When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson

10 September 2006

They must be very proud

Google, Yahoo!, and Microsoft endured a wave of public disapproval earlier this year over their compliance with Chinese censorship of their Web sites. But another striking form of tech commerce with China is taking place below the radar of the U.S. public: Major American manufacturers are rushing to supply China's police with the latest information technology.

Oracle Corp. has sold software to the Chinese Ministry of Public Security, which oversees both criminal and ideological investigations. The ministry uses the software to manage digital identity cards that are replacing the paper ID that Chinese citizens must carry. Meanwhile, regional Chinese police departments are modernizing their computer networks with routers and switches purchased from Cisco Systems Inc. And Motorola Inc. has sold the Chinese authorities handheld devices that will allow street cops to tap into the sorts of sophisticated data repositories that EMC Corp. markets to the Ministry of Public Security.
Helping Big Brother Go High Tech: BusinessWeek

Well, these fine American companies are just continuing a proud tradition of large IT businesses being "apolitical."

After all, IBM did business with Nazi Germany (see also here) and the apartheid regimes of South Africa.

Like Sonny Corleone observed in The Godfather - "It's nothing personal, it's just business."

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