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Does Google Censor Chinese News?

timothy posted more than 9 years ago | from the except-for-all-the-others dept.

Censorship 547

mOoZik writes "A story carried by New Scientist suggests that Google might be playing into the hands of the Chinese government by blocking certain news stories which may be deeded inappropriate. Some users recently reported that Google's Chinese news search returned different results depending when they searched using a computer based outside of China. The claims were substantiated by researchers who connected to computers inside the country. Read on and decide for yourself."

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That's just business.. (5, Insightful)

Ckwop (707653) | more than 9 years ago | (#10316798)

I'm sorry but I don't see why this is such a surprise. If you're a multinational company and you set-up office in the United Kingdom then you have to adhere to European and UK law and if you set-up office in Turkey you have to adhere to Turkish
law. So what's the problem with adhering to Chinese law if you set up office in China?

Now you might not like the political stance of the Chinese government but that's your business after all it's their country and their jurisdiction. If you don't want to adhere to their laws don't set-up office there.

The principle motive of any company is to maximise its profits. If Google thinks working in China will enhance their profitability and they don't mind the draconian laws then it makes sense for them to enter that market.

We should not expect companies to make political statements - we have politicians for that - Companies are driven by different forces than politics and in the highly competitive market of internet search taking such a stance could damage the company immensely.

Simon.

Re:That's just business.. (3, Insightful)

Kris_J (10111) | more than 9 years ago | (#10316831)

So, their new motto is "Don't be evil, unless you have to"?

Re:That's just business.. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10316849)

So your definition of evil is that the company either breaks local government policy or avoids the Chinese market?

How about Google remove all ads from its service? That would be very un-evil no?

How about Google give its technology and source code up for grabs free to Yahoo! and Microsoft?

rephrase (3, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 9 years ago | (#10316864)

that should read "don't be evil, that's a job for the guys who machine-gunned their own students protesting for democracy"

you somehow seem to think idealism is achievable in such an environment

you should be condemning the chinese govt, not google

Re:rephrase (3, Insightful)

Kris_J (10111) | more than 9 years ago | (#10316884)

Given China's behaviour with respect to Tibet and Taiwan, I would say that any company that specifically re-enforces the policy of the government through censorship has no more right to claim to not be evil than Fox News has to claim to be fair and balanced. Either way, I'm not going to give up my Gmail account, but then I don't claim to not be evil.

Re:rephrase (5, Insightful)

Tim C (15259) | more than 9 years ago | (#10316998)

They're in a difficult position though. If they want to do business in China, then they're going to have to abide by Chinese laws and customs.

Lokk at it this way - no technological method for filtering out "undesirable" sites and news, etc, is going to be 100% efficient or effective. At least with google serving the Chinese market, there will be "windows of opportunity" for people to find stuff that their government deems unsuitable. With the web continuing to grow, these opportunities will become more frequent and longer-lasting, as google/the Chinese authorities play whack-a-mole, a game that's impossible to win...

As others have said, at the end of the day, google is just a company, and this isn't really their fight. Change has to come from within, not be imposed from outside. Besides, for all anyone knows, there could be an unofficial, internal google policy to not be as quick at complying with takedown requests as they could be, or to introduce subtle inefficiencies and bugs into the process/software. Let's see how this plays out for a while before calling people evil. (Do google even claim not to be evil?)

Re:rephrase (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10317013)

I can see this if Google set up similarly to how Yahoo does in european countries...

Let Google.cn "filter" the news as the Chinese Govt would like to see fit. Let Google.com not. Let China try to firewall/block Google.com from inside China.

Re:rephrase (4, Interesting)

benjj (302095) | more than 9 years ago | (#10317030)

(Do google even claim not to be evil?)

Uh, yes [google.com] . That's what everyone is talking about.

Re:rephrase (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10317011)

...better start adding Nepal to that list as well.

The "maoists" in Nepal are, by name, linked to China more or less...

Re:rephrase (5, Interesting)

Nogami_Saeko (466595) | more than 9 years ago | (#10317031)

Well, the obvious solution is that they should be MARKING what they're censoring so people know that "something" was censored, even if they can't see it. When they return results for searches, or display news stories, they should just be returning a "censored" link that goes to a page explaining why they are unable to provide the content.

