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China Says Google Pledged To Obey Censorship Demands

CmdrTaco posted more than 4 years ago | from the information-wants-to-be-filtered dept.

Censorship 177

bonhomme_de_neige writes "China renewed Google's internet license after it pledged to obey censorship laws and stop automatically switching mainland users to its unfiltered Hong Kong site, an official said. Google promised to 'obey Chinese law' and avoid linking to material deemed a threat to national security or social stability, said Zhang Feng, director of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology's Telecoms Development Department, at a news conference." Update: 07/21 21:56 GMT by S : Changed headline to reflect that this is mainly just China trying to paint a better picture of the outcome. In a comment on the linked article, a Google representative said, "This piece suggests that Google has 'bowed' to censorship. That is not correct. We have been very clear about our committment [sic] to not censor our products for users in China. The products we have kept on Google.cn (Music, Translate, Product Search) do not require any censorship by Google. Other products, like web search, we are offering from Google.com.hk, and without censorship." If you go to google.cn, you can see the prominent link to the Hong Kong version of the site.

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Easier to just say... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32977008)

that Google has milked all the positive PR out of standing up to China (covered by major news networks) and is prepared for the small amount of negative PR by selling out (Slashdot).

Re:Easier to just say... (0)

BangaIorean (1848966) | more than 4 years ago | (#32977078)

Exactly my thoughts! I wonder how much coverage this will get in the mainstream media!! I hope there is a huge outcry about this! Put Google between a rock and a hard place and see what they choose.

Re:Easier to just say... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32977406)

Google is being the nigger here, no question about it. Suck it, fanboys. Keep using Chrome you fuckasses.

Re:Easier to just say... (1)

rwa2 (4391) | more than 4 years ago | (#32977816)

Hmm, well, maybe Google will have better luck fighting the neo-Nazi and hate speech censorship filters in Germany... ;-P

RTFA and it's comments (5, Informative)

Nzimmer911 (1553899) | more than 4 years ago | (#32977130)

They didn't bow at all. In Google's own words in the article's comment section: This piece suggests that Google has "bowed" to censorship. That is not correct. We have been very clear about our committment to not censor our products for users in China. The products we have kept on Google.cn (Music, Translate, Product Search) do not require any censorship by Google. Other products, like web search, we are offering from Google.com.hk, and without censorship Lucinda Barlow, Head of Public Affairs, Google AU/NZ - July 21, 2010, 2:43PM

Re:RTFA and it's comments (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32977208)

LTFG and the difference between "it's" and "its". :-)

Re:RTFA and it's comments (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32977362)

Major news outlets have some pretty specific standards, unlike ./ which will basically post any BS summary even if it has sh*t to do with The Fine Article. Major news outlets (AP) report only information that is passed to them through specific channels which are vetted and carefully positioned to avoid public censure. Although this results in a lot of mind-control and bias, and the news is by no means 'true', it is much, much more reliable as a 'one stop' news source than Slashdot (let's face it, people don't RTFA and just start spouting off at the mouth based on the headlines, in the same exact way that people do when they read a headline from a major news source). So, that's why NBC won't report on Google 'bowing to censorship demands' because that's a misleading headline. TFA doesn't indicate that unequivocally (in fact in the specifics it seems Google has done a pretty good job of keeping their integrity here), and NBC only reports misleading headlines and false news stories if directed to do so by a global security authority.

Having said that, all news has its place and its best to form an opinion based on a range of sources, and in my opinion Slashdot's strength is not in the accuracy of the reporting or headlines, but in the fact that it brings relevant links and information to a discerning reader who can then draw his own conclusions. As someone once said of the internet, it makes smart people smarter, and dumb people dumber.

Re:RTFA and it's comments (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32977440)

The products we have kept on Google.cn (Music, Translate, Product Search) do not require any censorship by Google.

Quickly, flood the internet with listings for books about the Tiananmen Square protests!

Re:RTFA and it's comments (1)

Mgns (934567) | more than 4 years ago | (#32977502)

I'd argue that they are still doing automatic redirect to the Hong Kong version. The search bar on google.cn is now a cute little element that links to www.google.com.hk.

So even if you don't understand that the plainly marked link below will give you uncensored search, you're just herded to the hk version anyway.

