January 26, 2006 1:27 PM PST

No booze or jokes for Googlers in China

Google's new China search engine not only censors many Web sites that question the Chinese government, but it goes further than similar services from Microsoft and Yahoo by targeting teen pregnancy, homosexuality, dating, beer and jokes.

In addition, CNET News.com has found that contrary to Google co-founder Sergey Brin's promise to inform users when their search results are censored, the company frequently filters out sites without revealing it.

Some of the blackballing appeared to be a mistake. The University of Pennsylvania's entire engineering school server--which hosted one Falun Gong site--was blocked from Google's Google.cn China site. So was an Essex County Web site, which sports the word "sex"--as in "Essex"--in its domain name. Google.cn also doesn't display search.msn.com to someone who's hunting for the rival Microsoft service.

And the results can be haphazard. A search in English on "Tiananmen Square" turned up some sites but not others. Tsquare.tv, a site devoted to the protest and subsequent massacre, was filtered out, but Wikipedia's write-up appeared. And an image search revealed the iconic photo of a student blocking a column of tanks before the 1989 massacre. Search results also appear to vary depending on whether they're done in English or in Chinese characters.

In a series of conversations starting Wednesday, Google representatives responded to CNET News.com's queries by saying that some Web site blockages are human errors that should be expected when any new service is introduced, and others represent a concerted attempt to comply with Chinese censorship laws. By Thursday, a handful of blackballed sites, such as the engineering school and Budweiser.com, had been cleared to appear on Google.cn, though Guinness.com had not.

When launching its China-based search site this week, Google defended its decision to comply with the dictates of China's ruling Communist Party by saying the new service expands access to information for Chinese users. But its choice has been controversial, not least because Google's corporate motto is "Don't be evil."

Google's Chinese Wall

Update: In response to this story, Google has fixed its filters. A followup story has the details.

Google's new China search will not show a variety of Web sites including humor and computer security topics. In the chart below, click on the titles to sort the columns, and the "+" sign to expand. "OK" means the site is listed in search results, and "Deleted" means it is not.
Show some/all
Web siteTypeGoogleMicrosoftYahoo
badpuppy.comGayDeletedDeleted (1)OK
budweiser.comAlcoholDeleted (4)OKOK
hightimes.comDrug useDeleted (5)OKOK
jokesgallery.comHumorOKDeleted (1)OK
netfirms.comWeb hostingDeletedOKOK
penthouse.comSexDeletedDeleted (1)Deleted
playboy.comSexDeletedDeleted (1)OK
rsf.orgAdvocacyOKDeleted (2)Deleted
seas.upenn.eduAcademicDeleted (4)OKDeleted
sonicnet.comMusic (VH1)DeletedOKOK
sxetc.orgSex ed.DeletedOKDeleted (3)
teenpregnancy.orgSex ed.DeletedOKOK
voa.govGovernmentDeleted (1)DeletedDeleted

Note (1): A subdomain may not be blocked. For instance, gaytoday.badpuppy.com may show up even though the badpuppy.com home page does not.

Note (2): This Web site appears when searching for "Reporters Without Borders" but not for its French name, "Reporters Sans Frontiers."

Note (3): SexEtc.org has been removed from Yahoo's China index, but an alias -- SxEtc.org -- is present.

Note (4): Budweiser.com and the University of Pennsylvania's engineering school had been removed from Google.cn search results but were restored on Thursday after queries from CNET News.com.

Note (5): A secondary domain name used by High Times magazine, 420.com, is listed.

Google's China launch comes as scrutiny of search engine providers' commitment to civil liberties is increasing and criticism of their choice to comply with repressive regimes is growing. Congress is planning hearings in the next few weeks, and on Wednesday, Rep. Chris Smith blasted Google for "collaborating with (democracy activists') persecutors."

Because access from China to the U.S. Google.com site is limited for financial and political reasons, the vast majority of Chinese are forced to turn to domestic search engines instead. Google's Brin has estimated that Google.com is available to only half of the country's users. Other reports say that when search terms such as "Tiananmen Square" are typed in on Google.com, the site immediately becomes unreachable for a few hours.

Bill Albert, a spokesman for the Washington, D.C.-based National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, said it was "discouraging" to find that his group has been banned from Google.cn, especially since it hasn't been blackballed by Yahoo's China site or by Microsoft's Chinese version of MSN. "While our focus is on U.S. rates of teen pregnancy and birth we do have a lot of people coming from foreign countries, and we certainly would like to keep that line of communication open," Albert said.

Related story
Google censors China Web searches
Search giant agrees to censorship laws, reasoning that people getting limited access to content is better than none.

