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Skype boss defends Chinese text censorship

Inquirer | April 19 2006

EBAY-OWNED chat company Skype has done a Google and bowed to the will of the great censor of China.

Company boss Niklas Zennstrom, told the FT that its Chinese partner firm Tom Online is happy to weed out any correspondence featuring the words Dalai Lama or Falun Gong and pass them to the appropriate big brotherly defender of the people.

"Tom had implemented a text filter, which is what everyone else in that market is doing," said Zennstrom. "Those are the regulations."

He added: "I may like or not like the laws and regulations to operate businesses in the UK or Germany or the US, but if I do business there I choose to comply with those laws and regulations. I can try to lobby to change them, but I need to comply with them. China in that way is not different."

Zennström maintained: "One thing that's certain is that those things are in no way jeopardising the privacy or the security of any of the users."

Unless they type 'up the Falun Gong' or "We love the Dalai Lama" into their messages. The FT didn't ask what the consequences of such foolhardy actions may be, but they could involved the rumble of boots and the splintering of door jams.

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