Re:Easier to just say... (2, Informative)

molnarcs (675885) | more than 4 years ago | (#32977912)

Well, we'll only see some negative PR on slashdot because people don't usually read the linked articles. This is old news, it was up on BBC Online over a week ago. The only difference is that instead of the neutral "China Renews Google's License" they went for the more sensationalist "Google Bows to China" headline. Which is, by the way, not only sensationalist, but misleading as well. In other words, they still don't censor content for Chinese users, the only concession Google made was to redirect users to a "landing" site instead of redirecting them automatically to google.hk.

In other words, this is a dupe.

Money talks (-1, Flamebait)

HideyoshiJP (1392619) | more than 4 years ago | (#32977010)

Or so I'm told.

Re:Money silences (1)

Errol backfiring (1280012) | more than 4 years ago | (#32977160)

Or so companies think.

Re:Money silences (1)

HideyoshiJP (1392619) | more than 4 years ago | (#32977196)

I'm pretty sure Alaska would let you club a baby seal if nobody objected to it. It's nature! and tourism! all in one!

This ran through my head reading the summary... (0)

lorenlal (164133) | more than 4 years ago | (#32977166)

well, I know you can't work in fast food all your life
but don't sign that paper tonight, she said,
but it's too late.

And I don't remember what I read,
don't remember what they said,
I guess it doesn't matter,
I guess it doesn't matter anymore.

Re:This ran through my head reading the summary... (1)

wickedskaman (1105337) | more than 4 years ago | (#32977898)

A rare... Reel Big Fish reference.

Tiananmen Square (4, Insightful)

Darth Sdlavrot (1614139) | more than 4 years ago | (#32977030)

The photo of the student confronting tanks isn't a national security risk.

So they won't have to filter that.

Re:Tiananmen Square (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32977058)

but maybe it is a "or social stability".

Re:Tiananmen Square (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32977086)

What part of threat to "social stability" don't you understand.

Re:Tiananmen Square (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32977142)

What part of threat to "social stability" don't you understand.

Apparently the part where the phrase is being used as a euphemism for oppression.

Re:Tiananmen Square (0, Troll)

IBBoard (1128019) | more than 4 years ago | (#32977946)

It may be oppression (with the obvious pointer to "terrorist" versus "freedom fighter" issues that can apply to the term), but if it is done to prevent a riot or public uprising then it would technically be a move to stop a threat to "social stability". The impact and the intent can be slightly detached, even if the intent defines why they want the impact.

Re:Tiananmen Square (4, Informative)

thijsh (910751) | more than 4 years ago | (#32977254)

Yeah, lot's of things are claimed in the interest of "national security"... it's the most abused term since you can't possibly be against security of your nation (and yourself). But no country is really free of this abuse...
Example: the story of a mom (ironically named Freeman) who was arrested, convicted and lost her kids in the interest of national security [latimes.com] . She surely must have been a terrorist... right???
The only thing different about China is the blatant censorship, most western nations try to be more subtle with their censoring... but it still happens (and guess which two words are always the reason).

Naational Security (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32977324)

Agreed. ACTA drafts too have been kept secret in the interest of national security by the US government.

Re:Tiananmen Square (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32977602)

...it still happens (and guess which two words are always the reason).

I thought 'pedoterrorists' was one word.

Re:Tiananmen Square (2, Funny)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 4 years ago | (#32978034)

The photo of the student confronting tanks isn't a national security risk.

So they won't have to filter that.

Are you mad? Then everyone will know their tanks aren't student-proof! It'll be the end of China!

Re:Tiananmen Square (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32978220)

Instead of 'national security risk' they should have said something like 'something that's perceived as a threat to the system and existing order'. That's what it's all about. Those, who are in power, don't like people thinking for themselves and putting things into question. They prefer to dumb people of course, since they don't cause them trouble and are easier to rule of course.
To be honest, I think it's also that way in western democratic societies. Money talks/rules and there are also people, who perceive intelligent people asking questions as a threat to their wealth and power. The big difference is that they can't pull something off like the chinese government here without a big outcry, they have to be more subtile here, talk to the right people, use the media etc. to direct the opinion of the masses in a way that's in their interest.

As you say (1)

BlkRb0t (1610449) | more than 4 years ago | (#32977036)

In my home it's my rules.

Re:As you say (1)

davidbrit2 (775091) | more than 4 years ago | (#32977764)

And Google doesn't have the balls to move out, apparently.

