Excerpt from a timely reality check
What is unusual about this new reality is that the negotiations that may truly matter are now being conducted not by government officials but by private parties seeking to generate profits and protect market share. While I intend no disrespect to Google, Research In Motion, and their sister companies, it is surely the case that their motives and goals will not necessarily align perfectly with those of our national diplomacy.
What to do about this? How can the U.S. government be involved, formally or informally, to ensure the spread of technologies that will foster freedom in other nations? Can our government argue for such protections when the Patriot Act itself permits government encroachments here? Can we create laws that somehow increase the bargaining power of the Googles of the world in their discussions with China?