Ed Walters / March 25, 2010

Law & Tech Roundup: Google, Tufte, and Obama’s Twitter Account

Certainly the story everyone is talking about this week is Google’s battle with the Chinese government over censorship on the Internet. Beginning a new chapter in the battle, Google announced announced on Monday that it would “stop censoring [its] search services” on Google.cn.  Instead, Google.cn was redirected to Google.com.hk (Hong Kong).

As many expected, China reacted quickly censoring searches on Google.com.hk as well.  Read more at News 24.

Will other companies follow Google’s lead and take a stand?  PC Magazine reports that at least one company already has.  Go Daddy announced on Wednesday that it has decided to end its .CN domain name registration services citing concerns about China’s policies regarding internet registrant’s personal information.  And there are rumors that Dell is considering moving $25 billion of its business from China to India in order to obtain a “safer environment.”   Read more at Engadget.

We were also delighted to learn this week that information design guru Edward Tufte has been appointed to advise the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board, a body that keeps tabs on the way that the $787 billion in stimulus funds is being spent.  A big part of his task will be to tweak and improve Recovery.gov — the RATB’s primary method of communicating with the public.  Tufte is a legend in the field of information design and we cannot think of a better person for the job.  Read more about his appointment at the New York Times or listen to this On the Media podcast.

And just this morning, we learned via the Wall Street Journal that a French hacker who goes by the name “Hacker Croll” has been arrested for hacking into some high profile Twitter accounts including the accounts of President Obama and Britney Spears.  French state prosecutor Jean-Yves Coquillat told the WSJ that, “[t]he man . . . hadn’t aimed to profit financially by hacking into the accounts . . . Neither did he post anything on the accounts . . . Instead he simply wanted to prove that he was capable of hacking into the accounts.”

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