Google Stops Censoring Search Engine Results in ChinaBy Dipankar Das, Gaea News Network
Monday, March 22, 2010
Google announced on Monday that it will not censor any more the search engine results in China, ignoring the latest warning from Chinese authorities. The company is going to provide uncensored search results to chinese users from its website at Hongkong. That will help chinese people access more useful information. But, the chinese officials said that they have already restricted Google’s website based in Hongkong. Google also launched a dashboard page and it will mention which Google sites are available in China. As a search engine Google.cn has popularity among 13 percent of Chinese Web users, according to a state-sponsored survey. Baidu.com, a Govt friendly search engine dominates the market with 77 percent of users, the survey said.
“We want as many people in the world as possible to have access to our services, including users in mainland China, yet the Chinese government has been crystal clear throughout our discussions that self-censorship is a non-negotiable legal requirement. We very much hope that the Chinese government respects our decision, though we are well aware that it could at any time block access to our services” said Senior Vice President David Drummond, Google’s chief legal officer, on the blog.
In January, Google complained that there is an orchestrated cyberattack on their website google.cn in China which was launched in 2006 to tap huge user base of the country. The attack was conducted in order to access the emails of two dissident chinese leaders. The attackers access email header or Subject line information of two human rights activists of China through the Google network. The company is not willing to accept using filters that the Chinese govt demanded before allowing Google to run across the country. For a brief period of time, Google returned the results of sensitive information like Tinamen Square, Dalai Lama etc. After that it returned normal results.
Diebert, who co-founded the OpenNet Initiative, commented that the next move of China may not be only to block Google, but, further to block all of the outside search engines from accessing web information in China. According to Diebert, this type of unethical steps will lead to regionalized internet. The blog post by Drummond said Google wants to continue its research and development work in China with a minimal sales presence .