A search for "teen pregnancy" through Google's U.S. Web site lists the group's home page as the first result. But in an identical search through Google.cn, the campaign's Web site is not listed. Google does not inform users that it was deleted.

Google said in a statement Wednesday that its filters are "intended to block the minimum required to comply with (Chinese) laws and regulations."

In a second statement to CNET News.com, the company added: "As with most brand-new services, our launch is immediately followed by a process of identifying and correcting bugs or other technical issues. Google.cn is no exception, and we will continue to refine our processes to ensure that we are filtering the minimum necessary, and that notices are properly displayed in all instances results have been filtered." (Google refuses to make its list of off-limits Web sites public.)

The buggy Chinese filtering stands out as a rare black eye for a company that prides itself on superior search technology, has a $126 billion market capitalization and boasts on its payroll one of the world's highest concentrations of computer science doctoral degrees.

A September 2000 Chinese government directive says that Internet content providers must restrict information that may "harm the

CONTINUED: A restricted diet of info…
Page 1 | 2 | 3

See more CNET content tagged:
China, Sergey Brin, Google Inc., search engine, Yahoo! Inc.


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Cigarette Censorship
I see they also censored my favorite website: <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.Cigarette.Com" target="_newWindow">http://www.Cigarette.Com</a>

I guess it is not in the Chinese government's interest for people to see stuff like that.


Makes you appreciate America, don't it?!?!?!
Posted by MaryMary77 (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
RuToo e-cigarette
RuToo delivers the smallest and most real looking E-cigarette in the world, for only ?74,95. More information on <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.rutoo.co.uk" target="_newWindow">http://www.rutoo.co.uk</a>
Posted by rutootrading (2 comments )
Link Flag
Bad Bad Google
Let's take a count, shall we? IBM turns over their PC business to
the Chinese. Boeing has set up shop there, effectively giving the
Chinese, not only our jobs, but our technology as well. Our own
government is setting up trade deals which is killing the middle
class in the US and making it ever easier for the Chinese to sell
their goods here. Wal-mart is pulling in greater numbers of
goods into the US and setting up shop in China in order to cash
in on the exploding trade with them. Most of our cash is making
a bee line for Bejing and funding the Chinese military build up.
So what's a red blooded American corporation supposed to do.
Why, cash in, of course.

So why is it now that Google is now a bad guy for trying to bring
in some of that greedy, American corporate profit? It wouldn't
happen to be because they told the justice department to get
bent when they got the subpoena to turn over their search
records, would it?
Posted by (6 comments )
Reply Link Flag
It's called free speech
You are free to start a company, manage a company and move your business to wherever you want.

Google has decided to limit the accesibilty to information at the behest of Chinese autocrats who are suppressing the Chinese public.

One situation is utilizing freedom, another is suppressing freedom.

Even if you equate the 2 situations, 2 wrongs don't make a right. Google met a fork in the road, and decided to "do wrong."
Posted by skshrews (98 comments )
Link Flag
What to believe
How to define right and wrong?
Either way, it is decided by ones belief. And, belief is nothing but a consequence (result) of the brainwash processes by our education.
I guess, Google was brainwashed by two different cultures.
Posted by Believe Brain (64 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Did Google's folks support South African apartheid as well?
Did Google's youngin's--in a previous life-- or their parents
support the South African apartheid government as well? Were
they or their families racists who worked on mainframes against
the international ban--which Stanford followed-- on doing
business with that evil regime? Did they use their software skills
to run the jail on Roberts Island, or to keep master lists of
people who supported Nelson Mandela?


Answer-- Their isn't one; unless....it is that the Chinese
Communist Party--that Google, Yahoo, and MSN clearly support
(and follow the orders of)--is much more powerful, and hurts
many more people; not to mention having nukes.

I have one Yahoo premium service that am now going to cancel.
I will not support with money evil companies that intentionally,
with malice of forethought, directly help opporessive
governments just so they can become even bigger billionaires.

Posted by dphuntsman (6 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Actually, the difference is...
...that China is a very lucrative market. Otherwise noone would touch it with a barge pole.
Posted by Mutex (40 comments )
Link Flag
Knee jerk reaction
Lets all make sure we are really considering the issues here before we jump up with statements about how evil these companies are. I'm not saying you can't decide that they're in the wrong. But if you're going to criticize, make sure you give some real justification.

