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Google Gives Up Fight Against Chinese Censorship

samzenpus posted about a year and a half ago | from the fighting-is-hard dept.

Censorship 96

judgecorp writes "Google has abandoned its policy of warning Chinese users against keywords that trigger censorship. The search giant had added a warning that advised Chinese users not to use search terms that could cause the Chinese authorities to shut off their access to Google, but has now abandoned these warnings. While Google says they were ineffectual, free speech campaigners have expressed disappointment."

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96 comments

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It's not Google's job to warn users... (3, Informative)

mmell (832646) | about a year and a half ago | (#42507421)

...about their government. If a Chinese citizen uses Google and searches for something which the People's Republic of China somehow considers unacceptable, it isn't Google's job to warn him - it's the citizen's job to understand the laws of his country and honor them as he/she sees fit.

Now, if you want to complain about somebody, complain about the People's Republic of China. It's THEIR laws and policies which make this a threat to free speech, not Google's capitulation to the lawful government of China.

It's okay, it's China (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42507479)

Acceptance of censorship is part of their culture. Maybe they prefer to not know all the reasons why some things are blocked, or maybe they don't care. We're not Chinese, who are we to say anything?

Let's be tolerant of them and go back to yelling at those ignorant Americans for being brainwashed and accepting censorship.

Re:It's okay, it's China (3, Insightful)

tripleevenfall (1990004) | about a year and a half ago | (#42507549)

Google isn't acclimating to their culture, I think they just realized that triggering the ire of the Chinese government is much less profitable than the alternative.

IF YOU CAN'T BEAT 'EM (3, Interesting)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about a year and a half ago | (#42507741)

Make 'em your BUSINESS MODEL.

Google, selling you out since 2003.

Rainey Reitman of the Electronic Frontier Foundation said that technically, it is indeed all legal, but she emphasized that people don't really understand how their random thoughts, disclosures or opinions on social media may be exploited.

"I think people don't realize when they sign up for these sites that the government is going to be routinely monitoring and sifting through this data," she said.

"If Coca-Cola is reading all my tweets," Dan Zarrella points out, "it's not as scary as if the DOD is reading all my tweets, right?"

http://www.defensenews.com/article/20121113/DEFREG02/311130003/Unwitting-Sensors-How-DoD-Exploiting-Social-Media [defensenews.com]

Re:IF YOU CAN'T BEAT 'EM (1)

Dorkmaster Flek (1013045) | about a year and a half ago | (#42508051)

Sure, until Coca-Cola is more powerful and influential than the DoD. Which might not be as far off as you think.

Re:IF YOU CAN'T BEAT 'EM (2)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about a year and a half ago | (#42509079)

Group Capt. Lionel Mandrake: Colonel, that Coca Cola machine, I want you to shoot the lock off it. There may be some change in there.

Col. "Bat" Guano: That's private property.

Mandrake: Colonel, can you possibly imagine what is going to happen to you, your frame outlook way of life on everything, when they learn that you have obstructed a telephone call to the president of the United States? Can you imagine? Shoot it off! Shoot, with the gun! That's what the bullets are for you twit!

Guano: OK. But you're gonna have to answer to the Coca Cola company.

Who are we not to say anything? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42507613)

While none of this is exactly new to people who've studied moral philosophy, Sam Harris can present this very well in his 23 minute TED talk "Science can answer moral questions [ted.com] ". What he is saying is that most (he simplifies to "all" but anyways) schools of thought in ethics can be traced back to human happiness and flourishing (even if you believe in god and think that the happiness occurs in afterlife). Questions of human happiness are factual questions that we have studied for a long time (psychology, sociology, etc.). While we might not be able to agree on what are the peaks of happiness or how to get there, we certainly can say that some states of being are not the right answer... So we should not pretend that all cultures should be respected equally in that regard.

Re:Who are we not to say anything? (1)

YodasEvilTwin (2014446) | about a year and a half ago | (#42507875)

If you're saying "Actually some cultural practices are pretty terrible" then I totally agree.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

i'm really sick of this bullshit (5, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | about a year and a half ago | (#42508077)

there are plenty of cultural differences that are ok

but violating people's basic rights can not be justified with references to culture

this applies to problems in the west too, i'm not singling out china

you can't say chinese people are happy being slaves, so let them be, it's just culture. or muslim women are happy being slaves, so let them be, it's just culture. or poor people in western nations leaning towards social darwinism as plutocrats warp the politics are happy being slaves, so let them be, it's just culture

bullshit

NO ONE is happy being a slave. culture is no excuse

Re:i'm really sick of this bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42508501)

Culture IS a partial excuse.

As an american, you haven't experienced any significant cultural differences, because in the past 60 years, the changes have been gradual and fairly minor.

