Rep. Chris Smith Says Microsoft Is "Enabling Tyranny"

Shameless, yet taking a harder stance on oppression than Microsoft.
Microsoft's decision to keep their search engine Bing in China even after competitor Google pulled out due to human rights concerns may be good for business. But it's not playing well with the crowd.

Yesterday, Rep. Chris Smith of New Jersey denounced Microsoft's stance at a Congressional hearing. "They need to get on the right side of human rights rather than enabling tyranny, which they're doing right now," he said.

That a politician issued some strong, yet ultimately empty, words at a hearing is nothing new. But Rep. Smith is no lightweight when it comes to fighting online oppression. He is, after all, the author of the Global Online Freedom Act, which makes it a crime for U.S. companies to turn over personal info to repressive governments.

Washington's opinion is important. But more important may be that, now that has followed Google's lead, Microsoft has now lost the moral high ground not only to a major competitor, but also to a web site that specializes in soft-core advertising.

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