Kind of like their old policy on takedown notices.

Journalists used to do the same thing before they sold-out to the government. For eaxmple, if they were in a war situation and the government censored pieces of their footage, they'd just broadcast black on-air so that viewers knew SOMETHING was being withheld from them by the government and they could start asking questions.

But journalists have become the pawns and puppets of government now, and rather than holding them accountable, they're just climbing into bed with them. Makes me sick.

N.

This is wonderful news. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10316883)

This vacuum in the "don't be evil" search engine space Creates a good opportunity for a new startup search engine that doesn't censor stuff.


I look forward to our next billion-dollar IPO based on the original philosophy upon which Google was based, now that they decided to give up on that proven successful space.

Re:That's just business.. (4, Insightful)

metlin (258108) | more than 9 years ago | (#10316919)

No.

Their motto has always been, "Don't be stupid, unless you have to".

They're a company, and they have no obligation to the people of China to fight for their freedom of speech.

When world nations don't care a damn, you expect a corporation that makes search engines to?

Their playing it safe, which is exactly anyone would do in their position. If anyone should be helping the people of China, it is the people themselves and the rest of the democractic world governments.

Judging by the current UN meetings, we seem more interested in waging wars against nations for our own vested interests - how can you expect a corporation to not protect it's interests when the bastions of democracy act thus?

Re:That's just business.. (1)

Bloody Pulp (101306) | more than 9 years ago | (#10316999)

Judging by the current UN meetings, we seem more interested in waging wars against nations for our own vested interests - how can you expect a corporation to not protect it's interests when the bastions of democracy act thus? Are you referring to the world in general when you say "we" or the United States?

Re:That's just business.. (2, Interesting)

metlin (258108) | more than 9 years ago | (#10317025)

Both.

The attitude of the US is sickening, with utter disregard to sovereignity of other nations, and the attitude of the rest of the world in letting the US puppet the UN into submission is sad to see.

And those that shamelessly ass-lick everything that the US does (Britain, for one) no matter how inconsiderate it is to international laws makes it something to think about.

Re:That's just business.. (-1, Redundant)

nsample (261457) | more than 9 years ago | (#10316840)

What happened to "do no evil?" Isn't facilitating censorship in China tacit support of that regime? Are dollars so important post-IPO that Google will abandon its first principle? :(

Re:That's just business.. (1)

millwall (622730) | more than 9 years ago | (#10316876)

What happened to "do no evil?"

I am sorry to break your heart, but Google is a profit making company. Have you ever seen a press release from them stating "We do no evil!"?

No, it isn't (5, Insightful)

SimianOverlord (727643) | more than 9 years ago | (#10316845)

You would be correct if Google were selling razor blades, cheese or any other physical product. What they are doing is creating a news resource. Personally, I don't like the fact that a company which wears its ethics on its sleeve, so to mangle the metaphor, by stating "Don't be evil" as its company motto would self censor to fit into the demands of a foreign government.

It is the precedent that is important here. When you ignore this, you erode the fundamental freedoms that form the basis of the Internet.

Re:No, it isn't (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 9 years ago | (#10317052)

you do realise that "Evil" is a higly subjective term? basically saying "do no evil" means nothing, "do no 'stuff that you yourself would consider bad'".

it's not a precedent either(not the first time they adhere to laws in foreign countries).

they just happen to have the best search engine at the time, that's why I and everyone else uses it, they'll have to keep up though somehow(google is infested with linkfarms for example).

Re:That's just business.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10316850)

Who says anyone is suprised.

No matter, 'not minding the draconian laws' when providing a news service that censors storys deemed harmfull to a government IS making a political statement. They have chosen a side, much like Prescott Bush (georges granpappy) during the second world war.

When entering a new market, the "immense damage to the company" is purely hypothetical, unless of course they where not allowed to enter the market without a certain level of censorship therefor breaking the contract would have "immense damage".

Re:That's just business.. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10316879)

getting crunk on the vodka and the buddha

Re:That's just business.. (1)

godot73 (182766) | more than 9 years ago | (#10316957)

No, not exactly surprising - but it is interesting to see what drawbacks it has to do business in China. There is a slight difference in having to pay more tax and using pounds (UK) to having to filter your information after the governments liking.

