Saturday, March 29, 2014

Judge Dismissed Baidu Censorship Case

A federal judge of the District Court for the Southern District of New York dismissed a case against Chinese search engine Baidu.

Activities alleged Baidu's government sponsored censorship prevented them from reaching to Baidu's users in the US.

Judge Jesse M. Furman reasoned in his ruling that Baidu as a business was entitled to its own right to free speech, in this case in form of censorship, from (US) government interference.

The Seagull disagrees with this analysis.

The court failed to recognize three facts: 1) Baidu is a government sponsored company, which is the only reason for its dominance in China, despite well recognized technical and service advantages of Google. 2) For people living in China, there is no alternative as the case of newspaper or radio stations. 3) Same can be said to Baidu's users in the US, who are stuck with the only search engine that they are familiar with.

The First Amendment was never designed are meant to protect a government speech. Other search engines who are considered of higher quality product and service standard including Google were literally driven out of Chinese market by the government.

In other words, Baidu is more of a propaganda arm of the Chinese government than anything else. Regrettably, Judge Furman built his rationale on a false assumption.

The case is Zhang et al v. Inc, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 11-03388.

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