I've lived my first seven years in a communist regimme, it was ... uneventful for me, but the two decades after that, were incredibly different, each year things changing more and more.

Today, there still are a lot of traces left, not just in the system, but people themselves. And this whole upheaval was due to only a few differences, religion never came into play for even one second ...

Re:i'm really sick of this bullshit (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | about a year and a half ago | (#42508531)

what you are saying is culture is used as a bad excuse, not that it is a logically valid excuse, am I correct?

Re:i'm really sick of this bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42511567)

A master may make the slave say he's happy to be a slave, but that doesn't make it any more true. Threatening with violence and death to be able to steal other's efforts and to force your will on them is just cruel, and anything the slave says cannot be trusted.

It's cruel, and
it's bad logic,
therefore a bad excuse.

Re:i'm really sick of this bullshit (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | about a year and a half ago | (#42513009)

you are referring of course to the plutocrat unilaterally declaring that less of the poor worker's efforts should result in their just reward, and continue to insist on more reward for himself, correct?

or are you one of those morons who thinks redistribution only happens when the poor want more than bare survival, or less, and backed into a corner in a society where the plutocrat writes all the rules, has no recourse except force?

Free speech isn't a basic right (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42508503)

As per subject.

AMERICAN constitution says it is, but that isn't China and it isn't The One True Law.

If you think your creator gave you those rights, please ask him to step forward and confirm.

Re:Free speech isn't a basic right (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | about a year and a half ago | (#42508563)

the issue is if every human deserves the right to political speech, if they deserve a voice in the formation of their own government

answer the question yourself. don't throw out red herrings about the USA or theology

Re:Free speech isn't a basic right (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42526473)

Even the US founding fathers knew you had to fight for your rights or they weren't rights in an active, meaningful manner. When you look at it like that, of course, one thing it means is that there are no basic rights at all, unless you're willing to defend them. The US founding fathers did fight for their rights, they won, and that's one of the reasons we have free speech in the USA today. But each generation has to re-earn this right in one way or another.

The average Chinese citizen is in a tough position. Fighting for rights like free speech could well mean prison or death for themselves and their families. Each person under the influence of a regime like China's has to decide for himself or herself whether the battle is worth it for them. Only if enough people in China decide it's worth the fight, even at a great potential cost, will the Chinese people have any chance at that right. It is not our role in the USA, or in the free world in general, to force the Chinese people to defend their rights, or to do their fighting for them. I and many others are happy to help, but this fight belongs to the Chinese people, who regardless of what we say here will do most of the sacrificing, suffering and dying if they decide freedom of speech is essential for them.

Re:i'm really sick of this bullshit (1)

Tharkkun (2605613) | about a year and a half ago | (#42509939)

there are plenty of cultural differences that are ok

but violating people's basic rights can not be justified with references to culture

this applies to problems in the west too, i'm not singling out china

you can't say chinese people are happy being slaves, so let them be, it's just culture. or muslim women are happy being slaves, so let them be, it's just culture. or poor people in western nations leaning towards social darwinism as plutocrats warp the politics are happy being slaves, so let them be, it's just culture

bullshit

NO ONE is happy being a slave. culture is no excuse

Basic rights in a Democracy are far different than in a Communist government. Whether they are happy is irrelevant. They choose to live in China so they must adhere to the restrictions of their society. Many countries outside the USA would say we have too much freedom. Sometimes I agree.

Re:i'm really sick of this bullshit (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | about a year and a half ago | (#42513495)

I'm not sure if you're being a clever troll or if you really are just an idiot on and number of topics in your post

Re:i'm really sick of this bullshit (1)

mike4ty4 (1810256) | about a year and a half ago | (#42510759)

He's not saying it's "OK". He's just saying it's not Google's job to "warn" them away.

Re:i'm really sick of this bullshit (0)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about a year and a half ago | (#42515063)

NO ONE is happy being a slave

I'm not playing the devil's advocate.

I just want to point out that right now, as we speak, you, me, and almost everyone reading this Slashdot thread, are slaves.

We may not know that we are slaves, but we are.

Re:It's not Google's job to warn users... (5, Insightful)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about a year and a half ago | (#42507575)

not Google's capitulation to the lawful government of China.

Oh jeez, not this tired old bullshit again.

Legality is *no* justification. Morality and legality are entirely separate separate things and should never be conflated.

If you wish to Goodwin the thread there, then there are plenty of fine examples to illustrate the point.

Re:It's not Google's job to warn users... (5, Funny)

shentino (1139071) | about a year and a half ago | (#42507809)

You're liable to get the spelling nazis on you most ironically with that post.