When the internet was fresh us kids thought that this is going to be the next best free and democratic thing. Stories like these make you think again. So I think it's a valid point to discuss.

Re:That's just business.. (1)

Infinityis (807294) | more than 9 years ago | (#10316966)

"If Google thinks working in China will enhance their profitability and they don't mind the draconian laws then it makes sense for them to enter that market." (1) Censor search results (2) ???? (3) Profit! I don't have the foggiest what (2) should be, but since this is Google we're talking about it couldn't possibly be evil.

Re:That's just business.. (1)

mirko (198274) | more than 9 years ago | (#10317001)

since this is Google we're talking about it couldn't possibly be evil.

Google just went public, okay ?
So their ethics might not reside in their own hands anymore.
And please, stop with this idolatry : Google is a usable search engine and that's all.

Indeed! (0)

N3wsByt3 (758224) | more than 9 years ago | (#10316973)

They aren't political parties, after all. Give to ceasar what belongs to ceasar; give ethics to politicians, and exploitation to companies.

And, if a big corporation set-up office in a country where human rights are trampled on and minorities are exploited what's the problem adhering to those laws, indeed?

After all, companies are driven by different forces, so they can't be hold responsable when they implement child-labour and the like! I mean, if it will enhance their profitability they should go for it; ethical behaviour could damage the company immensely.

And the damage to those children...ah well...profit must come first! It's not the job of the company to respect human life or to care about the people they exploit. (The idea!)

Hurray for capitalism in it's raw form! /snip irony

Re:That's just business.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10316974)

True -- Although I do not agree with the Chinese government. But hey, being a Dane doesn't necesarily make me agree with the Danish government... d8^)

Besides, Google's got a pretty good point there:
Why return a bunch of non-accessible links?

One could argue that the banned pages are accessible through Googles cache. True, but won't Google risk being banned themselves by making a service which would let the Chinese people access these pages?

-Martin

Note to Google (2, Insightful)

paragon_au (730772) | more than 9 years ago | (#10317009)

"All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing."

PRC govt is censoring, not google (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10317049)

Guys, I read something (at a Freenet-related site, I think) recently that talked about this very issue. the PRC used to block all of google, but what they now do (AFA a non-techhead such as myself understand it) is intercept certain google searches and return garbage or alternative stuff. In particular, they block the obvious stuff, like Falun Gong, Tibet, Republic of China matters, etc.

If you are interested and want me to find my source, email me at robertcz@gmail.com

Re:That's just business.. (1)

Awptimus Prime (695459) | more than 9 years ago | (#10317051)

The principle motive of any company is to maximise its profits. If Google thinks working in China will enhance their profitability and they don't mind the draconian laws then it makes sense for them to enter that market.

I would love to see this same poster's comment if this article stated MSN's search engine was being censored in China. I think we would see an entirely different and less supportive comment.

But hey, Google got the geeks before going public. I'll bet you an open proxy list Google will be considered a giant debacle in a year or two. No, I am no expert. But, I remember when Excite, Yahoo, and Deja were all the rage at some point. They all went to crap as soon as public money poured in. All that was left were a lot of disappointed investors and banner ads in ever free bit of real estate in one's browser.

I'm pretty negative, eh?

this first post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10316799)

was censored by china

that's why it's not first

p.s. you'll be shot if you say anything about this

Are you surprised? (-1, Redundant)

drewbradford (458480) | more than 9 years ago | (#10316804)

What's controversial about that?

It makes sense for a company to comply with the laws of companies in which they target consumers.

It seems to me that if Google did not take steps to block certain contact, the site might be banned entirely in China.

Chinese users still have the traditional means of bypassing such measures, such as anonymous proxies.

Re:Are you surprised? (1)

mirko (198274) | more than 9 years ago | (#10316858)

It makes sense for a company to comply with the laws of companies in which they target consumers.

I like to read such posts from time to time because globalization made it possible for corporations to sue countries for forbiding them some practices that are legal in their originating countries...

Of course, China is supposed to be evil so we may still be annoyed by the eventual repercussions this will have on the Chinese. :/

Tough Dilemma...

Re:Are you surprised? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10317024)

Google would have to get the US Govt to raise the case in the WTO courts that certain chinese laws are affecting their ability to do business there.