Re:As you say (1)

interval1066 (668936) | more than 4 years ago | (#32977932)

I feel for google. On one hand their "Do no evil" mantra is merely window dressing if they in fact, do evil, which helping a repressive government surely is. On the other hand, not having a direct presence in an emerging market is incredibly harmful to a global business. In my opinion google need to at least pay lip service to the PRC but continue to out perform China's own Baidu. This is the short-coming of a repressive gov; if they continue to step on and censor superior technologies eventually people are going to shrug and circumvent the "accepted" technology in favor of the one that works.

do evil (-1)

godless dave (844089) | more than 4 years ago | (#32977038)

So much for do no evil.

Re:do evil (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32977148)

Who needs catchy slogans when you have shitloads of money?

Re:do evil (4, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#32977150)

So much for do no evil.

To be fair, when I search for the (WARNING, graphic images) taboo words on the HK site they take me to from Google.cn [google.com.hk] , I find the "social stability" threatening images linked to by Google.

If bowing to China is making the user take a single additional click from the google.cn landing page and bringing them right to unfiltered internet searches, that's some pretty lame bowing. I guess if both parties are happy and the Chinese people can very easily get to unfiltered search then I'm happy. Or does Google's Hong Kong search work differently inside China? If it works the same way as I see, I don't know how you could consider that evil. I perceive that Google has succeeded in granting the people of greater China with unfiltered search if they can tolerate an additional mouse click. This is assuming the Great Firewall of China or some government monitoring agency isn't watching these Google.cn -> Google.hk transactions.

How is attempting to bring unfiltered search to the people of China evil?

Re:do evil (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32977230)

Are you IN China, getting filtered?

No.

So your results are meaningless.

Re:do evil (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32977334)

What would interest me is the exact same search phrase on baidu

Baidu [baidu.com]

Re:do evil (4, Insightful)

molnarcs (675885) | more than 4 years ago | (#32978068)

I agree completely. This is a clever albeit transparent trick on the part of Google to let Chinese save face. Make no mistake, China didn't want Google to leave completely, that would've been an international PR disaster (apart from the job loss and other collateral damages). Naturally, Google didn't want to go either, loosing all the business opportunities in China. Most importantly, those services that they don't have to filter anyway, like music, product search, etc. So Google pretended to do something and yield to the Chinese government's demands, and China gladly accepted this opportunity to get out of this impasse (their license to operate in China covers everything, not only search). There's a reason I use pretended - I mean what Google did is very very close to nothing, just check out http://www.google.cn/ [google.cn] - and click anywhere on the screen. This "concession" is a joke, and it was a dangerous gamble on Google's part, since depending on how you look at it, this can be seen as China loosing face (actually bowing to Google's demands) instead the other way around. It also shows the kind of bargaining power Google has. For what exactly did China gain? Well, see for yourself, just goo ahead and visit google.cn [google.cn] and search for something :))

Re:do evil (5, Informative)

bhagwad (1426855) | more than 4 years ago | (#32977188)

Do you even know what's happened? Just visit the google.cn page will ya? The whole thing's a bit button that takes you to an uncensored site.
Bowing to censorship my ass! If that's bowing to censorship, then more of us need to do the same!

Re:do evil (1)

Major Blud (789630) | more than 4 years ago | (#32977348)

It's amazing how 90% of the people flaming Google about this haven't tried to actually visit google.cn for themselves to see this first hand. Even the big news outlets don't seem to have tried this.

The whole thing is actually funny, and I'm surprised that the Chinese government is fine with the manual-redirect. I think what Google did is very clever and is a big win for them.

Re:do evil (2, Informative)

Anonymusing (1450747) | more than 4 years ago | (#32977498)

Just visit the google.cn page will ya? The whole thing's a bit button that takes you to an uncensored site.

Seriously. It's not even hidden: it says "google.com.hk" in enormous letters right on it. The only other links go to the music, translation, and product links.

But, this is Slashdot, where it is rare to RTFA or, heaven forbid, try to experience the thing.

Aside: it's kind of funny to read the various headlines [left-right.us] about this. Some say that China "approved" the Google request; others say China "compromised"; others say the two "make nice" with each other; others call it a "miracle"; still others say Google blew it. A crazy range of opinion there.

Are there any sources other than PRC bureaucrats? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32977050)

The only source cited in the article is "Zhang Feng, director of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology's Telecoms Development Department." I wouldn't put it past the Chinese government to lie about what Google is doing.

Interpretation (1)

cheatch (1713998) | more than 4 years ago | (#32977052)

"avoid linking to material deemed a threat to national security or social stability"
AKA, stop linking to any site that has the word 'capitalism', 'freedom', or 'democracy'. Check.