Re:It's not Google's job to warn users... (1)

Absolutely.Geek (2765293) | about a year and a half ago | (#42508013)

Where are my mod points when I need them :)

O/T Re:It's not Google's job to warn users... (0)

hierophanta (1345511) | about a year and a half ago | (#42508121)

what does Goodwin the thread mean?

Re:O/T Re:It's not Google's job to warn users... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42508579)

To goodwin is to godwin with angels instead of nazis. A very difficult maneuver.

Re:O/T Re:It's not Google's job to warn users... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42508751)

Mod parent informative. I didn't get the joke until I read parent's comment. Posting AC for obvious reasons.

Re:O/T Re:It's not Google's job to warn users... (1)

icebike (68054) | about a year and a half ago | (#42508727)

Whoosh.

Re:O/T Re:It's not Google's job to warn users... (1)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about a year and a half ago | (#42509641)

try googling for goodwin+thread, or head on over to wikipedia for Goodwin's Law.

Re:O/T Re:It's not Google's job to warn users... (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about a year and a half ago | (#42524473)

I feel compelled to play Spelling Nazi here. It's Godwin, not Goodwin.

Seems like Google did what Wikileaks might have (2)

poity (465672) | about a year and a half ago | (#42507603)

Would you say it isn't anyone's job bring censorship to light, and that it's up to Americans individually to understand, and to obey or rebel as he/she sees fit? I'm quite certain in that case you'd disagree, and you'd likely counter-argue that the individual's attempt to enlighten him/herself without help is a futile act in the presence of a state which has so much control on media and information. If that could be true of the US, why would that not be even more so of China?

Re:Seems like Google did what Wikileaks might have (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about a year and a half ago | (#42524523)

Google should not have been doing with China anyway, for ethical reasons.

Despite their old "Do No Evil" slogan (man, you sure don't hear that much anymore), when people protested their planned cooperation with Chinese government censorship, and said they should not go to China at all, Google's argument was (literally): "If we don't do it, someone else will."

It seems to me that has been Google's ethics, in a nutshell.

Re:It's not Google's job to warn users... (1, Flamebait)

ohnocitizen (1951674) | about a year and a half ago | (#42507649)

Its google's decision to do business with the "lawful" government of China. The argument has always been "its ok if they do business with an oppressive government - they'll use that access to have a positive influence". Without that strip of pretense, it comes down to doing whatever an oppressive government wants in order to increase profitability. The fact that so many companies and countries accept China's oppression of its own people surely does not help the situation.

Re:It's not Google's job to warn users... (2)

YodasEvilTwin (2014446) | about a year and a half ago | (#42507899)

Hey, capitalism.

Re:It's not Google's job to warn users... (1)

ohnocitizen (1951674) | about a year and a half ago | (#42509201)

It is possible to turn a profit without selling out moral principle. To do otherwise is to render "don't be evil" a worthless bit of corporate PR.

Re:It's not Google's job to warn users... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42509253)

Funny - calling something capitalist in a communist country... Oh wait, China doesn't count as communist, right? And neither did the USSR or Cuba...

Re:It's not Google's job to warn users... (2)

Ambassador Kosh (18352) | about a year and a half ago | (#42508177)

How about all the people that support these actions?

When you buy a product that is made in China you also support these policies. You can't just say that the businesses are bad without also saying that the people that support them are bad also.

Re:It's not Google's job to warn users... (1)

ohnocitizen (1951674) | about a year and a half ago | (#42509243)

True, complicity is shared, though you'd be hard pressed to argue it is shared equally. I wouldn't call google's collusion with China equivalent to China's restriction of free speech, I'd call it contributory. Additionally one might say is that the level of corporate collusion with an oppressive government is an effective target to apply political pressure.

Re:It's not Google's job to warn users... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42518423)

Good luck not buying anything from china, they are the new Taiwan.

Re:It's not Google's job to warn users... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42507653)

They added this because people were complaining about Google because connections were being dropped for minutes after searching for banned words.

Re:It's not Google's job to warn users... (1)

detritus. (46421) | about a year and a half ago | (#42508061)

It's not their job, but it makes me more comfortable when they take a global stance against oppressive governments so they hopefully continue to keep me in the loop with my own.

Re:It's not Google's job to warn users... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42508097)

There is a difference between being legal and ethical. Google has claimed that they won't be evil. They set that standard for themselves, not anyone else. Not warning a customer that use of your product could cause harm is pushing that boundary quite a bit.

Re:It's not Google's job to warn users... (1)

kllrnohj (2626947) | about a year and a half ago | (#42508351)

Yes, but they also said this ended up being ineffective. Why continue with a strategy that isn't working?

Re:It's not Google's job to warn users... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42508311)

Laws are a reflection of the morality of a culture, if they conflict, it's the people's right and duty (not enterprises) to fight against those laws, if they neglect to do so, they deserve those laws and must comply with them.