Of course, these very laws are probably in the arms-length list of exceptions in the WTO agreement.

It's all about the market. (4, Insightful)

mind21_98 (18647) | more than 9 years ago | (#10316805)

If they don't play into the hands of the Chinese government, they risk having all of google.com blocked. If they do, they are seen as "censors" and "pawns" of the same government. Unfortunately money and page views seem to trump over principles when given a choice. Remember, there's always the proxy server approach for whoever wants to see the "uncensored" news.

The market for anonymous proxy servers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10316870)

Sounds to me like it makes a market for anonymous proxy servers for google.


Anyone know of a good anonymous-cach technology to pay for such a service?

Proxy server (1)

plagiarist (87743) | more than 9 years ago | (#10316971)

Actually, there's some prior art in this very area. elgooG [alltooflat.com] is a "Google Mirror" that claims it's been used in China for a similar purpose [alltooflat.com] . This was discussed here [slashdot.org] a couple years ago.

rocking in the free world... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10316808)

I wonder how much google supresses certain news stories that the US fed deems innappropriate?

Maybe not censor but (5, Interesting)

forgotten_my_nick (802929) | more than 9 years ago | (#10316882)

But certainly the news portal itself seems either biased, or US news really is that bad.

I have noticed if I search for a story I will find it, but the google portal does give a good indication of what the US is seeing.

For example Bushes war records. You check the news/search engine all you find is about the CBS documents.

However if you were to dig more you would find that a judge has ordered the release of the originals (ref: http://msnbc.msn.com/id/6022115/).

I've wondered if this is a new system of polluting the news on the net. As it is harder to control stories but easy to bury them.

Re:Maybe not censor but (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10316994)

It could just be that there are a lot of US new sites?

Re:rocking in the free world... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10316946)

Its just regional variations. In the Middle East you get links to Al Jazeera, you'll never see that searching on gnews from the USA.

Large distributed system (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10316814)

I thought wide area distributed systems didn't necessarily have consistent data in all of their nodes - especially when performance is a more important goal than consistancy.

mod me off topic (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10316820)

c'mon

*shakes head* (1, Interesting)

thegoogler (792786) | more than 9 years ago | (#10316822)

And i thought google was supposed to be the open, free source of information.. o well, i wonder how the chinese goverment could have pressured them?

Do no evil? (5, Informative)

diakka (2281) | more than 9 years ago | (#10316827)

From what I understand, Google already censors their content in other countries like France and Germany. This is only making the news because it's big bad China. Although it kind of does blow apart this image that they like to present as being crusaders of free speech.

Re:Do no evil? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10316891)

United States is one of the few counties in the world that actually has REAL free speach rights.

In Germany and France you do not have free speach, for instance if your caught distributing nazi propaganda you probably face a fine or even jail for your views. (of course this doesn't stop nazis, it just drives them underground. In the US we get to see the jackasses out in the open were we see how full of shit they are).

For instance the European Union or the UN (I forget which, probably both) wants to fundamentally modify the infrustructure of the internet to filter out "objectionable" material. Of course in the US doing this is illegal and there has a been a couple low-profile fights over this already.

That's why I find it funny that people in Europe point out how evil stuff like patriot act is, when in reality there is no reason to even have stuff like that in their countries because they don't have the "rights" to be violated in the first place.

Re:Do no evil? (1)

Zen Punk (785385) | more than 9 years ago | (#10316927)

You'd better get back to class before I tell the teacher you're trolling on Slashdot instead of doing your PowerPoint, young man.

Re:Do no evil? (3, Insightful)

NSash (711724) | more than 9 years ago | (#10316979)

That's why I find it funny that people in Europe point out how evil stuff like patriot act is, when in reality there is no reason to even have stuff like that in their countries because they don't have the "rights" to be violated in the first place.

Aside from the whole indefinite extra-judicial detentions thing.

Re:Do no evil? (3, Insightful)

KontinMonet (737319) | more than 9 years ago | (#10317053)

The Freedom House index of media freedom [freedomhouse.org] shows the countries with the most media freedom are (in order): Denmark, Iceland, Belgium, Finland, Norway, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Andorra, Monaco and then USA.

All the top countries are in ... Europe.