Re:Interpretation (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 4 years ago | (#32977844)

"avoid linking to material deemed a threat to national security or social stability" AKA, stop linking to any site that has the word 'capitalism', 'freedom', or 'democracy'. Check.

I don't think the Chinese have a problem with capitalism, so it is amusing that you equate it with freedom or democracy.

Didn't they do this once already? (1)

GammaKitsune (826576) | more than 4 years ago | (#32977060)

I could have sworn that Google bowed to China's censorship demands once before, and then retracted the censorship policy after wide-spread outcry. Or am I just misremembering things? Because if so, this seems pretty dishonest on Google's part. It's hard to make a statement about the importance of free speech if you keep changing your position on the subject. If I didn't know any better, I'd say the giant mega-corporation was just following the money.

Re:Didn't they do this once already? (1)

cwtrex (912286) | more than 4 years ago | (#32977240)

I am wondering if isn't an identity crisis with Google. You have execs that have been hired from places where money is king, and then you have the old blood and original founders of Google attempting to still follow the "Do No Evil" mantra. I have a feeling that what we are seeing here will quiet possibly point us to Google's future behavior.

Re:Didn't they do this once already? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32977914)

It also could be that they could be sued by shareholders if they did decide to completely pull out of China.

Re:Didn't they do this once already? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32977294)

Nonsense, we were always allies with East Asia...they have always been our friends. We are at odds with Eurasia.

Re:Didn't they do this once already? (-1, Troll)

pongo000 (97357) | more than 4 years ago | (#32977560)

I could have sworn that Google bowed to China's censorship demands once before, and then retracted the censorship policy after wide-spread outcry. Or am I just misremembering things?

No, you're not misremembering. It's just that the Google fanboys have a very selective memory.

Need proof? Here's something I posted 09July:

But wait -- as early as January of this year Google was still censoring its search results. And the only reason why Google decided that censorship was not in its best interests is due to the Google hacks that were uncovered early this year. Do you really believe Google said "fuck you" out of the goodness of their collective hearts? Reality proves otherwise: What goes on in China affects Google's bottom line, and since censorship was no longer profitable for them, they decided to become "good citizens."

Guess what? The Google fanboys modded it down to -1. <deity> forbid the real truth about Google comes out...

Oh, and here's what's really interesting: Those of us outside China really don't know what's going on with google.cn, because it's redirected to google.com.hk. I'd like to see independent confirmation here that google.cn is not redirected to the HK site from within China's Great Firewall.

Re:Didn't they do this once already? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32977872)

So they pulled out of one the worlds largest economies because... that makes them *more* profitable? How does that work?

Also, of course it's getting redirected to hong kong, that's the entire f__king point. They don't offer search in China so the china site "redirects" (The search bar is a link to the hk site) to the uncensored hk site. China often blocks certain parts of it with the Great Firewall, but Google does no censoring.

P.S. Maybe you got modded down because the things you say are mindbogglingly stupid. Just a thought.

Re:Didn't they do this once already? (5, Informative)

SensiMillia (217366) | more than 4 years ago | (#32978248)

Well, from Beijing:

surfing to http://google.cn/ [google.cn] will show you something that looks like google's homepage, only, it's just an image of the homepage. Clicking on it will lead you to google.com.hk. (the version in simplified Chinese characters)
What changed a couple of weeks back is that they do not redirect you automatically, you just end up on this landing page.

Interesting to note: passing a query directly to google.cn (from the search box in firefox), will just execute the query on google.com.hk

in other words: Google turned off the NSA backdoor (1)

kubitus (927806) | more than 4 years ago | (#32977090)

at least on the servers in China - if not also in HK

Don't be evil. (0, Troll)

SecurityGuy (217807) | more than 4 years ago | (#32977092)

Except in China.

Or where we have to in order ot make (more) money.

Or when it seems like a good idea at the time.

I shouldn't be surprised. It's the natural evolution of a small, innovative company with some moral backbone into just yet another big company. Still, I'm disappointed in you, Google. You were once better than this.

Re:Don't be evil. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32977200)

Their new motto: Try not to be evil..... :-(

Re:Don't be evil. (1)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 4 years ago | (#32977216)

You were once better than this.

Not to be an ass, but when? When were they better than this in a meaningful way? When did they make a morally "right" decision, regardless of what it meant for their bottom line when a substantial amount of money was on the line?