Re:It's not Google's job to warn users... (2)

icebike (68054) | about a year and a half ago | (#42508689)

...about their government. If a Chinese citizen uses Google and searches for something which the People's Republic of China somehow considers unacceptable, it isn't Google's job to warn him - it's the citizen's job to understand the laws of his country and honor them as he/she sees fit.

Now, if you want to complain about somebody, complain about the People's Republic of China. It's THEIR laws and policies which make this a threat to free speech, not Google's capitulation to the lawful government of China.

Logically, people in the box can't even know they are in the box or, that the box even exists.
Google was not trying to circumvent Chinese laws against accessing certain things on the internet, but merely telling their users what to avoid.
Even that is not permitted, in other words: the People are not allowed to know that the box exists.

(Probably the Chinese internet users are not that clueless. Given a few generations, they will be.)

But your suggestion that people complain about the PRC instead of Google seems pretty pointless.
To whom should these complaints be addressed? Perhaps to the "Lawful Government of China"?
Would they ever even hear such complaints? After all the "Lawful Government of China" has surely blocked such complaints at the great firewall.

And wouldn't complaining about the "Lawful Government of China", perhaps to "Lawful Government of China", be meddling in the lawful administration of a foreign government? Why would the "Lawful Government of China" listen to your complaints? Would you accept such meddling from foreign sources into the Lawful Government of the US?

Your only logically consistent argument should have been that "Google did the right thing, and everybody who does not like it should STFU because the "Lawful Government of China" has proscribed such discussions."

Re:It's not Google's job to warn users... (1)

mmell (832646) | about a year and a half ago | (#42512301)

Wow! I got clear up to "5 - Informative". I was at "2 - Insightful".

Now I'm at "1 - Informative". So this is how Slashdot moderation works, eh? This is hilarious! When does betting close, and does this game pay odds?

Could still insert the warning after the search (2)

RichMan (8097) | about a year and a half ago | (#42507425)

Google was warning people before they searched. Who reads the fine-print before starting these days.

What they could do, is on any search that used a keyword, make the warning the first result.

Example :Search Tuna:
1) Tuna is a trigger search word used by China to start investigations into users.
      >
2) Tuna are a great food to eat

Re:Could still insert the warning after the search (2)

mmell (832646) | about a year and a half ago | (#42507477)

Too late. Sorta like predicting a hurricane will hit yesterday. By the time users see that warning, they will already have mortally sinned - nothing for it but an extended vacation at the local People's Reeducation through Labor facility.

Re:Could still insert the warning after the search (1)

xaxa (988988) | about a year and a half ago | (#42508833)

I used Google search in China, and found it very unreliable. .COM wouldn't work at all, and .com.hm was erratic, so I used .co.uk. Some pages would load fine, but others wouldn't -- the first network packet (mostly the HTML header, title, etc) would be received, then the TCP connection would be reset. I suspect Google had something in the page like "Due to the government ... some results have been removed", and the Great Firewall blocked these packets and shut the connection.

Google displays a notice when I search certain terms, almost always for copyright infringement. Example I came across yesterday: https://www.google.co.uk/search?client=opera&q=knife+party+internet+friends [google.co.uk]

"In response to a complaint we received under the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act, we have removed 2 result(s) from this page. If you wish, you may read the DMCA complaint that caused the removal(s) at ChillingEffects.org."

The link goes to http://www.chillingeffects.org/notice.cgi?sID=505954 [chillingeffects.org]

Re:Could still insert the warning after the search (1)

JackieBrown (987087) | about a year and a half ago | (#42509325)

Your google shows .co.uk? Oh wait, you are trying to make a point that other countries also have censorship and that those countries will start investigating you for search results that have DMCA flags.

That was really subtle of you!!! Wow!!!

Thanks for teaching us a valuable lesson that you think the UK is just like China

Re:Could still insert the warning after the search (1)

xaxa (988988) | about a year and a half ago | (#42510029)

I think your reply says more about you than me.

I live in the UK. Google.co.uk is the default.

I assume the DMCA results are removed because Google is a US company, and that they'd be removed on all international versions of the site.

Re:Could still insert the warning after the search (1)

JackieBrown (987087) | about a year and a half ago | (#42517005)

Ok...

Your google shows .co.uk? Oh wait, you are trying to make a point that other countries also have censorship and that those countries will start investigating you for search results that have DMCA flags.

That was really subtle of you!!! Wow!!!

Thanks for teaching us a valuable lesson that you think the US is just like China

Better?

Re:Could still insert the warning after the search (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42507513)

That would be a little pointless though, wouldn't it? It's not much use being told "The search 'where can I buy a carpenters T-Square' contains a keyword that may land you in jail" if you've already looked it up.

