Well done Google

January 15th, 2010 at 10:33 am by David Farrar

I was hugely disappointed in when they started censoring .cn. It was the first time they really broke their motto of do no evil.

So I am equally pleased to see this story:

Google, the internet search engine, has set itself at odds with the authorities in by declaring that it will stop censoring search results on its Chinese website.

This is going to be a fascinating battle between two giants.

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32 Responses to “Well done Google”

  1. Alan Wilkinson (1,878 comments) says:

    Absolutely agree, DPF. But the choice is ultimately in the hands of the Chinese people. Do they have the courage to support freedom?

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  2. KiwiGreg (3,255 comments) says:

    Given Google’s market share versus Baidu I’m not sure it’s that relevant what Google does in China.

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  3. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    Some bloggers are writing of this event as if Google are some kind of heroes. They’re not. Until the Chinese hack attempt they were quite happy to concede to the Chicom demands.

    ” Google’s motivations are not as pure as they may seem. While there’s almost certainly an ethical component to the company’s decision—Google and its founders have agonized in a very public way over their complicity in Chinese censorship—yesterday’s decision seems to have been spurred more by hard business calculations than soft moral ones. If Google had not, as it revealed in its announcement, “detected a highly sophisticated and targeted attack on our corporate infrastructure originating from China,” there’s no reason to believe it would have altered its policy of censoring search results to fit the wishes of the Chinese authorities. It was the attack, not a sudden burst of righteousness, that spurred Google’s action. ”

    http://www.tnr.com/article/politics/gathering-clouds

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  4. Richard Hurst (859 comments) says:

    It is good to see Google doing the right thing at last and even being prepared to leave the Chinese market if they can’t operate freely. Considering the constant cyber attacks on Gmail customers originating from China targeting human rights campaigners accounts I’m not surprised Google have had enough.

    Do the Chinese have the courage to support freedom Alan?
    Well right now they want a new apartment, kids in a good school, flat screen TV, a car, high income, a good job with promotion prospects and three square meals a day and an ability to support the extended family and elderly relatives.
    If the Chinese govt got in the way of any of that then yeah they’d want freedom.
    But for now they want the main course of western lifestyle/American dream. Hold the side order of liberty, democracy and freedom.

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  5. themono (129 comments) says:

    “This is going to be a fascinating battle between two giants.”

    I’m not sure it will be. Rather, I think China will just say “play by the rules or get out”. I don’t think they’ll be too cut up about losing Google.

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  6. sheath (60 comments) says:

    So they also censor in India. India and China both have laws that they have to follow. So do you want Google to ignore local laws or just follow some of them?

    If they pull out of China which has nothing to do with what they do or do not including in search index should they also pull out of India?

    The major aspect is google have implied they think China govt is behind the attacks on their services (operating or not in China will not change this one iota if it is true).

    PS Google has less than 20% market share in China as well. Think it is 14.x%.

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  7. Alan Wilkinson (1,878 comments) says:

    “Do you want Google to ignore local laws or just follow some of them?”

    I certainly don’t want major corporations to support Government suppression of free speech and human rights. That may mean opposing some of them.

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  8. ephemera (557 comments) says:

    The cynic in me says this is a very astute way of Google to bolster PR and shareholder confidence while they roll back an unprofitable division.

    However Google should still be applauded for setting a kind of ethical standard that Yahoo et al would do well to follow.

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  9. KiwiGreg (3,255 comments) says:

    “I don’t think they’ll be too cut up about losing Google.”

    Given the winner is a Chinese owned search engine I doubt they will lose a second’s sleep.

    “Do you want Google to ignore local laws or just follow some of them?”

    I certainly don’t want major corporations to support Government suppression of free speech and human rights. That may mean opposing some of them.

    Why stop at corporations. Let’s just apply our own code to any country’s law and when we are there just follow those laws you agree with (like insulting the king in Thailand)? When you go to someone’s house you follow their rules, dont like the rules leave the house, same with countries.

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  10. Brian Harmer (687 comments) says:

    AW says: “Absolutely agree, DPF. But the choice is ultimately in the hands of the Chinese people. Do they have the courage to support freedom?”

    As one who comes in frequent contact with students from the PRC, I am often surprised by the extent to which the students absolutely support the actions of their government and see the criticism of it as unwarranted interference by outside forces. There is a strong parallel with the wearing of the burqua by Islamic women. Westerners see it as oppressive. They seem to have a different view.

    My point is that the issue is not one of courage, but rather of mindset. They simply have a different world view, and I have heard many of them espousing the view that control is necessary. They simply do not see the issue as being about freedom. It’s a pragmatism that most of us in the West find appalling, but they are equally mystified by our perspectives.

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  11. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    ” My point is that the issue is not one of courage, but rather of mindset. ”

    The Chinese Communist party controls the government and by that means it also controls the education system and the media, and thereby the culture.

    Its what commies do best.

    Brainwash.

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  12. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “I am often surprised by the extent to which the students absolutely support the actions of their government and see the criticism of it as unwarranted interference by outside forces.”

    Next time you discuss the issue of ” interference “, remind them of China’s political influence in Africa, South America, Asia and other regions. In countries all over the globe the Chinese political/ military combine is beavering away to install local versions of the same corrupt and corrosive anti-human military dictatorship as they have in their homeland.

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  13. MyNameIsJack (2,415 comments) says:

    Well done google? Maybe. But then I read this:

    GOOGLE has agreed to take down links to a website that promotes racist views of indigenous Australians.