And I'm asking this seriously - I know they've "done the right thing" before but I cannot recall any example of them "doing the right thing" when a substantial amount of money was at risk. Doing the right thing when it might cost you a bit of pocket change is effortless. Doing the right thing when it really matters, however, is hard. And possibly, for a corporation, impossible. But, if I'm not recalling a time when Google made that tough choice, please feel free to remind me of when it was.

Re:Don't be evil. (1)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 4 years ago | (#32977266)

A company not participating at all has as much influence for the good in China as Xeyon Inc. of the Hedron Nebula has with us. (Never heard of them?) In other words, your argument is that Google should be like space aliens in regards to China.

The other extreme is the role of IBM in the 3rd Reich, exacerbating the crimes committed by the Regime.

China is bad but not Nazi Germany or Stalinist USSR bad. Google isn't helping them hold onto their regime. If anything, they are helping open China to the rest of the world and vice versa. The alternative is Baidu which offers no resistance whatsoever to their own government.

Google can pack up their bags and sing to the choir here, but what good would that actually do?

so much... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32977098)

So much for Google's stand against censorship. No matter the 'high level strategic decisions", to me they just look stupid by taking a stand on such "high" grounds and then bowing like a whore for a (big) bunch of dollars

Not true (5, Insightful)

Lomegor (1643845) | more than 4 years ago | (#32977108)

Although China did say that Google is censoring its web search, it's just not true. If you go to google.cn you can see that there is an image which takes you to Google Hong Kong. Even if you RTFA all through the comments you can see the answer from a Google PR person answering to his issue saying that they are NOT censoring web search, and that the only products which remain in China are those that can exist without censorship. This is just the Chinese government trying to make it appear as if they won. That is NOT true. Again, you can't search on google.cn and google.com.hk is not censored

Re:Not true (1)

underqualified (1318035) | more than 4 years ago | (#32977232)

in fact, you can't do anything useful on google.cn

Re:Not true (4, Insightful)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 4 years ago | (#32977278)

I guess it just shows how effective the Chinese government propaganda machine is. Hopefully the Chinese themselves aren't as stupid as all the /.ers who are buying it.

The only thing that has ended is automatic redirects, but that doesn't do anything for the Google haters, so they will say that Google has completely caved without bothering to find out what's really going on. Here's a hint haters: Xinhua is the LAST PLACE you ever want to look to find out what's really going on.

Re:Not true (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 4 years ago | (#32977800)

Xinhua: News Corp with Government Sponsorship!

Re:Not true (0)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#32977386)

I'm going to reverse the order of your sentences because of the order in which the parts of the summary you seemingly did not understand happen to appear. I don't think it really changes the meaning or even the tone of your comment. I apologize if anyone finds this misleading.

If you go to google.cn you can see that there is an image which takes you to Google Hong Kong.

"China renewed Google's internet license after it pledged to obey censorship laws and stop automatically switching mainland users to its unfiltered Hong Kong site, an official said. The summary states that Google stopped using a redirect. You argue that since there is a link on the page, that is not true. Link != Redirect.

Although China did say that Google is censoring its web search, it's just not true.

Google promised to 'obey Chinese law' and avoid linking to material deemed a threat to national security or social stability, said Zhang Feng, director of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology's Telecoms Development Department, at a news conference." And when he says this, he means, on google.cn. As in, Google promised to 'obey Chinese law' and avoid linking to material deemed a threat to national security or social stability on google.cn. Which they may well have done, or not. I'm not in China so I can't make a meaningful test. I don't think that this is a huge syntactic leap if you examine the statement even in the limited amount of context provided in the summary. Without any context, your understanding of his statement might make sense, and you can certainly be forgiven for not bothering to read the article; hell, I didn't either. But not reading the summary?

Again, you can't search on google.cn and google.com.hk is not censored

Oh, so you mean, you do agree with the story? So it is true? Comment fail.

Re:Not true (2, Funny)

geekoid (135745) | more than 4 years ago | (#32977730)

r maybe he did read the story and is basing it on that and the summary is wrong?

I mean, really,you are admitting you are ignorant of the article and still correcting someone else bevasue you think they are ignorant.

Do you see the flaw there?

I haven't read it either, but I'm not correcting people. I have seen far to many summaries and headline be completely wrong. Sometime they have been so fictitious you can't even call them wrong.

