Is this how the world's richest man should behave?

Microsoft Helps China Filter Web Content
By Suman Srinivasan - The Epoch Times

Another international tech giant has shown its willingness to kowtow to the dictates of the Chinese Communist Party and put profit and compliance ahead of conscience.

Over the weekend, tech watchers such as Slashdot picked up on an interesting new development on MSN Spaces on Microsoft’s China website.

When users entered words known to be taboo under the Communist rule - such as "democracy", "freedom", "Falun Gong", "Taiwan" - they were promptly scolded harshly by the website.

“Prohibited language, please delete,” was the message that some users faced when they tried to enter words in the subject line.

MSN Spaces is an online community built by Microsoft that allows users to interact and chat with each other.

A MSN spokeswoman contacted by The Epoch Times told us, “MSN abides by the laws, regulations and norms of each country in which it operates.” “In addition, the content posted on member spaces is the responsibility of individuals who are required to abide by MSN's Code of Conduct.”

However, the link to the Code of Conduct that was e-mailed to The Epoch Times, which spells out in detail what MSN Spaces users are not allowed to post, makes no mention about “politically incorrect” words or words that a particular country or government would find objectionable.

MSN Spaces quite possibly has a separate Code of Conduct for users in China. Microsoft representatives were not able to confirm this at the time this article went to press.

On Tuesday, the Associated Press quoted Adam Sohn, a global sales and marketing director for MSN, as saying that Microsoft and its Chinese business partner were working with authorities to omit certain language.

Microsoft is the third large international portal service provider to toe the line of the Communist Party, following Yahoo! and Google which have signed agreements with the China Internet Information Center, the government watchdog that polices website content in China.


If you're Chinese and you're looking for a way to access independent Internet news sources, try Freegate, the DIT program written to help Chinese citizens circumvent website blocking outside of China.

Download it at and feel free to copy the zip and host it yourself so others can download it.
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Censorship of the internet in China is not a new or recent thing.

I have a couple of friends who live in China and when sending emails to them we always have had to be careful what we write. We find other words to say what we really mean to aviod having our emails red flagged.

It is important that people know that it does happen and when writing emails to people in China to be careful because there still can be reprecusions that end.

Is this how the world's richest man should behave?

Before we conclude that Bill Gates is a bad guy, here is another example of how he behaves, from an article I read in the newspaper.

Malaria is the second-largest killer disease in Africa, after AIDS. Bill Gates has invested more money in the prevention of malaria than has any Western nation. He gave $750 million in 1999 and saved an estimated 670,000 lives. Bob Geldof of Live8 has called Gates 'the greatest philanthropist of our age'.

Best wishes,

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hmmm ... Bob Geldof.

Wasn't he admitted into the 'upper ranks' as Sir Bob a couple of years back?
Adding to what Clive said, I'm pretty sure that Bill Gates has retired and no longer runs Microsoft.
I searched pretty hard, but found nothing about Sir Billie (as he will soon be known) having retired.
I did find the following article on /
Seems Bill Gates is to also be 'elevated' soon. A nice little reward for helping to keep the most populous country in the world under tyrannical control?
The second article has a nice quote;
"Being a convicted monopolist apparently doesn't keep you from getting knighted," says Linux consultant and advocate Bruce Perens. "I suppose monarchy and monopoly go well together."
Seems he forgot tyranny. And this is the guy Sir Bob Geldof thinks is a great guy? Tells you a lot about Bob Geldof and how he got HIS 'gong' doesn't it?

Bill Gates to become a Knight

by Derek Sooman on Tue 01 Mar 2005, 02:51 PM

Bill Gates is set to become a Knight . Yes, it is true. The co-founder of Microsoft will be awarded an honorary knighthood by the Queen of England tomorrow for his outstanding contribution to enterprise.

He will become a Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, an honor that dates back to 1917, although monarchs have been creating knights for hundreds of years.

Among the pomp and grandeur of the formal state rooms at the palace, Gates will kneel in front of the sovereign, who will gently tap him on the shoulder with a sword.