Re:Could still insert the warning after the search (5, Insightful)

The MAZZTer (911996) | about a year and a half ago | (#42507545)

That's fairly pointless. Let's say I start typing "Tuna". My browser sends "Tuna" to Google's servers so it can get a list of suggested search phrases, including the two you provided. On its way to Google servers... it passes through Chinese ISP servers and I get flagged for searching for Tuna. Google's warning would come too late.

Google's system, though I never saw it myself, sounds like it would have sent a list of banned words to the browser as part of the page, before the user searches. Then when the user starts typing, the browser will NOT send anything to Google with a banned word in it until the user addresses the warning displayed. Your idea, if adjusted properly to not send traffic to Google with banned words in it, would end up being only a minor variation of this.

Re:Could still insert the warning after the search (2)

YodasEvilTwin (2014446) | about a year and a half ago | (#42507923)

And then China blocks Google from sending the banned word lists to you. And then Google works around it and gets banned totally! No, they'll play nice to keep their market.

Re:Could still insert the warning after the search (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42507849)

If you do a GIS for an explicit image the predictive text will stop predicting once you narrow it down to what can only be explicit.

So to apply here, if you are typing a search in China and all of sudden it quits predicting what you are typing, stop.

Re:Could still insert the warning after the search (1)

kllrnohj (2626947) | about a year and a half ago | (#42508321)

The problem is when you search for a "banned" word you basically get kicked off the internet for a short period of time (and usually not just you, but your whole apartment or whatever). So your search for "tuna" would simply never return, it's too late at that point.

Thus Google added the prediction thing because it looks to users like Google kept going down when in reality it was the Great Firewall. But China fought back, and if it was still ineffective as a result it makes sense to abandon it.

Hint: in the next X weeks (1, Insightful)

Spy Handler (822350) | about a year and a half ago | (#42507433)

Google will be quietly allowed back into China. The timing of this news will coincide with some other big event, such as a new iPad release.

Re:Hint: in the next X weeks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42509181)

Why?

China has their own search engines. They don't have to rely on google.

SSL (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42507483)

Screw it, go full-on SSL.

Anyone caught SSL tampering will result in their SSL root certs being pulled. China can't afford to pay that cost so they'll have to back down or block Google on their own and so take the blame.

Re:SSL (3, Interesting)

fufufang (2603203) | about a year and a half ago | (#42507791)

Using SSL is ineffective, because the Chinese firewall active sends connection reset packets to disrupt your SSL connection.

Re:SSL (1)

swillden (191260) | about a year and a half ago | (#42509037)

Using SSL is ineffective, because the Chinese firewall active sends connection reset packets to disrupt your SSL connection.

It's worth pointing out that in most of the world Google already does all-SSL all the time. I don't know if you're right that the Chinese firewalls disrupt SSL, or if the Chinese firewalls play man-in-the-middle, but either way SSL doesn't really help when your opponent has that sort of resources.

Re:SSL (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42509047)

What will they do when DNSSEC + IPSEC gets rolled out?

Re:SSL (1)

spottedkangaroo (451692) | about a year and a half ago | (#42510035)

proxy it and sign it with their government ca cert? start their own root servers? who cares. it won't even slow them down though.

RFID Loyalty Bracelets Emerge At Disney Fla (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42507579)

(RFID) At Disney Parks, a Bracelet Meant to Build Loyalty (and Sales)

ORLANDO, Fla. â" Imagine Walt Disney World with no entry turnstiles. Cash? Passé: Visitors would wear rubber bracelets encoded with credit card information, snapping up corn dogs and Mickey Mouse ears with a tap of the wrist. Smartphone alerts would signal when it is time to ride Space Mountain without standing in line.

Fantasyland? Hardly. It happens starting this spring.

MagicBands will function as a room key, ticket and more.

Full Article:

http://anonymouse.org/cgi-bin/anon-www.cgi/http://www-nc.nytimes.com/2013/01/07/business/media/at-disney-parks-a-bracelet-meant-to-build-loyalty-and-sales.html?=_r=6& [anonymouse.org]

While people here love posting don't be 'evil'... (3, Informative)

tuppe666 (904118) | about a year and a half ago | (#42507715)

...they do so to support a f*cking mega corporation that would sh*ts on them at a moments notice, for chance of extracting a few extra dollars from the customers. Google withdrew *alone* from China in a response to "evil"...What did they do when "Human Rights Watch praised the decision and urged other firms to follow suit in challenging censorship...on yeah right I remember *nothing*...Lets call them Microsoft who at the time by the "the Congressional-Executive Commission on China ...sharply criticized Microsoft for continuing to be complicit with China's censorship laws"...what about Apple??. Acting Alone Googles strategy was weak/stupid.