Re:Not true (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#32977796)

I haven't read it either, but I'm not correcting people

What do you call this comment, besides ironic?

I have now skimmed TFA and verified my assumption that the elements of the summary which appeared in quotes and which I quoted in turn appeared in the article verbatim. Or in other words, the summary indeed contained all I needed to know to critique his comment, which I correctly discerned by reading it and observing where his comment agreed with it, and thus contradicted itself. Why don't you check yourself before you wriggy wreck yourself?

Re:Not true (1)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 4 years ago | (#32977762)

Everything you just said was accurate, and none of it was true.

The tone of the article is that Google will no longer be serving unfiltered search results to users in mainland China. The GPP clearly refuted that tone showing that Google was still making unfiltered search available. Despite what Futurama says, being technically correct isn't the best kind of correct.

Re:Not true (2, Funny)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 4 years ago | (#32977650)

China renewed Google's internet license after it pledged to obey censorship laws and stop automatically switching mainland users to its unfiltered Hong Kong site,

it's just not true. If you go to google.cn you can see that there is an image which [if clicked] takes you to Google Hong Kong.

Fixed your post for you. Now, what part of "automatically" is confusing you? Do you need me to break out the <blink> tag? I'll do it. I'll do it, man. I'm a troll on the edge.

Money money money (0, Redundant)

boxxa (925862) | more than 4 years ago | (#32977110)

Guess they took a pretty big hit not having a billion people visit your page viewing ads.

Publicity stunt? (0, Troll)

GreatBunzinni (642500) | more than 4 years ago | (#32977112)

So in essence all that posturing about defending human rights, freedom of expression and standing against censorship was a marketing ploy to try to mask their acceptance and embracing of totalitarian practices, all in order to worship the all mighty dollar (or euro, yen, or any other currency).

This makes articles such as http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2010/03/22/china-google-withdrawal-shows-government-intransigence [slashdot.org] ">this one, where Google is praised for their support for basic human rights, was in essence a exercise in hypocrisy.

Re:Publicity stunt? (1)

xtracto (837672) | more than 4 years ago | (#32977234)

This makes articles such as http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2010/03/22/china-google-withdrawal-shows-government-intransigence [hrw.org] [slashdot.org]">this one, where Google is praised for their support for basic human rights, was in essence a exercise in hypocrisy.

http://yro.slashdot.org/ahref=
OMG, teh Google censored Slashdot!!

Re:Publicity stunt? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#32977256)

This makes articles such as http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2010/03/22/china-google-withdrawal-shows-government-intransigence [hrw.org] ">this one, where Google is praised for their support for basic human rights, was in essence a exercise in hypocrisy.

No, it just makes it an exercise in naiveté.

P.S. HTML FAIL OMFG WTF BBQ

Re:Publicity stunt? (2, Informative)

Anonymusing (1450747) | more than 4 years ago | (#32977530)

So in essence all that posturing about defending human rights, freedom of expression and standing against censorship was a marketing ploy to try to mask their acceptance and embracing of totalitarian practices, all in order to worship the all mighty dollar (or euro, yen, or any other currency).

Read the article. Then actually visit google.cn [google.cn] . Google managed to find a loophole in it all: they still offer uncensored searching (via their site in Hong Kong) and there is no site search capability on their China-based site. It comes down to a remarkably silly technicality that, somehow, China decided to approve.

Oh my! (4, Funny)

SimonInOz (579741) | more than 4 years ago | (#32977114)

Let's hope China does no evil.

That's what China says (4, Insightful)

mmmmbeer (107215) | more than 4 years ago | (#32977134)

Personally, I don't trust one word of what comes from China's propagandists. Does anyone know of any press release from Google about this?

Way to do the right thing Google! (0, Redundant)

Chas (5144) | more than 4 years ago | (#32977138)

Pardon me while I sigh in disgust.

Not quite the case: Google HK still uncensored (5, Informative)

michuk (996480) | more than 4 years ago | (#32977164)

As The Wired already explained a couple of days ago ( http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2010/07/google-china-fiction/ [wired.com] ) what Google and Chinese government agreed on is pure fiction. Google doesn't redirect Chinese users to the Honk Kong search engine automatically, but there is a button to easily switch and google.hk is left uncensored in China, meaning that the Chinese can still search Google without filtering. The article linked by Slashdot as the source presents the Chinese official version of the story which obviously hides the above fact.

