Wednesday, January 13, 2010

You go, Google


In response to evidence that it was the target of hackers orginating in China, and that some of those attacks specifically targeted the Gmail accounts of Chinese human rights activists, Google has removed censoring blocks in their search engine. Further, they're discussing whether to continue operations in China at all.

From their blog:

We launched in January 2006 in the belief that the benefits of increased access to information for people in China and a more open Internet outweighed our discomfort in agreeing to censor some results. At the time we made clear that "we will carefully monitor conditions in China, including new laws and other restrictions on our services. If we determine that we are unable to achieve the objectives outlined we will not hesitate to reconsider our approach to China."
These attacks and the surveillance they have uncovered--combined with the attempts over the past year to further limit free speech on the web--have led us to conclude that we should review the feasibility of our business operations in China. We have decided we are no longer willing to continue censoring our results on, and so over the next few weeks we will be discussing with the Chinese government the basis on which we could operate an unfiltered search engine within the law, if at all. We recognize that this may well mean having to shut down, and potentially our offices in China.
It's a bold move, in line with their corporate directive, "Don't be evil."

Read the full blog entry here.

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