【阅读】考研英语经济学人文章读译 day 2 Here be dragons
发布于 3年前 作者 一只绿色的🍋 1243 次浏览 来自 考研

Here be dragons 龙来了 Jan 26th 2006 From The Economist print edition

Google, the internet search engine that has grown into a corporate giant, began operations in China on January 25th. Though critics suggest it has betrayed its own motto - “don’t be evil” - by agreeing to censor certain sites, Google maintains it will do more good than harm 已经成为公司巨人的国际互联网搜索引擎——Google,1月25日启动了在中国的业务。尽管评论家认为,Google违背了自己的箴言——“别干坏事”,因为它同意对一些特定的站点进行审查,但Google公司坚持认为这样一来将利大于弊。

IN 2001 human-rights activists in China crowed that a little-known search engine called Google was the most important tool ever created to skirt state censors. Users could retrieve content that Beijing banned by clicking to call up a “cached” copy of the web page, stored by Google. Soon, however, Google itself was being sporadically blocked. The firm was instructed to deactivate that particular feature, and for a short time its web address was even re-routed by Chinese network operators to the website of a local rival. 2001年,一种鲜为人知的、名叫Google的搜索引擎成为那时被用来避开国家审查的最重要工具。中国人权激进分子为此而幸灾乐祸。用户可以通过点击打开由Google存储的“缓冲存储”网页备份,从而重新获得被政府封杀的相关内容。不过,Google公司自己很快也被不定期关闭。该公司接到通知,要求它取消那种特定功能,并且中国网络运营者甚至曾一度将该公司的网址链接改到一家中国本地搜索引擎(google的竞争对手)上。

The continual cat-and-mouse game ended this week when Google, now a corporate giant, entered the dragon’s den. On January 25th the search engine “Google.cn” began operations. It is a first step towards beefing up the company’s local presence, which will also mean placing computer-servers in the country. This will speed up service for mainland users, who otherwise must penetrate the great firewall of China, which dramatically slows down access to Google.com. 本周,当现已成为公司巨人的Google进入了“中国龙潭”,长久以来的猫捉老鼠游戏也就结束了。1月25日,中文搜索引擎“Google.cn”开始运行。这是公司为加强本地化实力所迈出的第一步,也意味着公司即将把计算机服务器放到中国了,如此一来可以加快为中国大陆用户的服务速度,此外也必然会穿越中国巨大的防火墙——这面防火墙大大减慢了用户登录Google的速度。

Having local infrastructure gives an advantage to Google’s search-engine rivals, such as China’s Baidu.com (which enjoys around 40% of the Chinese search market, compared with Google’s 30%), and Yahoo! and Microsoft’s MSN, which have local Chinese operations. China’s internet market, with more than 100m users, is one of the fastest-growing and most lucrative in the world. Can Google—with its motto “don’t be evil”—do business in China without betraying its soul? 中国地方政府部门倾向于支持Google在搜索引擎方面的竞争对手,比如中国百度(大约占中国搜索业市场的40%份额,而Google为30%),以及在中国内地都有业务的雅虎、微软的MSN。拥有1亿用户的中国互联网市场是全球发展最快、最富利润的市场之一。以“别干坏事”自诫的Google公司,用不着自食其言,能在中国做成生意吗?

The company is making a concerted effort to do just that. It has reached an agreement with the Chinese authorities that allows it to disclose to users, at the bottom of a list of search results, whether information has been withheld. This is similar to what the company does in other countries where it faces content restrictions, such as France and Germany (where Nazi sites are banned), and America (where it removes material that is suspected of copyright infringement). Although the disclosure is more prominent on these western sites, putting such a message on its Chinese site is an important step towards transparency and, furthermore, is something its rivals do not do. Google公司正齐心协力,就是为了“自食其言”。他们已经与中国政府达成共识,允许其搜索结果列表底部信息向用户开放,无论是否属于禁止范围。这类似于该公司在其他一些同样面临内容限制的国家中的做法,比如法国和德国(禁止纳粹站点)以及美国(疑似侵犯版权的有关材料将被删除)。尽管在这些西方国家信息公开化要更为突出,但在Google中国站点上出现这一讯息是其向透明化迈出的重要一步,更为甚者,这也是某种其中国对手无法办到的事情。