In any case, presumably you'd be the first to applaud Germany if they allowed complete freedom to spout Nazi propaganda, anti-semitism, racism, eastward imperialism, anti-Catholic screeds, state-sponsored prostitution, white supremacy and all the other rabid nonsense that happened before? Never mind that Europe suffered dreadfully as a result and would be horrified if Germany allowed such 'freedom'...

Re:Do no evil? (1)

ZBM-2 (185783) | more than 9 years ago | (#10316893)

"Localized Google Search Result Exclusions Statement of Issues & A Call for Data"

http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/filtering/google/

And in the US too... (5, Insightful)

clickety6 (141178) | more than 9 years ago | (#10316897)

... remember when Google removed a load of links because of threats from the Scientologists invoking our old friend the DMCA !

It's not just China !

Like another poster said, (3, Insightful)

mongbot (671347) | more than 9 years ago | (#10316829)

it's good business. Otherwise Google news might be blocked from China altogether and Google would lose access to a growing market. Corporations have always got along with authoritarian regimes, ever since the Nazis used IBM punch cards to tally the death counts.

The real question is why people expect a different standard of behaviour from Google than from other companies. I mean, you guys don't really believe that "don't be evil" stuff, do you? Google is Just Another Company.

Re:Like another poster said, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10316888)

Why is the parent flamebait? It appears to be insightful and historically accurate.

Re:Like another poster said, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10316975)

because IBM was not responsible for what anyone does with their equipment. The poster wants you to think IBM specifically sold punchcards with the intention they would be used to tally Jews, Gypsys, gays, &c, when that is patent nonsense.

Learn to spot the 'ad corporatem' rants.

Censor Jesus (1)

kilox (774253) | more than 9 years ago | (#10316830)

It sounds like a step towards trying to regulate the internet.

The internet is nowhere, but it is everywhere..it has no boundaries.

China, and any other countries that try to contain the internet sounds very bad. It is a sad day when you have to cheat your way around something as useful as the internet to get a look into the real world.

Ahem... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10316834)

In Communist China...

Google searches YOU!

Google is *THE COMPANY* (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10316837)

No, really.

They have a direct tap into the consciousness of the (online) world. What we are worried about, what we are interested in, and they know as soon as these things change.

With that comes immense power, and opportunity for extreme evil.

Mark my words: One day we'll come to hate Google the way we (well, most of us) hate Microsoft...

This is not really news (5, Informative)

quigonn (80360) | more than 9 years ago | (#10316844)

Google already censors search results for e.g. Germany, due to sentences spoken out by some German court.

Re:This is not really news (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10316989)

afaik the things 'censored' in germany were trademark issues.

people using trademarks they do not own in their adwords

and even then, there has been a new ruling allowing people to use certain trademarked words in their adwords listing

search for "preispiraten"

google shows different results anyway (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10316846)

Random pigeon hole ranking.

I remember that I got different results searching for my name at work (my homepages at my work server) and at home. The domain you are accessing google from might be included as a search criterion.

Woe... (3, Insightful)

shirai (42309) | more than 9 years ago | (#10316847)

Doesn't anybody else think that ever since Google announced a few new services that SlashDot is suddenly carrying stories that suggest that Google is evil?

Frankly, in this case it is quite clearly the Chinese government that is responsible for this. If Google doesn't comply, their service will be blocked from China such as they have done in ths past. If by "playing into the hands of the Chinese Government" you mean that they follow the rules of that country (just like they do in the U.S.), then I suppose they are. But by that argument, Google is clearly playing into the hands of the U.S. Government too.

Re:Woe... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10316861)

Yes, but you (the American people) have the ability to replace your government (well at least in theory), in China they don't have this luxury.

Re:Woe... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10316948)

It's no luxury, it's a right we had to fight for, and continue to fight for.

Although it's been years and years since this has been put into practice. The revolutionary war, of course. The war of 1812 is another one.

Lately we've been fighting to protect our rights. World War 2 is the probably the latest "pure" example.

Freedom has a price, and it's blood.

This is why we have the 2nd amendment. The government is always has to be afraid that if they f*ck us over too much there will be a armed revolt. It would take ALOT to provoke people to do that, most people prefer comfortortable servatude over death, but it's always a possiblity.

It is also why soldiers in our country are sworn to protect and uphold the constitution, and don't pledge fedelity to the president or the government in general. That way any unconstitutional order can be ignored by a soldier without worry about criminal prosicution.