    I see google’s role to be much like that of a librarian. Not to judge, not to censor, but to make available all information.

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  14. aardvark (417 comments) says:

    In my column yesterday I compared the way that so many countries and corporations sacrifice their principles in exchange for shiny cheap DVD players and low-cost teeshirts to the arrival of settlers in NZ.

    China has the beads and blankets, we’re handing them our morals, ethics and principles in return.

    Somehow, I think Google might just be the start of a trend that will see corporates (and hopefully whole nations) waking up to the fact that by ignoring the human-rights violations within that nation (and it’s annexed borders), we’re behaving very much like a bunch of besotted primitives ourselves.

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  15. MyNameIsJack (2,415 comments) says:

    Redbaiter (8403) Says:

    January 15th, 2010 at 1:25 pm

    Next time you discuss the issue of ” interference “, remind them of China’s political influence in Africa, South America, Asia and other regions. In countries all over the globe the Chinese political/ military combine is beavering away to install local versions of the same corrupt and corrosive anti-human military dictatorship as they have in their homeland.

    They have learned well from Amerika’s example, haven’t they?

    Vietnam. Laos. Guatemalla. Chile. Mexico. Venezualla. Colombia. Cuba. Iran. Iraq. Afghanistan. The Chinese have a long way to go to match the US in the number of corrupt dictatorships created or supported.

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  16. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    ” They have learned well from Amerika’s example, haven’t they? ”

    One never has to look far for an illustration of how pigshit thick the left really are. The US is a democratic republic you fuckwit, not a military dictatorship. If the Chinese generals you suck up to had learned anything from the US its not demonstrated by their obsession with communist dictators, and their mission to install such gun barrel maintained governments worldwide.

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  17. expat (4,050 comments) says:

    Jack,

    You’re slightly deluded if you think China hasn’t been balls deep in as many if not more third world shit hole revolutions and corruptions as the US.

    Red,

    He didn’t say that .

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  18. tristanb (1,127 comments) says:

    Yes, Google removed the Encyclopaedia Dramatica page on Aboriginis. That site makes fun of all races and types of people, though in a very un-PC way.

    The disturbing thing about that article is:
    “Mr Newhouse believes the site would be filtered under the Australian government’s mandatory filter. ”

    So they’re filtering a joke website nationally, for everyone, because it contains racist comments? And what makes me more sick is that NZ is implementing that filtering system as we speak. The Government is doing its bit to make our internet a bit more like China’s.

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  19. expat (4,050 comments) says:

    no half as offended as I would be if I was Australian

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  20. Viking2 (11,488 comments) says:

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/technology/digital-living/3233160/Microsoft-blamed-for-Google-China-attack

    Microsoft blamed for Google China attack
    Reuters
    Last updated 12:15 15/01/2010

    BLAME GAME: Security firm McAfee blames a flaw in Microsoft’s Internet Explorer for allowing recent cyber attacks on
    Google China spat sheds light on cyberspying

    Recent cyber attacks on Google and other businesses exploited a previously unknown flaw in Microsoft’s Internet Explorer browser, according to security firm McAfee.

    McAfee’s report came as authorities struggle to crack one of the most sophisticated hacking cases in history.

    More at link

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  21. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    While we are on the internet and such. Had two credits cards used in Los Angeles today, even though I was in Rotorua. Looks like my sons X box was cracked and they got all the details. Well done Westpac for being onto it.

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  22. MikeNZ (3,234 comments) says:

    Expat
    you’re on the money, Spratly islands malysia, Burma, Phillipines etc etc.

    Forgive my cynicism but perhaps this has come about as some people are going to sue Google in the world court for the beatings, torture and deaths they are involved in from giving info and access to the PRC Security Bureau.

    I’ll look for the link (its old) but there were six or seven documentable cases.
    Personally I’d love to see Google sued for millions and have assets siezed in several territories just to shown big business that its not business as usual with tyrants like China.

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  23. Richard Hurst (859 comments) says:

    China really is up to no good- oil in exchange for military aid to evil little govts like Sudan:

    http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article30511

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  24. Gooner (995 comments) says:

    Isn’t this very simple?

    Google needs China but China does not need Google. Therefore it’s clear who will win this one.

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  25. dad4justice (8,238 comments) says:

    I back google as they don’t trade in body parts. Fuck you stinking panda creepa.

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  26. Viking2 (11,488 comments) says:

    http://www.nzcpr.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=936&p=27689#p27689

    http://www.nzcpr.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=86&p=27690#p27690

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  27. GNZ (228 comments) says:

    China is pretty nationalistic in general and this has them all whipped up in google hatred mode. So Google can expect its market share to decline over the next few years whatever happens from now on. They may well, as a result, find exiting a good idea.

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  28. PaulL (5,987 comments) says:

    Google don’t really need a Chinese site. They could have cn.google.com, instead of google.com.cn. If Chinese people want to come to Google’s site, then presumably they need to obey the rules in Google’s house, rather than Google being in the Chinese house.

    I know if I was chinese and given the choice, I’d rather use the uncensored search engine.

    A wider question is whether Google is really uncensored, even if you use Google.com. There are some mighty suspicious search results around, for example, the leak of the warming e-mails in the UK.

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  29. Robert Black (423 comments) says:

    The Chinese use other search engines.

    It is the poor foreigners in China (like me) who will suffer.

    It’s no biggy.

    China has blocked youtube and facebook here but people simply use proxies.

    The internet or at least the netizens can never be beaten.

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