Re:While people here love posting don't be 'evil'. (2)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about a year and a half ago | (#42507929)

What did they do when

Who is they? the same people both times?

what about

We already knew they were evil. Google claimed not to be. They lied.

Re:While people here love posting don't be 'evil'. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42508309)

Don't be evil != Be good.

The meager flaccid goal of avoiding evil results in evil. The goal needs to be to do good... even then there is no assurance of success, but at least there is not assurance of failure.

Re:While people here love posting don't be 'evil'. (1)

gwgwgw (415150) | about a year and a half ago | (#42514637)

Take your time posting. I am reading this post and cannot follow. Maybe "the choir" catches all that you are saying, but I'll bet its nearly all lost on the rest of us.

They chose wisely. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42507877)

No matter how right your cause is there comes a time when you have to face the fact youre not making a difference and just wasting your time, when that time comes there is nothing wrong with giving up. Sometimes trying to do the right thing is like punching a 9 foot thick galvenized steele wall, sure you may mean well but all your going to do is waste your time.

Besides, its not googles job to warn anyone of anything. They tried, it didnt work so they gave up. The fact they even tried, let alone tried as long as they did is a testament of their nobility in trying to help others for no other reason than try to help them.

Googles given up standing for good. (-1, Troll)

flayzernax (1060680) | about a year and a half ago | (#42507909)

Google have totally abandoned the princeples of freedom, liberty, knowledge, and enlightenment. Google caved and catered to the lowest common denominator here in America and they're not interested in resisting China or any of our thuggish 3 letter agencies here, or anyone.

If you wan't check out the differences between safe search on google.se and google.com from a US ip address, just google something and see what I'm talking about. Google does not care about accurate and unbiased and clean and unfiltered search results.

Google does not want to protect knowledge as a whole, they are perfectly happy to cater to whatever they want to dictate or someone else does so they dont get harrased legally or politically, so they can have one step up on everyone who does not cater to the fear and ignorance of censorship.

Google are victims of political correctness and the evil they do is to victimize its users because they won't stand up for what the internet has become and should be for, free exchange of ideas and information.

Re:Googles given up standing for good. (1)

miltonw (892065) | about a year and a half ago | (#42508599)

Wow, you seem to have confused Google with a comic book superhero. It's a business. To do anything at all in the world, it first has to stay in business. Second, to continue to do anything, it has to make a profit. It isn't a charitable organization, it isn't the U.N. with power over governments of the world. It isn't a superhero.

It's just a business. You seem to believe it's a superhero with vast powers to fight whole governments for Truth, Justice and the American Way.

I can't believe people who assign vast, unreal powers and responsibilities on Google -- and then viciously attack Google when it doesn't live up to THEIR fantasies.

It's just a business. Expect it to have only the powers and responsibilities of a business. Superheroes exist only in the comics.

Re:Googles given up standing for good. (1)

flayzernax (1060680) | about a year and a half ago | (#42509969)

I hate to say this but anyone who runs something as vast, large, and influencial as Google has a responsability to look after the interests of their fellow man and the technologies they rely on. Otherwise they are directly contributing to the dystopian future we are headed towards.

If google doesn't do something about the internet, it will loose potential profit. It will be harming it self as well.

It takes allot of bravery for me to come here and give my trolly rant knowing I will be pissing off allot of people. But thats the same damn thing I expect the LEADERS of our worlds biggest and most influencial institutions to be doing. Corporation, UN, School, University, Sciencists at JPL, anybody who is the gatekeeper to this much power or information, and knowledge.

I can't cite some old Mark Twain, or Goerge Washington, or Jefferson, or any other supposed hero of freedom and liberty and commerce and all that. But I'm sure I'm not the first ignorant peasent to wake up and go... Why the fuck are we doing this to eachother for the sake of personal individual survival, or group survival.

Martin Luther King sure as hell didn't worry that damn much about his own skin, he knew he would piss allot of people off with his rants.

Re:Googles given up standing for good. (1)

flayzernax (1060680) | about a year and a half ago | (#42510073)

And to be clear, google has the power to provide unfiltered results and let the government figure out a way to block things, not cater to them. That is all I expect, its trivial to revert their code back to what it was.

Re:Googles given up standing for good. (2)

miltonw (892065) | about a year and a half ago | (#42510421)

There is no reason to assume that Google isn't "providing unfiltered results". I see no evidence they have ever filtered results for China. In fact, as I recall, that's why they moved their servers out of China.

Why are you claiming they are censoring results? What TFA is about is Google decided to stop warning Chinese users that specific key words would trigger Chinese government censoring (and possibly worse). Shall we assume that Google found the warning was useless?

But I see no evidence that Google is doing any censoring or filtering.