Of course, this is all "technically". In reality the ideal is never met, but it's nice to at least aim for it.

Of course most countries just solve this problem by taking away the guns, then they f*ck over the population as much as they feel like.

A few examples of huge anti-gun nuts: Adolf Hitler, Stalin, Saddam Hussain, Pol Pot... You get the idea. Each time these dictators instuted huge gun laws in order to de-arm the populace.

Shortly following the successful gun laws they instituted their policies of eliminated large portions of their population and put control of the rest under a political minority.

Fun stuff. It's just been a long long time since we've had to fight so it seems easy and peacefull in our country. And luckly it is.

Hell you ask lots of people in our county and they think that gun rights have something to do with hunting deer.

That's why things like the draft are not unconstitutional. The "militia" that they talk about is the entire population of the country that is capable of baring arms. As a person of over 18 I am by default a member of the overal militia of the country and can be called by my government and country to fight and die to uphold to protect our freedoms.

The formal armed military and reserves is just a small subsection of this overal potential fighting force.

The original idea was that most countries have a small professional fighting force. We will have a professional fighting force, but when push comes to shove you have to fight and kill every man women and child in our country in order to successfully counquer us.

Hell I'd fight if I had too. Even though my pistol and rifle are inadiquate compared to a modern weapons (both old fasion russian military arms... I am to poor to get the nice stuff) I'd put them on the line and die for my freedoms.

Most people don't understand this, but I blame our lack-luster government run schools more so then the long peace within our borders.

Re:Woe... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10317010)

So you think that governments taking away guns from people is because they don't want them to rise up and revolt? I think that is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard! Perhaps it is better to live in a country where you can cary a gun around and get shot by your fellow citizens than "risk" being killed by the government whenever they feel like it. P.S. You should really learn to spell.

Stop making excuses! (1)

girlza (803202) | more than 9 years ago | (#10316898)

Why are you defending Google?

Google is a business and exists to make money. They have no principles, face it.

Google is NOT your friend.

Re:Stop making excuses! (1)

mind21_98 (18647) | more than 9 years ago | (#10316916)

Google is pretty much the only "good" search engine now, by the way. And if they're making money and able to provide an excellent serivce, more power to them. *shrug*

Re:Stop making excuses! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10317043)

I bet you havent used anything beside google in the past year?

for me google results suck ass, yahoo seems to do better on the first 1-3 pages, after that all the spam comes

while for google the invers is true, the first 3 pages are usually spam results

Alternatives (2, Interesting)

barcodez (580516) | more than 9 years ago | (#10316851)

Those wishing to take a stand this this a viable alternative to Google.

All The Web [alltheweb.com]

Remeber alternatives are what encourages competition and that can only be a good thing.

Any other good search engines people can recommend?

Re:Alternatives (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10317015)

It's very tempting to ignore the above post and laugh at the poor people who become infected by spyware, but having cleaned it off so many computers over the last few weeks I'd hate to see anyone else go through it.

In short - above post links to spyware site.

Re:Alternatives (1)

virgil_attack (744501) | more than 9 years ago | (#10317026)

Amazon has just come out with a new search engine, A9.

http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=04/09/19/147238 [slashdot.org]

Couldn't tell you how good it is though since I have never used it.

Aparently it uses results from google though so it might defeat the purpose...

understanable (5, Insightful)

uv_light (750273) | more than 9 years ago | (#10316852)

it is understanable that google leave out those site. when people use the google chinese to search news site, who will most likely to come from China. even if google return the "correct" result, if the chinese goverment have already block the site, they will be clicking on the dead link.

if google don't take out those site, then it will in turn hurt google.

I am not saying it is a good thing, I personally don't agree on internet censoring, but that's how china work, it is something that won't change in a short while.

Re:understanable (1)

tukkayoot (528280) | more than 9 years ago | (#10316950)

Whoever wrote the summary doesn't seem to have the best grasp of the English language--maybe someone from Chinese or elsewhere in Asia, who doesn't speak it as a first language.

Besides "deeded", the phrase "playing into the hands of" is used in an odd way. Usually this phrase is used in reference to someone who is unwittingly doing things that might aid someone else (possibly a rival/enemy). From the sounds of it, Google isn't an unwitting participant in this censorship at all, it's deliberate. "Playing along" would be a more apt description of they're doing.