There is a lot of hypocrisy in statements that other countries that filter information and censor content are flat out wrong. China is far from the only company that takes part in such activities and the US is not guilt free either. Searches in the US are filtered for certain content deemed unacceptable (child porn, etc...) and for things like copyrighted images. While most Westerners can agree that China's moves go way too far, there is valid debate about whether or not its the right or responsibility of companies to defy those laws. China is, after all, a sovereign nation. That's not to say that we can't oppose those laws. It's just debatable whether we can be outright defiant and still expect other nations to respect our own laws.

Pointing out that they have nukes is also iffy. The nuclear arsenal of the United States obviously dwarfs China's in both size and capability. Again, its debatable whether we have the right to simultaneously hold such weapons and criticize the rest of the world for wanting them. Its understandable why some nations would feel threatened. We feel we can be trusted, but why should they? Not that I'm encouraging the proliferation of nuclear arms, just that its rash, I think, to expect companies to base trade decisions on which countries the US gives the OK to for nuclear armament. Thats not exactly free trade now is it?

Finally, is pulling out Western economic influence really the way to change China? I don't think we can fairly call Google's decision malicious. Many people truly believe that the best way to help China is to bring whatever Western influence and ties to the region as is possible. That may require some compliance with local laws with which we disagree. But if the ultimate goal is to help bring change, maybe its still the right thing to do. Just because the decision is inline with Google's own business interests doesn't make it the wrong one.
Posted by someguy389 (102 comments )
Link Flag
Look, don't put all the blame on Google
Why does everyone put all the blame on Google? Man, it's the Chinese government's fault. Of course, everyone can say that no one force Google and other search engines enter the market. But you tell me, if no foreign search engine enters the Chinese market, would it make the situation better? Will it suddenly gives the Chinese people more access to "banned" sites?

And, it's ridiculous seeing politician in Washington blaming Google, when just a couple days ago, we found that our government had been asking Google for search log. Yes, I know what our government did is WAY WAY softer than what the Chinese does. But aren't we supposed to be the example of democracy? Also, if we really don't want our search engine bow to the Chinese, those politicians can create a law to prohibit information provider from restricting information when they operate oversea. Then at least, when the Chinese forces these companies, they can say, "Look, our government doesn't let us do that. We are going to pour $XXX billion into your countries. You want us or not."
Posted by Pixelslave (101 comments )
Reply Link Flag
When in Rome, Do as the Romans
Although it may appear there is a double standard between Google's tough stance against the Bush Administration trying to pry into the web searches of Americans and the more permissive attitude with the Chinese government, I am reminded that we are supposed to be a democracy with rights to privacy and civil liberties, long denied the Chinese people due to their more oppressive and repressive form of government. Google seems to be just accomodating itself to the type of government it is operating within. Though it might appear to be overzealous in its overcompliance with the Chinese Communist regime, it is "right on" to stand up to the Bush Administration that thinks it has the God-given right to conduct unwarranted surveillance and spying on anyone it chooses, including antiwar protesters, PETA, Greenpeace, the ACLU and most anyone who does not agree with its policies. I fully support Google in its decision NOT to allow the Dept of Justice to ride roughshot over it. This has nothing to do with the "war on terror". It has everything to do with the current Administration NOT respecting the U.S. Constitution and gradually creating the "police state" on an unsuspecting public. The German people unfortunately learned this lesson too late prior to W.W.II.
Posted by croupier01 (7 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Amnesia ???
Do you suffer from Amnesia? Google defied US government request just last month and Google is supposedly a US company.
Posted by FutureGuy (742 comments )
Link Flag
China can't block the truth.....
Censorship is an ineffective approach, since the people can easily
find alternatives to whatever blocks the Chinese government tries
to impose. And the Chinese government will look foolish for doing
so, not that it doesn't look foolish already.

Give the people access to the internet and they will get the
information they want. China, as a totalitarian government is dead,
One of these days, the Chinese government may realize that,
unless they are throw out of power first.
Posted by Earl Benser (4310 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Not true its censorship is working.
My Chinese roommate in hostel did not know of chinese farmers getting HIV through selling blood until he went out of china and it was happening in a province next to his. News blackout and hence censorship do work. China looks stupid to outsider not to its own people. Sad through since the people who can change things are those that know nothing
Posted by pjianwei (206 comments )
Link Flag
But not like the government can be overthrow.
The government officials aren't going to give up their powers, and the citizens can't do anything because the government controls the army.
Posted by tony_z (32 comments )
Link Flag
two-faced Goo-gle
On one side Google is defying the US Government request but is walking hand in hand with a Communist government. So much for the good in Google, its more and more seems to be run by China.
Posted by FutureGuy (742 comments )
Reply Link Flag
One face looking at two different issues
It isn't reasonable to imply that the two situations are inherently the same. In the US, Google has the ability and the right to fight a request by the US government that it deems unfair or unjust. It doesn't have those options in China. They have to get out or get with the Chinese program, no legal challenges allowed. Different situations require different approaches and different ethical questions deserve seperate consideration and analysis. Oversimplifying such complex issues would be a disservice to all parties involved.