Citizens of the UK will be obliged to call him "Sir" from now on; however you Americans, Indians, Chinese, Africans and all the rest will not have to do that. Lucky you.

Bill Gates gets honorary knighthood
By Byron Acohido, USA TODAY

SEATTLE — Queen Elizabeth II on Wednesday bestowed honorary knighthood on Microsoft (MSFT) co-founder and Chairman Bill Gates.
Bill Gates shows off the insignia he got from Queen Elizabeth II. Melinda Gates watches.

Gates proclaimed himself "humbled and delighted."

In announcing the knighthood last year, Foreign Secretary Jack Straw described Gates as "one of the most important business leaders of his age," and credited Microsoft software with having a "profound impact on the British economy." (Related: What makes a knight?)

Gates and his wife, Melinda, are also notable philanthropists. They launched the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in 2000 with $26 billion to promote equity in global health and education. The foundation has set up a $210 million international scholarship program at Britain's University of Cambridge and invested millions of dollars in research for an AIDS vaccine.

His wife described the queen as "engaging" company and said they found plenty to talk about on issues such as health problems in the developing world, the avian flu and their shared interest in travel.

But on the subject of computers, it seems the monarch does not enjoy the same passion for technology as Gates.

"She said all the kids do (use computers), and the computer helps to schedule things. But she said for she herself ... typing is not as natural for her as it is for young people," Gates said.

Like other non-Britons who've received the honor — including Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, former president George Bush and movie mogul Steven Spielberg — Gates can append KBE, or Knight Commander of the British Empire, to his name.

But he is not entitled to add the title "Sir," a distinction reserved for British nationals. To achieve full knight status, Gates would have to become a British citizen.

That's what the late Sir John Paul Getty II, son of oil magnate J. Paul Getty, did. Born in America, the younger Getty, who died in 2000 at age 70, was a lifelong Anglophile. He moved permanently to Britain in 1971, setting up household on a 2,500-acre estate, complete with his prized oval cricket ground. Sir Paul quietly became the greatest philanthropist living in Britain.

Getty was made an honorary knight in 1986, and upgraded to the full honor in 1998, a year after becoming a British citizen.

By contrast, the Gateses and their three children appear to be comfortably ensconced in a highly secure five-acre residential compound partially buried into a hillside on the shores of Seattle's Lake Washington. It includes a manmade trout stream, garage space for dozens of vehicles and screens displaying valuable art in digital form.

Straw's statement notwithstanding, critics say, Microsoft's impact has not been uniformly positive. The European Commission last March ruled Microsoft used illegal monopolistic practices to extend its flagship Windows desktop operating system into the computer server and media player markets.

"Being a convicted monopolist apparently doesn't keep you from getting knighted," says Linux consultant and advocate Bruce Perens. "I suppose monarchy and monopoly go well together."

Britain has been a big user of open-source programming created by volunteers, including the Linux operating system that competes against Windows.

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Hmmm... well, I though I had heard that he stepped down as CEO of Microsoft, but I guess not.
Well, all I can say is that I think both Bob and Bill have contributed more to the world and saved more lives than I have. Perhaps more than some of the people who are posting to this thread, too.

Yeah, Sir Bob Geldof, Bozo, Tony Blair, and all the other big-wigs (not sure about Bill Gates), are calling the G8 a great success. No surprise there. Much slapping of each others backs going on.
Perhaps 'assistance for performance', as Paul Wolfowitz puts it IS just what Africa needs. Perhaps they do need to get paid to dance (perform) to the tune of those paying them in so called 'aid'
But I rather think it is akin to sponsoring prostitution. 'We give you money, and you let us privatise and own your water, your agriculture, and everything else we like. If you don't, we dont give you the aid'.
Further, unfair trade practises were not even discussed at G8, and there is NO timetable to discuss them.

Sorry, but I don't see them contributing to a better world. Only to putting a thin veil of icing on a rotten cake.
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