Re:understanable (1)

tukkayoot (528280) | more than 9 years ago | (#10316961)

maybe someone from Chinese --me

Or maybe they just made a typo. ;)

deeded ? (1)

spiny (87740) | more than 9 years ago | (#10316854)

is that even a real word? wouln't 'deemed' be more appropriate/readable ?

sourcing (1)

Secret Chimp (557933) | more than 9 years ago | (#10316862)

It could also be that China's own firewall has been configured to do some creative redirecting instead of direct blocks. Then again I know jack shizzle about that whole affair. Banana hammock.

Not the first time (5, Insightful)

JohnnyNoSPAM (815401) | more than 9 years ago | (#10316867)

This is not the first time that Google has imposed some censorship over its search engine. Check out this article at WorldNetDaily: http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTI CLE_ID=26819 [worldnetdaily.com]

When Google started out, they seemed to be a refreshing alternative to other larger corporate sites. Google is now becoming part of corporate America. With that, we can expect to see a more "tame" Google geared toward minimizing the making of waves for the purpose of maintaining investor confidence and ensuring a steady profit.

Is it "selling out"? Perhaps, but I think that this is the sort of thing that we can expect as a company expands and grows.

Re:Not the first time (2)

rudolfel (700883) | more than 9 years ago | (#10316895)

that's a lie. In america there is no censorship.
Only in China.
In america the elections are not faked.
Only in China.
etc.

America is good. China is evil ... in another universe perhaps ;-)

China’s Internet Regulations (5, Informative)

phreakv6 (760152) | more than 9 years ago | (#10316872)

here [chinaepulse.com] it is

Re:China’s Internet Regulations (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10317028)

Article 15: IIS providers shall not produce, reproduce, release, or disseminate information that contains any of the following:

1. Information that goes against the basic principles set in the constitution;

2. Information that endangers national security, divulges state secrets, subverts the government, or undermines national unity;

3. Information that is detrimental to the honor and interests of the state;

4. Information that instigates ethnic hatred or ethnic discrimination, or that undermines national unity;

5. Information that undermines the state's policy towards religions, or that preaches the teachings of evil cults or that promotes feudalistic and superstitious beliefs;

6. Information that disseminates rumors, disturbs social order, or undermines social stability;

7. Information that spreads pornography or other salacious materials; promotes gambling, violence, homicide, or terrorism; or instigates crimes;

8. Information that insults or slanders other people, or infringes upon other people's legitimate rights and interests; or

9. Other information prohibited by the law or administrative regulations.

Article 16: When an IIS provider discovers that the information its Web site provides is clearly of a type listed under Article 15, it should immediately stop transmission, keep the relevant records, and report the situation to the relevant state authorities.

Article 17: When a commercial IIS provider applies to have its business publicly listed in China or overseas, or to set up a joint venture or partnership with a foreign business, it must have the prior agreement of the State Council department in charge of information industries.

The proportion of the total investment that is supplied by the foreign business shall be in line with the provisions prescribed in the relevant laws and administrative regulations.

Article 18: The State Council department in charge of information industries, and the telecommunications administration of the relevant province, autonomous region, or municipality under the central government's direct jurisdiction, shall exercise supervision over IIS providers in accordance with the law. Departments in charge of information, the publishing business, education, public health, and pharmaceuticals; departments in charge of business administration; and departments in charge of national security, must supervise the contents of Internet information in areas under their respective jurisdictions and in accordance with the law.

Article 19: For those who violate the regulations in these measures by providing unlicensed commercial IIS, or by providing other services than those prescribed by their licenses, the telecommunications administration of the relevant province, autonomous region, or municipality under the central government's direct jurisdiction must order them to mend their ways within a specified period, confiscate their illegal incomes, and impose on them a fine between three and five times their illegal incomes.

In cases where there is no illegal income, or in cases where the illegal income is less than 50,000 renminbi (US$6,039), they must impose on them a fine of between Rmb 100,000 and Rmb 1 million (US$12,079 and US$120,788).

If the case is serious, they will be ordered to shut down their Web sites.

