Google, Microsoft and Yahoo are now asking the U.S. government to help them take a stand against China’s demands that they censor their Chinese search-engines. The companies have been stung by criticism after they capitulated to demands by the Chinese government that they delete links generated by their Chinese search-engines for phrases such as “freedom” or “Falun Gong,” a religion banned in China. Tom Lantos (pictured), a Democratic Congressman from San Mateo and chairman of the Congressional Human Rights Caucus, opposes the censorship. A Lantos spokeswoman told InformationWeek.com tonight that the Congressman thinks the three companies have “sufficient power to be able to influence what restrictions are or are not placed on them when they begin dealing with another country and its government. He feels it’s patently absurd to foist this responsibility onto the federal government when these large, wealthy companies based in America — a country that reveres free speech — are fully capable of doing that themselves.” Bill Gates: Web site censorship doesn’t work.