On a side note, what is this garbage about "more and more [Google] seems to be run by China"? How does one instance of controversial compliance with local law make "more and more"? Its not like Google has a history of randomly acquiescing to Chinese requests. Cut the knee-jerk spin.
Posted by someguy389 (102 comments )
Link Flag
Lying is worse than silence!
So far, Google's best argument/excuse for self-censorship is that by offering a search service in Chinese, at least the users have more access to info than not being in China at all. However, if a search for any politically sensitive topic (e.g., Tibet or Falun Gong) only turns up contents in favor of the government's policies, I wonder if it's worse than not getting any result at all. Personally, I'd feel a lot better if such search leads to a blank page in which case the result is at least view-point neutral.
Posted by benjaminqiu (5 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Google's self-censorship wouldn't make much of a difference...
You think the chinese people care about those sensitive topics? Besides, those who does can easily get through the block by using a proxy (slow but works and I seen a lot of them using it).
Posted by tony_z (32 comments )
Link Flag
Google Wrong on China
Google is wrong to do business in China. China represses human rights, and oppresses its people. Google is putting monetary gain above everything else. This is all too common for U.S. corporations, where things like Human Rights always play second. Google never should have gone to China. It's just plain wrong.
Posted by john.miller (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Resistance Is _NOT_ Futile ...
and the fall of the Soviet Union, among the many other attempts to shackle humanity over the ages, is evidence of that. However, four or five generations (and probably a few more) of Soviet inhabitants (I won't even deign to call them "citizens", considering their horrid situation) did all the suffering so that a very small number of totalitarian mobsters could reap the rewards of their serfs' back-breaking work. The truth of the matter is that totalitarian regimes survive only because they are allowed to, not because of any intrinsic strength those governments hold. How many more generations of Chinese should suffer because no one did anything on their behalf to protect them from the rampant corruption, pollution, disease, etc., they bear every day, just so corporations can make more money?

If every laborer in China just decided to stop doing everything from which the government derives its power, the Communist Party wouldn't last more than a few weeks. Yes, millions would probably initially experience Mao's "Power flows from the end of a gun", as the government attempted to force people to go back to work, but if they killed off the technicians, engineers, scientists, financiers, and other key people (not to mention those who produce the food and distribute fuel, etc.), the dictators would hasten their own demise even faster. The only thing that prevents this kind of massive, peaceful revolt is a lack of coordination because of a lack of communication, which includes searching for and finding others who share your dissatisfaction with the current government.

Corporations aren't democracies, by definition - indeed, the word "corporation" derives from the Latin "corpus", or "body", and hence the idea of many bodies (people) acting independently is anathema to the concept of a corporation (this ignores the influence of individual investors in a private or public corporation, but they generally make up a minority of the shareholders of any significantly-sized corporation, anyway, and it also ignores the influence of customers, who vote with their wallets/purses, but do so under the influence of marketing/advertising, which can be deceptive or, at best, incomplete in telling the whole story about a corporation's products and services). The Google/Yahoo/MSN/... acquiescence to China's mobsters is due to the decisions of a very few executives in those corporations, who generally have the most to not gain by not entering into the Chinese market, and therefore, their motives are automatically suspect. Institutional investors in these corporations aren't going to do or say anything to rock the boat because they, too, stand to not gain by avoiding doing business in China. Even U.S. state and federal governments aren't going to rock the boat, because they will also not gain tax revenues if these corporations avoid China (granted, most of the overseas profits would be shielded from taxation in the U.S., especially below the federal level, and there are plenty of ways to avoid even most federal taxes, but it's probably still in the vicinity of billions of dollars, all told).

So, who's left to take up the banner of freedom? Well, guess what, it's the same citizen-soldiers who were responsible for every other advancement in true civilization, such as democratic representation in government, protection of minorities from mobs, due process, freedom of speech, freedom of religion (including the right to not practice one at all - although you'd be hard-pressed to find an example of that, these politically-polarized days), even the right to bear arms (as in ownership of the forepaws of large, mammals that live in the woods : ), etc. In other words, you and I. The government isn't going to do anything. The corporations aren't going to do anything. The fat cats calling the shots in the smoke-filled back rooms aren't going to do anything. We went downtown for Justice, and that's all we found ... Just Us.

