A billion Internet users …
According to the estimations of Morgan Stanley, the cape of one billion Internet users would have been crossed somewhere towards the end of the 2005 year.
Internet progresses at an annual rate of 18 % of more connected.
The most interesting is the composition of the population. There are more users in Europe (24 %) than in North America (23 %), but the most important group is that of Asia: 36 %.
And so, statistically, an Internet user is a female user, and, more exactly, a shangaïenne of 24 years.
In these conditions, a big number of changes is to be foreseen, in particular for what is called pompously the "governance" of the internet. First changes are already visible and hardly happy.
The most recent case, which arouses numerous criticisms towards Microsoft, including his employee's, (see Robert Scoble's blog), is that of Zhao Jing.
He is a personality of Web, and particularly of the blogosphère, notably known under the pen name of Michaël Anti.
He had been, for example, a member of the jury 2005 of the Best of the Blogs Prize, organized by Deutsch Welle.
Free journalist in New York Times, he saw closing his blog on MSN Spaces, most probably hosted in United States.
According to Liberation, Zhao Jing " stated a movement of journalistic protest of the Beizing New further to the dismissal of their managing editor ".
The most curious are that we do not manage to know if the Chinese authorities pressed, or if MS took bows after Bokee, the biggest supplier of blogs in China denounced Zhao Jing, trying to get MS involved.
... and Shi Tao
I cannot however refrain from finding the faults of MS, who already had, in June, censored the too explicitly democratic vocabulary on its Chinese sites, almost venial with regard to the behavior of Yahoo.
On November 24th, 2004, the poet and chinese journalist Shi Tao, employee of a newspaper of Hunan, was arrested. He was blamed for having commented on the anniversary of the events of Tien An Men, in a mail sent anonymously to a chinese internet site hosted abroad.
For these facts, he was condemned in April 2005 for ten years of prison for " illegal disclosure of official secrets abroad ".
"Reporters without borders" let know September 2005 that the condemnation rested on an information supplied by Yahoo.
Clearly Yahoo had denounced, in other words, delivered Shi Tao to the chinese police.
Yahoo and Microsoft, as Google, are signers of the " Commitment to the autodiscipline for the industry of Internet in China ", text published by the Internet Society of China, and signed by 130 internet majors.
Yahoo acquired, in the same time, Alibaba.com, one of the biggest commercial actors of the chinese internet.
Each will react according to his (her) political options, and affection to democracy.
Margo Wallstroems, Vice President of the European Union accused multiple distortions of ethics by these companies and pointed on the " social responsibility" they assert respecting in western countries. See here:
The denunciation of Shi Tao
To complete the file, I publish the proof of the way Shi Tao has been delivered by Yahoo.
Extract of the text of verdict of the Court of justice of the province of Hunan, dated June 2nd, 2005 concerning the role of Yahoo in the affair of Shi Tao:
The proof supplied by the company Yahoo from Hong-Kong gives evidence that the IP address of 23h32,17 of April 20th, 2004 is 188.8.131.52, the phone number: 0731-4376362, the customer is the newspaper of "Dang Dai Shang Bao" to Hunan, his address is 2nd etage, 88 batiment, Jianxian xincun, district of Kaifu, City of Changsha.