Dear Google

I can’t tell you enough that how glad I was to read that stood up for the freedom of expression and diversity of viewpoint in your exchange with Senator Lieberman. While I would find the message of groups that have ties or even sympathies for terrorists completely objectionable, particularly when those messages are often in direct opposition to the values of a open and diverse society. It is an incredibly slippery slope when you begin to censor the voices of any group, even those opposed to the very foundation which provides the protection to their voice. At no time should you ever compromise on the position to let such voices be heard. Thank you for the principles you showed here with the Senator.

But I do want to ask. Many of the world’s eyes will be focused on Beijing this summer for the Olympics. When the time comes again to take a similar principled position, when you are perhaps asked by a ranking official in the Chinese communist party to silence a voice that they do not agree with – will you answer in the same way?

You have compromised such principles at face value when it comes to your search service. A bit a different situation, sure, I’ll grant that. The Chinese government seems content in at least banning your YouTube property outright when the conditions arise – and it appears that you aren’t compromising on that particular service in the same way to maintain access to the service.

I and a lot of others gave you a pass last time, hoping and believing that getting a foot inside the great firewall would begin to open things up in getting information to the Chinese people. But I hope when asked again, particularly when YouTube comes to represent a significant source of revenue, like the search property on which you compromised, that you will show an even greater principle, standing on the bedrock principles of expression and diversity when you don’t have the power of the first amendment to stand upon, only the courage of your expressed convictions.