I find it sadly amusing that Google, et al, hide behind the convenient excuse of "abiding by local laws" in China because it suits their executives' plans for the cashing in of their stock options at inflated prices, while at the same time bellowing, as loudly as their recently-paid-for-by-IPO lawyers can make it possible, that they don't need to pay any heed to the U.S. government when it comes to complying with subpoenas, because it could cost them big-time with their users/customers and investors outside of where the totalitarian regimes live (and the recent 8-plus percent drop in their stock price in one day is ample evidence of that). They can't have it both ways, at least if international law still has any meaning (which includes human rights, and that implies the freedoms mentioned above). Of course, corporations conveniently slip and slide around international law all the time, because of all of the loopholes in jurisdiction, etc., save for the occasional massive disasters that even the best PR firms in the world can't white-wash, like Union Carbide killing thousands of inhabitants of Bhopal, India.

So, to those who think that this is just a cost of doing business, that there's nothing anyone can do, and that it's Just The Way It Is, I would submit to you every counterexample of people taking upon themselves to Just Say No, Being Fed Up and Not Taking It Any More, and otherwise Sticking It To The Man, whether he's a Chinese Communist Party member, a soul-less corporate dweeb, a politician on-the-take, or any other scoundrel from the pages of an expose about corruption and scandal.

I kept silent when they came for my neighbors. I kept silent when they came for my co-workers. I kept silent when they came for my relatives. By the time they came for me, there was no one left to speak up in my defense.

The decision is ours. The buck stops here. There's no time like the present. Speak up.

All the Best,
Joe Blow
Posted by Joe Blow (175 comments )
Reply Link Flag
How about ....
Animals cannot talk. How can they speak up to resist mankinds totalitarian regimes?
Posted by Believe Brain (64 comments )
Link Flag
Multiple standards .. dont we all?
Some say Google has two standards. On the other hand, the common purpose of Communism and Capitalism is money. Googles two faces merely follow the nature of money  two faces coin and two faces greenback.

For money, China knows how to take the necessary steps as Google did. That is why China is getting richer. Soviet Union has changed too. That is why Sharapova and sisters are making a great deal of US dollars.

Googles stock price had dropped few days ago. That has nothing to do with ethics. It is merely investors fear about their own money. Last two days, Googles stock still stays at between 425 and 450, and waiting for Tue report to decide the money matter.

I know, I know. Multiple standards are naturally following our multiple personality - Money is everything, ethics is just for talking.
Posted by Believe Brain (64 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Made in China
It is difficult for the average Westerner to conceive of the differences in our civilization and that of the Chinese. It is a country of over 1.3 billion citizens and almost half of them are agrarian in employment. That being said, China is also a country with over 100 cities in excess of a million population. Compare that with the number of large cities in the rest of the world, and you may get some idea of the size and complexity of their society. The Chinese are the world's oldest civilization, and although reclusive, they are tremendously powerful economically. Their GNP is well over a trillion dollars annually, and the US is one of their major trading partners. I did not intend this letter to be a thorough discussion of their country; rather, I am touching on the perception we as Westerners have of their culture. If one were to take a poll of the city dwellers there, they might be surprised to learn that not only are many Chinese content with their 'repressive' government, but they would actually argue that the censorship is for valid reasons. Yes, some choose to rebel; however, the vast majority is not only accepting of the current Communist regime but quite supportive of their government.
I have friends in China that tell me that things are better today than twenty years ago, and that they feel much more able to discuss agendas that would have been labeled "radical" then. They wonder about our attitudes toward individual rights, seeing the concept as strange if not counterproductive to their common goals. China faces many challenges at present, some which have plagued the industrial West for years. Energy requirements, pollution, food supply, a more mobile and educated work force migrating to the cities, and many other problems are high on their government's list of matters to be addressed. What we as Westerners have not yet realized is that China is soon to be a world power that will exceed the USA in GNP and increasingly is a dominating force in the world marketplace. It is the prediction of many experts on their culture that we will soon be involved in a international contest of "King of the Hill" that will favor the Chinese. For the most part, we are happily selling off our assets and creating a tremendous and unmanageable trade deficit which will ensure their success.
Posted by 206538395198018178908092208948 (141 comments )
Link Flag
Google and the American Government
I believe that I'll have a martini along with a smoke, and Google a few subjects. While Google is collecting all of my information as an American citizen, I'll reflect on the nature of Google as a sting operation. Google allows people to look up extremely explicit and often criminal material here in the States. But what is the reason? Is it really freedom of expression, or is it for a more devious purpose?