Re:Not quite the case: Google HK still uncensored (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32977518)

but there is a button to easily switch

The "button" is actually the entire page except a few links. Try for yourself. [google.cn]

Re:Not quite the case: Google HK still uncensored (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32977882)

What good are unfiltered searchs if links, return from the searchs, are not accessible?

Trolling.. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32977174)

Google did not censorship anything. The only change they did is: instead of automatically redirecting to .hk domain now the users have to click the big picture on the page to be redirected.

Wasn't there a similar article on /. before?

Ummmmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32977180)

The change is that instead of forwarding to an unfiltered search automatically users now have to click to get there. Seems like a decent compromise to me...

Hmmm let's see... (2, Funny)

boneclinkz (1284458) | more than 4 years ago | (#32977276)

O-p-p-r-e-s-s-i-v-e G-o-v-e-r-n-m-e-n-t

[Google Search]

"Your search - Oppressive Government - did not match any documents."

"Did you mean Outstanding Government?"

Re:Hmmm let's see... (1)

Anonymusing (1450747) | more than 4 years ago | (#32977562)

Well, while we are at it... link [left-right.us] .

Reverse Filter for the rest of the world please (4, Interesting)

RichMan (8097) | more than 4 years ago | (#32977288)

So if google is filtering "material deemed a threat to national security or social stability" from within China. Can we on the outside set it up so we can only browse the material that would be filtered within China. I think it would be educational to browse a volume of material that was "deemed a threat to national security or social stability" of China, it might also be a source of much amusement.

Wow, big surprise (-1, Troll)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 4 years ago | (#32977296)

This whole thing was just saber-rattling in retaliation for China trying to steal [wired.com] some of their source code. It was nothing more than a big PR show from the get-go. They censored before the theft, and it was only a matter of time before they went right back to censoring. Money always wins, and China has all the money these days.

Re:Wow, big surprise (0, Offtopic)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 4 years ago | (#32978270)

Guess a google employee got his mod points today. Truth hurt, sparky?

Completely Wrong (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32977330)

The summary is stupid (as in has no basis in reality at all). Has the author even gone to google.cn? It simply present an image of the first page (no search input form), and clicking it immediately redirects to Google Hong Kong, which is not censored. And yet all of you will now decry how evil Google is. It's amazing that they actually beat China and are in fact allowed to do a full uncensored search.

Google should pull out of the USA first then china (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32977346)

The US does allot to curtail freedom as well. It denies people freedom to print whatever they damm well please. If Google should do anything it is to setup in a country where it isn't regulated and stop filtering altogether.

error 404 (0, Troll)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | more than 4 years ago | (#32977356)

Google promised to 'obey Chinese law' and avoid linking to material deemed a threat to national security or social stability

So basically Chinese Google will not be connected to the internet.

Bowing is a Japanese thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32977392)

Bending over is a Chinese thing, or so it would seem as far as it goes with Google.

Seriously. Google has as a company a responsibility to it's shareholder to advantage whatever market there is. Being in China is strictly a business decision. Customers are the ones that decide who they want to do business with. That is your choice and the only thing that influences what perhaps a company considers good business decisions.

All hail China! (1, Funny)

gozu (541069) | more than 4 years ago | (#32977438)

The time has come to let go of our juvenile and silly notions of individual freedoms and embrace the blessings of a single stable, hard working party.

I applaud google for showing proper respect to the people of china.

All hail Google! (2, Funny)

gozu (541069) | more than 4 years ago | (#32977538)

Just kidding. Google did the right thing. I wholeheartedly applaud the googlers for their courage and deftness in turning the google hacking crisis into an opportunity.

  Bravo to you sirs! Bravo indeed!

Clap Clap Clap

The Almighty Doll^H^H^H^H Renminbi, news at 11. (0, Redundant)

tommituura (1346233) | more than 4 years ago | (#32977484)

So. Like all corporations, when push comes to shove, they'll bow to the almighty Dollar - or in this case and probably moreso in future, Renminbi. News at 11.

Can we mod the story "-1, propaganda" please? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32977490)

I don't defend Google often, but in this case the story is willfully misleading. Google China is no longer offering web search and links to Google Hong Kong instead. It used to redirect, now the users have to click once. Yes, Google obeys the censorship laws, but it does so by not offering the service from China at all.

