Bill Gates: Internet cannot be controlled … except in China

Bill Gates waxed eloquent about the openness of the Internet. In a burst of techno-utopianism, Gates at one point told the crowd, “I don’t see any risk in the world at large that someone will restrict free content flow on the Internet. You cannot control the Internet.” This seemed rather a curious thing for the Microsoft chief to say, considering that his company (along with Google, Yahoo, and others) has cooperated with China’s censorship efforts. The entire Chinese Internet experience, in fact, raises questions about whether Gates’ beautiful vision is true to the facts as we know them. Certainly the country is doing a pretty decent job of “controlling the Internet.”

IDG News, which reported on Gates’ speech, also noted that he tied the openness of the ‘Net to economic development. “If your country wants to have a developed economy… you basically have to open up the Internet,” said Gates. (link)

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