Re:Googles given up standing for good. (1)

flayzernax (1060680) | about a year and a half ago | (#42510783)

http://www.webpronews.com/google-preventing-u-s-users-from-disabling-safesearch-2012-12 [webpronews.com]

http://searchengineland.com/google-updates-safesearch-filter-in-image-search-142330 [searchengineland.com]

Google is actively participating in the fragmentation of the global web. Their search is not fair and equal across all audiences. Its porn now. But mark my words it will be politics soon, if there isnt some subtle chilling effect already.

What happens when only governments with clones of googles accurate unfiltered search database are the only ones with access to all information. Do we start segregating people because of their views on what should and shouldnt be on the net? How do people know that its ok to do it in ways other then missionary if they can't find out all the wonderful ways we can literally screw eachother without jumping through hoops. Its an enlightening process that fundementalists need not be protected from in my opinion.

Anyway the Big point I'm trying to get at is people in sweeden who automaticly route to google.se get more accurate results then the average american who doesnt bother to check what their browser is doing. You cant get the same results through America's portal even if you set your setting to "not filter" its not the same. Its illusion. And google is helping to make the illusion that when you search for boobs on the net, thats what you get even if you set your filter low. When its not.

By creating this double standard Google is further seperating the elite from the non-elite. They are literally making people dumb by being authoritarian and permiting information to be managed in a deceptive way like this. Right now its just "sexual" content more or less but I don't think anyone with the attitude that its ok to go this far is trustworthy.

I'm seriously wondering what I will be able to google in the next 10 years. What search engine can I go to. I've tried things like Ixquick etc... I doubt they'll have that much impact though. They scrape from google, but do they scrape from unfiltered results or what.

In the mean time I'm going to be fuming mad about the general impact on peoples understanding of what is out there. People aught to be able to find out about everything and shouldnt have to circumvent google or anything else. Shit should not be this obfuscated and Orwellian.

And seriously I know you didn't have a friendly agreeing post to give back to me, but I appreciate your dialog that you even took the time to respond and tell me why you thought I was wrong.

Re:Googles given up standing for good. (1)

miltonw (892065) | about a year and a half ago | (#42511237)

In general, I do not disagree with your points.

What makes Google valuable is that it does a pretty good job of presenting what it thinks best fulfills your request. That has been and continues to be what makes Google better than what came before. I remember the days of almost completely unfiltered results from searches and the returned data was almost completely useless.

But, that being said, that is also Google's potentially biggest danger. When their "guesses" do not align with what people actually want, or when their "guesses" end up being de facto censorship, then it becomes a liability. It is a very, very fuzzy line. Some people get super upset if porn shows up. Some people get super upset when it doesn't. I get upset when I can't state my personal preference.

But that's what's so good about the Internet. Where a need exists that isn't met, someone will come up with a solution. If Google fails, someone else will succeed.

Re:Googles given up standing for good. (1)

flayzernax (1060680) | about a year and a half ago | (#42511395)

This I agree with completely, and I see google teatering. And with headlines like "Gives up". I know that might not even be google speaking. But to tell people you've given up is horrible =)

I sorta feel like as an American they've given up on us to. But I hope, we, or google, or someone else finds out a better way to implement filtering. I am all for filtering and I totally agree, when I search for something I don't want 1000 commercial porn sites blocking me from finding a real answer. But that power should always be placed in our hands. Not hidden from us.

Re:Googles given up standing for good. (1)

miltonw (892065) | about a year and a half ago | (#42510581)

I see no problem with wanting businesses to work to help mankind in any way they they are able. The operative word is "able". There are limits to what a single company, no matter how large, can do.

Companies cannot break the law. This isn't like an individual who might break the law in protest. Companies cannot operate like that for quite a number of reasons -- consult a corporate lawyer for details.

Google had to completely leave China because, while they disagreed with China's censorship requirements, they could not refuse to comply while still being a Chinese company.

Until you know what are the limitations and restraints for a company in a specific situation, it seems a bit presumptuous to criticize a company for "not doing enough."

Re:Googles given up standing for good. (1)

flayzernax (1060680) | about a year and a half ago | (#42511037)

I agree they have no choice in China. I think in that case the best they could do would provide secure services people in China could access through torproject or VPNs. And to close shop as a Chinese company doesnt mean they have to refuse that market.

My rant was I think flawed as it is tried to point out though that China is not the only place this is starting to happen. And google seems ok with by literally implementing features into their own site.

If you don't like the laws in China, leave. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42508337)

My message for the free speech campaigners here is that if you don't like the laws in china, leave.

Re:If you don't like the laws in China, leave. (1)

UnknownSoldier (67820) | about a year and a half ago | (#42509491)

So that is your solution to every problem in your homeland? Just leave?

And go where exactly?

Which country will let them in?

And which country is "better"?

