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Gus Van Horn blog

Reblogged:Google Sees No Evil in Sharia App

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Google has received lots of deserved bad press for helping oppressive regimes like China's censor search results, but its questionable decisions don't end at licking the boots of tyrants. The company also puts its motto to the lie by helping little dictators in Indonesia report blasphemy to the government by means of an app called "Smart Pakem," which is available in its app store. The below quote, from Indonesia's National Secular Society, deserves wide circulation:

pakem.jpg
Screen shot.
Indonesia's blasphemy law is a morally unjustifiable tool of repression which should be repealed as soon as possible. While this law exists anyone who believes in free expression should make it as difficult as possible for the Indonesian government to enforce the law. Google has greatly benefited from the freedom to share information globally. We ask it and other multinational companies to consider whether they can in good conscience profit from the repression caused by governments' crackdowns on free speech.
According to Google Translate, pakem means "grip," which causes me to think of a pair of hands tightening around a neck. What a great metaphor for the horrible deed of abetting an assault on freedom of speech.

-- CAV

P.S. Irony alert: I also plugged smart pakem into Google Translate and got "smart standard" as a translation.

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Most tech executives, including Google's CEO, live in the US. Which means the US Congress has the authority to stop this. They can make aiding and abetting repression abroad illegal.

And, frankly, they should. There's already a precedent for it: the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act makes involvement in corruption abroad a federal crime. This is way more serious than giving a bribe to some bureaucrat. This app could very easily end up facilitating torture and murder.

Edited by Nicky

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