Re:Can we mod the story "-1, propaganda" please? (2, Interesting)

BangaIorean (1848966) | more than 4 years ago | (#32977548)

Tell me something - does the same thing happen when you access google.cn from within China? I mean, this whole business of having a huge clickable image to get around censorship seems extremely long winded! By any chance is it our non-Chinese IPs that are causing that page to be displayed? Does anyone have access to a proxy server within mainland China (VPN or something)?

What's New? (1)

ChoboMog (917656) | more than 4 years ago | (#32977532)

How is this bowing to pressure, or even a change (beyond a renewed license) from what the status quo has been for at least a few weeks?

1. Google isn't automatically redirecting users from its Mainland to its (uncensored) Hong Kong page any more, which is keeping the government sweet and fulfilling its legal requirements. It has a static page saying that its search function has moved to google.com.hk and will link you to it if clicked.

2. Google isn''t censoring any search results since they are all returned through the above mentioned page in Hong Kong.

3. Other google services (Gmail, Docs etc) remain, but with varying levels of availability. See: http://www.google.com/prc/report.html [google.com]

4. Both parties continue posturing; with one trying to win a PR battle in the global media while not losing out entirely on a huge market, and the other focusing on their domestic media/politics seeing no reason to bow to the pressure of a foreign corporation over state laws.

is there a Chinaman in the house? (1, Troll)

snookerhog (1835110) | more than 4 years ago | (#32977542)

What we really need is a slashdotter in China that can verify what is happening first hand. What?! no slashdotters in China?!?!!? they must be blocking /. as well :)

Re:is there a Chinaman in the house? (1)

VendettaMF (629699) | more than 4 years ago | (#32977984)

Including myself I know 3 regular slashdot posters in China.
Right now the google.cn front page is one big image (which looks like a variant of the google basic page) link to
http://www.google.com.hk/webhp?hl=zh-CN&sourceid=cnhp [google.com.hk]

with three text links to
http://www.google.cn/music/homepage?sourceid=cnhp [google.cn]
http://translate.google.cn/?sourceid=cnhp# [google.cn]
and
http://www.google.cn/products?sourceid=cnhp [google.cn]
underneath it.
The only other item on the page is a small text link to http://www.miibeian.gov.cn/ [miibeian.gov.cn] , which looks to be a license or copyright statement.

Re:is there a Chinaman in the house? (1)

electron sponge (1758814) | more than 4 years ago | (#32978218)

What the fuck are you talking about? The Chinaman is not the issue here, Dude. I'm talking about drawing a line in the sand, Dude. Across this line, you DO NOT... Also, Dude, Chinaman is not the preferred nomenclature. Asian-American, please.

Another company (0, Troll)

geekoid (135745) | more than 4 years ago | (#32977668)

tosses away the very American Ideals that made it possible for the opportunity to suck at china's cock.

Article title = fail (2, Funny)

kikito (971480) | more than 4 years ago | (#32977674)

Come on guys. At least read the whole thing, and not just the title, before publishing. And I mean the comments too.

I'm More Worried About Google's Censorship Here (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32977794)

Why are people so concerned about Google censoring search results in China while being seemingly unconcerned about them censoring search results in the west? We see regular examples of porn sites being removed from the index, searches related to Islam being filtered and other content such as the Michelle Obama image being deemed unstable by our Google overlords. What's more worrying is what you don't hear about and we can only guess at just how far Google's censorship of the web extends.

Google likes to maintain the public image that it's all for free speech while in private it seeks to dictate exactly what web users should and should not see. Before people start whining about censorship in China I think it's important that we sort out the growing issues of censorship in the west.

China loves MJ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32977822)

It sounds to me that China is just blustering and wants the world to preceive that they has squashed Google under their collective thumb even though they haven't. The question is will Google publicly correct them? If not, China will have inched their way towards making "a lie become the truth".

How is this bowing to pressure (1)

nexttech (1289308) | more than 4 years ago | (#32978132)

I don't see how this is bowing to Chinese pressure. Once someone clicks one extra link they have access to the same information the rest of us have.

Google has set an example that the rest of the world needs to follow.

So? (1)

davmoo (63521) | more than 4 years ago | (#32978280)

Loopholes and such aside, why is this so surprising?

When a company operates here in the US we expect them to obey US law, even on the web, regardless of where they may happen to originate. For an example, look how hard the US works to ban online gambling, even when the companies involved are not physically located in the US, and just operate here via the web. (Whether or not the US is successful at this is a whole 'nother topic, which I won't get in to here.)

Why does everyone expect Google to obey anything other than Chinese law when it operates in China?

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