By Kim Hart - 01/13/10 04:14 PM EST
Rep. Joe Barton, ranking member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, today said Google's decision to re-evaluate its business in China is long overdue.
“When Google went to China, it seemed to forget all about its quirky corporate slogan, ‘Don’t be evil,’ but two cheers now for deciding that making a fortune there may not be worth of cost of accepting the routine oppression that passes for governance in China," he said in a statement. "The Chinese plundering of Google’s database for the names and e-mail addresses of human rights activists is hardly surprising. Google’s announcement that it may abandon the China market is appropriate, if belated, and news that it will no longer censor searches on Google.cn marks a great leap forward for freedom."
He said he wants to work with Google and other companies to protect the privacy of human rights activists "and anybody else who might attract invasive attention because their beliefs diverge from communism."
“On a broader front, protecting American cybersecurity was a daily challenge even before China decided to practice its skills on Google, but as co-chairman of the House Privacy Caucus, I hope this episode will set off alarms about prevalent the threat is everywhere,” he said.