Google Banned by Myanmar Govt., Still Donates $1 Million to Cyclone Relief

Today, while browsing Digg, I found the following article by Gavin Hudson for the EcoWordly site:

Despite being banned by the government of Burma (also Myanmar), Google has said that it will donate up to $1 million USD to assist victims of Cyclone Nargis.

Google has offered to match donations made to UNICEF and Direct Relief International for all donations made at Google’s Support disaster relief in Myanmar page, up to one million dollars.

Internet users in Burma reported that access to Google and Gmail had been blocked by the strict military junta governing the country in the summer of 2006. By this time, Yahoo and Hotmail had already made the censored IT blacklist.

Go to Google in Burma and you’ll get: “Error Number 1045 Access Denied.”

The ban, of course, was put in place before the government crackdowns on popular uprisings that left many dead or imprisoned. Some of the last words to leave Burma were from observers there who described nighttime kidnapping raids on the homes of Buddhist monks. The monks were involved in the popular uprisings against the government. On mornings after a raid, only blood would be found in the empty house.

Since the crackdowns, the flow of photos and information from Burma has all but completely stopped. No information gets in. None gets out. A political black hole where a country used to be.


To read the rest of this article, please go here.