I have often thought that illegal sites, such as child porn, terrorist, or hacker sites, are allowed to exist because the American government wants them to---they are BAIT, set up to catch criminals in the act. Google may be in secret participation with the American governmental agencies on this point. While Google reassures Americans they protect their privacy, who knows what information is being secretly collected and traded on individuals? Though Google puts on a big show about protecting American's privacy, how much of it is smoke and mirrors?

The Chinese Government and Google shaking hands on the censorship deal isn't very reassuring. It goes to show that if an American company such as Google will sell out to a Communist government, what's to say that they wouldn't sell out to the American government as well?
Posted by Michael G. (185 comments )
Reply Link Flag
In All Fairness to Google...
I would like to add to my own comment, that my opinions concerning Google are based on suspicion, not on any substantiated facts. I tend to have a suspicion concerning entities(corporate or governmental) that are obsessed with collecting information on people. I use Google constantly, as others do, and I hold no purpose in standing against them, if they are being legitimate with the American public. But the search information that a company as powerful as Google must have, is immense knowledge. Such immense knowledge on people and their searching activities could always be used or employed to a devious end. The American government is surely quite interested in the searching activities of Americans. Knowledge such as Google has collected would be of immense interest to them, and I would be willing to wager that the American government would pay a large price to obtain that information, from Google or any other source.
Posted by Michael G. (185 comments )
Link Flag
Circles within circles.
The government of the US has admitted already to setting up sting sites for all sorts of motives. I believe you are right on target with your suspicion that Google is probably cooperating sub rosa with the US. Even if they were not, secret intelligence agencys such as NSA (No Such Agency) have the ability to penetrate all levels of communication worldwide. That is what is ironically amusing about Dubya's proclamations that the media have somehow let the cat out of the bag regarding the fact that the government eavesdrops. I seriously doubt that there is a terrorist anywhere in the world that does not assume this and employ every means at their disposal to encrypt their communication, and for the US government to claim that the exposure of the monitoring practice is somehow a breach of security is laughable. Back on subject, it would not surprise me to learn that the current administration has cut a deal with every search engine in the country.
Posted by 206538395198018178908092208948 (141 comments )
Link Flag
Why available options put Googles actions into a different perspective
Before judging Google, it should help to have a look at the options available and their respective results.

Google can
1. either deal with the Chinese governments import restrictions an censor their google.cn -
2. Or they do not care about these restrictions, leaving google.cn a fully functional language version of google,com

While the first option looks like a companys usual behaviour to other countries legal restrictions, it gives the funny impression of behaving bad to the Chinese people on a moral standpoint.
The second option however, while very appealing from the free speech perspective would most certainly lead to a situation where google.cn will be blocked completely in China. Compared to the first option, this would move the situation for the Chinese citizen from censored to completely blinded.

I see this whole story like an import business. You try to import something into a country, the local government tries to block. Then you still try doing, and they refuse. Now is that a surprise?

If I was Chinese, I would prefer having a censored langue version of my search engine over losing that engine altogether.

It all leads to the wonderful controversy of imposing ones morals and standards on other cultures and feeling morally right about doing so.
Alright, the last sentence is a bit far fetched and just provocative. But given the fact that google.com is kept completely uncensored, I can not see the bug fuzz about the story.
To me, it is much more striking that this company seems to deliver an embarrassing result, trying to install their filters  not what you expect from a market leader in high tech.

The only thing I find really annoying is the fact that Google has not the guts to display a message if censorship is applied. Isnt that a public fact in China anyway?

Posted by tutein (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
We all were enamored with the idea of a company that will do no evil. A company that will be more interested in values rather than making money at ANY COST...we thought Google was this company. The funny thing is that Google is no different than Microsoft...the company we all love to hate. I must confess, these Google guys are pretty good..they had me fooled for a little while.
Posted by jcc567 (3 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Absolute Power
I believe you hit the nail on the head, with that comment. Absolute power corrupts absolutely---Google is beginning to realize that, as they become the dominant corporate entity in early 21st century society. The search for a company that(unlike Microsoft)is incorruptible seems to be a case of jumping from the frying pan into the fire.