Furthermore, Google is tiptoeing into the country with only a handful of services. It is not offering e-mail, blogging or social-networking services, because it worries that it will not be able to ensure users’ privacy. It wishes to avoid the situation in which MSN and Yahoo! find themselves, whereby they are forced to obey the Chinese government’s orders in censoring content and revealing users’ identities. Rather than be placed in a position where it may have to compromise its values, Google instead is narrowing what it offers (although its news service will contain only government-approved media sources). 而且,Google只须提供很有限的服务,就悄悄地进入了中国市场。由于担心无法确保可以保护用户隐私,该公司并不提供电子邮件、博客以及社交网络服务。Google公司希望自己不会落入MSN和雅虎如今的境地——这两家公司不得不遵守中国政府关于内容审查和泄露用户身份方面的规定。Google公司目前的处境并不损及其自身利益,相反还缩减了支出费用(虽然其提供的新闻服务内容来源仅限于政府认可的新闻媒体)。

Google believes that entering China, even with restraints on content, lets it offer more information than if it remained outside. Yet the decision comes as American internet firms such as Yahoo! and MSN duck criticism that they are complicit with the Chinese authorities. Google相信,进入中国,无论诸多内容限制,仍令其能提供比以往更多的信息。不过,当雅虎、MSN这些美国互联网公司纷纷回避那些指责他们与中国政府串通一气的言论时,Google公司终于下了决心。

Meanwhile in America For Google, taking the higher road happens to also be a way to differentiate its service. This month America’s Department of Justice went to court to force Google to comply with a subpoena seeking more than 1m web addresses and a weeks’ worth of all users’ searches (down from an original demand of every web address it holds and two months of searches), albeit without any information that would identify individual users. The government wants the data in order to examine the effectiveness of software filters to block pornography, for a case involving a law prohibiting the content, which the Supreme Court ruled unconstitutional. 美国国内反响 对于Google而言,向更高目标进发恰好也是一种让服务多样化的途径。1月,美国司法部通过法庭勒令Google公司履行之前法院发出的传票,提供一百多万个网址以及所有用户数周的使用搜索引擎记录(亦即……和两个月的搜索情况),不过不需要确认个人用户身份的相关信息。美政府之所以要这些数据,是想要检验一下打击网络色情的软件滤过性能,

The government requested, and received, information from Yahoo!, MSN and AOL—all of which initially stonewalled about whether they disclosed the data. Yet Google resisted, arguing that “acceding to the request would suggest it is willing to reveal information about those who use its services. This is not a perception that Google can accept.” The day the subpoena was made public, Google’s shares dropped almost 9%, its largest single-day decline since it began trading in 2004. 美政府要求并业已收到了来自雅虎、MSN以及AOL提交的材料,这些公司起初对是否公布有关数据有些举棋不定。不过,Google公司最终还是予以了拒绝,并称“谁要是同意按要求去做,就表面谁愿意泄露其用户的隐私。Google对此感到不可思议。”传票公布于众的当天,Google的股价几乎下跌了9%,创下2004年上市以来最大单日跌幅。

Google’s stance could put commercial pressure on its rivals to adopt more customer-friendly policies, and may serve as a warning to other internet firms to treat customers’ data with more care. Yet such high-mindedness will be tested as Google enters China. Keeping its options open, the company is not shutting down the Chinese-language version of Google.com. It will remain available, for those willing to wait a bit longer for their uncensored search results. 从商业上看,Google公司这一态度有可能迫使其竞争对手采取更有益于用户的政策,并且会提醒其他互联网公司在对待用户数据时要更为谨慎。然而,在Google进驻中国后,它的这种高尚品格将受到考验。Google并未关闭Google.com的中文界面,仍然保持着其可选性,如此一来,对于那些想搜索到未经审查的信息而宁愿网速慢一些的用户而言,仍然有路可寻。


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