There IS another choice -- to lend their support in changing the laws. It requires work and coordination, and make take a few decades but a solution can be reached.

ALL (legal) law is relative. If the citizens don't feel that their government is representing them accurately then they have the right to replace it with another one.

Re:If you don't like the laws in China, leave. (1)

Tharkkun (2605613) | about a year and a half ago | (#42509985)

So that is your solution to every problem in your homeland? Just leave?

And go where exactly?

Which country will let them in?

And which country is "better"?

There IS another choice -- to lend their support in changing the laws. It requires work and coordination, and make take a few decades but a solution can be reached.

ALL (legal) law is relative. If the citizens don't feel that their government is representing them accurately then they have the right to replace it with another one.

It's China. You're not going to change their mind. You will disappear forever before you win something against the government.

Re:If you don't like the laws in China, leave. (2)

UnknownSoldier (67820) | about a year and a half ago | (#42511021)

> It's China. You're not going to change their mind. You will disappear forever before you win something against the government.

Maybe. But I think History proves you wrong. With enough people you WILL be remembered.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiananmen_Square_protests_of_1989 [wikipedia.org]

China IS changing. Their corruption and censorship can't last forever no matter how hard they try. Don't confuse lack of external progress with lack of internal struggle.

Re:If you don't like the laws in China, leave. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42511147)

The can't disappear 1B people ...

Why bother? (0)

TheSkepticalOptimist (898384) | about a year and a half ago | (#42508517)

Look, if the Chinese people are not going to fight for human rights and removal of censorship then why should some American company do so?

I think everyone outside of China believe they need to fight for Chinese rights but obviously the Chinese living in China are largely accepting of the state of their rights, those that don't go to another country.

I can't believe that in a country with over 1 billion people the government would be able to suppress a revolution if the population demanded better human rights. Ergo obviously the population in China are largely content with the rights they have.

People outside of China need to start minding their own business. Also business outside of China need to start realizing they are never going to win in that market, so just stop trying.

The citizens mostly don't care (1)

SimplyGeek (1969734) | about a year and a half ago | (#42508659)

Of all the FOB Chinese I talk to, very few even care about this issue. Mostly they're not even aware of it, and if they are, they don't see it as anything worth worrying about. From a Western individualist point of view, it's sad to see people who don't care about oppression, so long as it's done in the name of unity. But then, that's us and that's them. Maybe they have a point in going for national unity and peace over individual rights. What do I know.

Re:The citizens mostly don't care (1)

flayzernax (1060680) | about a year and a half ago | (#42510221)

Its fine to let them be and not force our western individualism on them until it starts bleeding across borders and affecting us, which it really is starting to do. I don't think this is giong to stop with China, the sings of the times are there for those that care.

It's a cost thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42508801)

If a Chinese user is unable to search Google for being locked up then Google only really loses a few (3) bucks at most, but the cost to continue warning users, etc...that's probably like four (4) bucks. So it boils down to $$$ again.

the Goog doesn't seem to mind censorship that much (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42509315)

apart from China, they changed the safe search options on image search (without telling anyone); and GoogPlay is linking to cleaned-up versions of music files making it a little harder for us to get our porn and **explicit** hiphop.
bitchez.

Do no evil... (1)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | about a year and a half ago | (#42509463)

...but that doesn't mean you can't passively advocate it.

In other news... (1)

TankSpanker04 (1266400) | about a year and a half ago | (#42509711)

...Former governor Richardson, Google's Schmidt arrive in North Korea
http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/01/07/us-korea-north-richardson-idUSBRE90600A20130107 [reuters.com]

I suspect a correlation between Google's move in China and Schmidt's "private, humanitarian" visit to NK. Methinks the almighty dollar may be taking precedence over principle.

Censorship (1)

jago25_98 (566531) | about a year and a half ago | (#42511221)

Regardless on which side of the censorship debate you are,

  it's one thing to censor results but to inform you that it has happened but it's another to silently remove results. It's so irritating to spend hours searching for something only later to relise that it's been censored.

  Isn't there any decency to people these days? If a thread or reply on a forum gets deleted isn't it only fair to inform other people that it has happened?

Some kind of agreement has been reached (1)

DeltaQH (717204) | about a year and a half ago | (#42511509)

I have no idea which one, but somekind of agreement must have been reached. I'm sure that Google ceeded something and the Chinese also. We shall see. Something to do with the change of leadership in China?

Google's trip North Korea may have some relation tho this.

We shall see...

i too am disappoint (1)

Yebyen (59663) | about a year and a half ago | (#42512541)

yes, it sounds like giving up.

i am disappoint?

Google is more evil than Microsoft ever was (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42513697)

Persistence of the faint-hearted (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42514177)

First, do no evil. After a while, though, whatever...

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