It seems to me that America is increasingly becoming monopolized by a few large conglomerates, such as Google or Wal-Mart. On the one hand, the simplicity and luxury of convenience. On the other, the lack of alternatives or choice, and the tendency for such companies to become corrupted. When you combine a government with questionable intentions(such as the Bush administration)with monopolistic entities of questionable intentions, that is not a good mix for the American public. In a Communist government such as China, it is the natural way---government and governmentally controlled institutions and entities, perfectly merged.
Posted by Michael G. (185 comments )
Link Flag
WOW Google's PR is working
What agency do you work for? You guys are good...
Posted by jcc567 (3 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Don't be flip-floppers
Either MS and Google are both right or they're both wrong. I don't
see enough of a difference in their acquiescing to consider one
right and the other wrong.
Posted by mgreere (332 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Could this be bypassed?
Would it be possible to create a gnutella plugin
that proxys Google/Yahoo queries in china to the
"Free World" in encrypted form to allow for full
uncensored Google/Yahoo etc searches in those
parts of the world where censorship is a

Would this be feasible?
Posted by Mallardd (47 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Google's Tiananmen Square
Google's Tiananmen Square

corporate motto is "Don't be evil."

"But evil is, what evil does and Google is becoming evil."

 I am removing 'Google' as one of my web browsers search
  Once again the greed of cooperate America is controlled
by a foreign interest; democracy and the principles of
freedom, become forgotten words upon which our Country was
founded and the blood of the many shall perish, as words
spoken become forgotten because of Googles censorship.

  I always thought high and lofty ideas like Google; was for
the expressions of commonality, that runs thru all humans
seeking freedom of expression, to excite and drive those
basic qualities of life, that define whom and what we are,
free, to believe, to aspire, to become whatever we dream.

 Apparently 'Google' has caved in to the principles of a
dictatorship and greed, not wanting to offend powerful
people who thread on the weaknesses of others, less fortunate

Who will be next to sequester this flame of hope
and freedom?  Iran, Iraq, other countries with tyrannical 
rulers,;whose people are enslaved, not by freedoms they
seek, but by the knowledge of it that will set them free.

I find it deplorable that 'Google' has chosen a path
to totalitarianism, of reckless abandonment to the
people who believed in them and their Company.  I hope
that other browsers will not give in to foreign dictates and
allow all people, seeking their freedom, to read, to understand
and to cherish those freedoms that we hold so dear to our
hearts and that we, as Americans are willing to die for.  

Sometimes it is difficult to stand firm against the winds of
change that engulf our principles of freedom; against others
willing to desecrate those very ideas whom others have died for,
but by doing so we pay homage to those who have gone before
and sacrifice so much, that others may walk freely in their

dr burke/06

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://news.cbsi.com/No+booze+or+jokes+for+Googlers+in" target="_newWindow">http://news.cbsi.com/No+booze+or+jokes+for+Googlers+in</a>

"Google's new China search engine not only censors many Web
sites that question the Chinese government, but it goes further
than similar services from Microsoft and Yahoo by targeting teen
pregnancy, homosexuality, dating, beer and jokes.
In addition, CNET News.com has found that contrary to Google
co-founder Sergey Brin's promise to inform users when their
search results are censored, the company frequently filters out
sites without revealing it."
When launching its China-based search site this week, Google
defended its decision to comply with the dictates of China's
ruling Communist Party by saying the new service expands
access to information for Chinese users. But its choice has been
controversial, not least because Google's corporate motto is
"Don't be evil." "Or, don't become evil to soon."
"But evil is, what evil does and Google is becoming evil."

corporate motto is "Don't be evil."

"Our informal corporate motto is "Don't be evil." We Googlers
generally relate those words to the way we serve our users  as
well we should. But being "a different kind of company" means
more than the products we make and the business we're
building; it means making sure that our core values inform our
conduct in all aspects of our lives as Google employees.

The Google Code of Conduct is the code by which we put those
values into practice. This document is meant for public
consumption, but its most important audience is within our own
walls. This code isn't merely a set of rules for specific
circumstances but an intentionally expansive statement of
principles meant to inform all our actions; we expect all our
employees, temporary workers, consultants, contractors, officers
and directors to study these principles and do their best to apply
them to any and all circumstances which may arise.

The core message is simple: Being Googlers means striving
toward the highest possible standard of ethical business
conduct. This is a matter as much practical as ethical; we hire
great people who work hard to build great products, but our
most important asset by far is our reputation as a company that
warrants our users' faith and trust. That trust is the foundation
upon which our success and prosperity rests, and it must be re-
earned every day, in every way, by every one of us.

So please do read this code, and then read it again, and
remember that as our company evolves, The Google Code of
Conduct will evolve as well. Our core principles won't change,
but the specifics might, so a year from now, please read it a
third time. And always bear in mind that each of us has a
personal responsibility to do everything we can to incorporate
these principles into our work, and our lives."

