Well here are just a few more reasons why I definitely don't want to move to either China or any country run by a fundamentalist Islamic theocracy. These two stories about web surfing in the not so free world just sealed the deal. Check them out here and here.
Aside from being identified by Reporters Without Borders as the country that exerts the most censorious control over the Internet in Asia, China is also deeply concerned about the moral rot Internet pornography may bring about in young and impressionable minds. Therefore, they want to censor the Internet even further. All computers sold in China, apparently, must be fitted by porn-blocking software. As an educator of college students who understands the importance that rest, relaxation, and entertainment to overstressed and overworked students, this sort of censorship just appalls me! It APPALLS me!!!
The second piece about the new Microsoft search engine, Bing, seems to hint that some software developers might have been Boy Scouts in a previous life. They plan ahead. Apparently versions of their software marketed in Islamic countries already have blocking functions built in, not allowing access to pornographic videos.
While this is an entirely easy shot to take, I will definitely take it...because it's just so much fun and so satisfying: The censorship of so-called "smut" and "indecency" usually goes hand in hand with general censorship, intolerance of dissent, and totalitarianism. Those are words - meaning "totalitarianism," "dissent," and "intolerance," - such American guardians of morality like the Traditional Values Coalition, the Family Research Council, and (my all-time favorites) the Parents Television Council should look up in a dictionary.
And I think I will now check out some of the search functions on Bing...