacy and ethical standards," suggesting that Microsoft and Yahoo are willing to do this to make it easier for them to do business in China. Microsoft responded to criticism by saying, "We think it's better to be there with our services than not be there," as if it's worth sacrificing some freedom in order for the citizens of China to have access to the wonders of Microsoft.
Before blogging became all the rage, Tom was posting book reviews and Observations (essentially early blog posts) to this site. You can find the archives below.
What we're talking about
on the front page.