Evil is, what evil does and Google is becoming evil.
Posted by roaeja (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Google's amended motto
Google should amend its motto to say, "Don't do evil, unless there's money in it."
Posted by KittyMartyr (19 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Hong Kong; an experiment in contradiction.
Thank your for your comments, Michael. I'm sure you realize that the discussion of Hong Kong's relationship to the rest of China is tremendously complex and difficult to understand. It goes far beyond the scope of this board. As you mentioned, The Basic Law, adopted April 4, 1990, and effective July 1, 1997, serves as the constitutional document of Hong Kong. It defines and determines the policies of the People's Republic of China regarding the operation of the Hong Kong Special Administration Region. This serves to allow Hong Kong to continue its capitalist system which in turn gives the region a special relationship with the United States and other free trade nations. Additionally, it guarantees and protects a number of rights and freedoms accorded the Hong Kong people that other Chinese citizens do not share. This has created a curious divisiveness that is still unfolding today. This law will be in effect for fifty years, and will mold the behavior and perception of the Chinese government and people towards the Hong Kong citizenry and administration. It is an experiment in capitalism for China, and to say that it is in a condition of flux would be an understatement. China, the oldest continuous civilization in the world, does not make decisions quickly or without considering the lessons of history. It is very difficult for the Westerner to perceive the influence of the past to the Chinese mindset. Here is a quote from the Yale Journal that addresses somewhat the complexity of the issues involved: "While recognizing that Hong Kong has become a part of China, the U.S.-Hong Kong Policy Act of 1992 establishes domestic legal authority to treat Hong Kong as an entity distinct from the People's Republic of China after reversion. This accepts and reinforces the Joint Declaration concept of one country, two systems.
Since China gained control of Hong Kong in the 1997 handover from Britain, international observers have wondered whether Beijing would allow the island to retain its separate identity. In many ways, Beijing has indeed followed its promise of "one country, two systems," recognizing that Hong Kong's property rights and entrepreneurial spirit do much to fuel the economic growth of larger China. But worries about the autonomy and paucity of democracy in Hong Kong's political decision-making, as well as the difficulties of instituting direct elections, indicate that Beijing is not prepared to allow the Special Administrative Region all freedoms enjoyed under British rule. The mainland's conflicted relationship with Hong Kong, writes Michael DeGolyer, contains many clues as to its foreign policy in general. A China that is prepared to offer Hong Kong measured rights and peaceful economic integration with the rest of the country is likely to be a China that remains receptive to international trade and its own economic liberalization. But if Beijing cracks down on peaceful demonstrators in Hong Kong or attempts to stifle that city's rights, its general international outlook will be ominous and isolationist. Thus, as DeGolyer describes, Hong Kong is like the canary in a mine, its health or peril likely to presage China's attitudes towards the rest of the world." YaleGlobal
The idea of Hong Kong as a "canary in the mine" is a succinct observation. Hong Kong is both a model and a public relations effort on the part of the Chinese in their attempt to interact with the rest of the world. It is encouraging to see the isolationist philosophy of the country challenged, but it will be many years before the results are in. Again, quoting the Yale Journal:
Hong Kong As a Clue to the Future China
Michael E. DeGolyer
Hong Kong Journal, 23 January 2006
"How far and fast is China willing to go in developing the rule of law as well as human and property rights? The United States, in particular, remains uncertain whether China is or will be an international partner or adversary. Perhaps that is why every US negotiator visiting China in 2005, including President George W. Bush, has emphasized China's need to adhere to a rules-based regime of trade and international relations." <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://yaleglobal.yale.edu/display.article?id=6862" target="_newWindow">http://yaleglobal.yale.edu/display.article?id=6862</a>
Hong Kong is truly an experiment in contradictions!
Posted by 206538395198018178908092208948 (141 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Google Censors
Setting up new web sites in foreign countries is something that must be done with consideration of the countries government policies. China is not the United States and Google is doing what they feel is best for Google. Who are we to pass judgement on Google for making a company decision that does not affect the American people. The only ones who can complain with any merit are the site not posted on Google in China. Search engines is a service that web sites pay a fee to have their sites posted. If the banded sites paid a fee to be posted in China, then ask for your money back.
Posted by Smokie92 (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
cDc has launced a global campaign against Google. Here is the info: <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.cultdeadcow.com/archives/2006/02/cdc_launches_global_.php3" target="_newWindow">http://www.cultdeadcow.com/archives/2006/02/cdc_launches_global_.php3</a>

-Myles Long
Director of Depravity
cDc communications / CULT OF THE DEAD COW
myles@cultdeadcow.com / www.cultdeadcow.com
Posted by myleslong (3 comments )
Reply Link Flag

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