For those that violate the regulations in these measures by failing to report their operations for the record, by engaging in non-commercial IIS, or by providing other services than those prescribed in the filed records, the telecommunications administration of the relevant province, autonomous region, or municipality under the central government's direct jurisdiction will order them to mend their ways within a certain period; and order those who refuse to do so to shut down their Web sites.

Article 20: If the acts of those who produce, reproduce, release, or disseminate information of the types listed in Article 15 constitute a crime, the perpetrators in question will be held accountable for the crime.

If their acts do not constitute a crime, they will be penalized by public security or national security authorities in accordance with relevant laws and administrative regulations, such as the "PRC Regulations for Controlling and Penalizing Public Offences," and the "Measures for Protecting and Managing the Security of Computer Information Networks and the Internet".

For commercial IIS providers, the licensing authorities will order them to suspend their operations pending rectification of the acts, or revoke their operating licenses, and will report them to the authorities that handle business registration. For non-commercial IIS providers, the authorities that keep their records will order them to shut down their Web sites temporarily or permanently.

Article 21: For those who fail to meet the obligations prescribed in Article 14, the telecommunications administration of the relevant province, autonomous region, or municipality under the central government's direct jurisdiction will order them to mend their ways.

If the cases are serious, these administrations will order them to suspend their operations pending rectification of the acts, or shut down their Web sites temporarily.

Article 22: For IIS providers that violate the regulations in these measures by failing to display the number of their operating licenses or their filed records on the home pages of their Web sites, the telecommunications administration of the relevant province, autonomous region, or municipality under the central government's direct jurisdiction will order them to mend their ways and impose on them a fine of between Rmb 5,000 and Rmb 50,000 (US$604 and US$6,040).

Article 23: For those IIS providers that fail to meet the obligations prescribed in Article 16, the telecommunications administration of the relevant province, autonomous region, or municipality under the direct jurisdiction of the central government will order them to mend their ways.

For commercial IIS providers, the licensing authorities will revoke their licenses if their cases are serious; for non-commercial IIS providers, the authorities that keep their records will order them to shut down their Web sites.

Article 24: If IIS providers violate other laws or regulations when providing their services, the relevant supervisory authorities in charge of information, the publishing business, education, public health, pharmaceuticals administration, industry and business administrations or other relevant institutions shall penalize them in accordance with the relevant laws and regulations.

Article 25: When the telecommunications administrations or other relevant supervisory authorities and their personnel neglect their duties, abuse their authority, practice favoritism, commit graft, or ignore their supervision of IIS providers, they will be held accountable if their acts have had grave consequences and constitute a crime.

If their acts do not constitute a crime, the supervisors and other personnel who are directly responsible will be disciplined by demotion, removal, or dismissal.

No specific charges (3, Interesting)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 9 years ago | (#10316874)

You'd figure they could put some specific charges with dates and the precise content that wasn't available. I love the way the Slashdot summary says "read on to make your own decision" but the linked article doesn't actually contain any more detail than the summary.

censorship by obscurity (1)

tovarish (746937) | more than 9 years ago | (#10316886)

It seems that google doesnt even spider more than 10% of the content in the web. My own homepage is not in google's sight. Google is probably not the sum of all human knowledge. Anyways every company has to adhere to the laws of the country they want to do business in. Changing this fact could have an even more disastrous effect. We could try and change chinese laws instead ;) tovarish

Re:censorship by obscurity (2, Interesting)

TheWingThing (686802) | more than 9 years ago | (#10316949)

A sample size of 1 website doesn't mean anything. By the way, is your website popular, and linked from other sites, or did you submit it to Google? In any case, unless you take a random sample of several thousand websites and test if they are listed on Google, you cannot derive a meaningful conclusion. Are there any such studies that were done with published results?

Re:censorship by obscurity (1)

alphakappa (687189) | more than 9 years ago | (#10316963)

It seems that google doesnt even spider more than 10% of the content in the web.

Purely pedantic.. where do you get that 10% figure (even if it is a ballpark)?

Google's Reply (5, Informative)

Andy_R (114137) | more than 9 years ago | (#10316903)

In the tradition of misleading Slashdot summaries, this one contains only the accusation, not the defence. Here's Google's reply from the article:

"In order to create the best possible news search experience for our users, we sometimes decide not to include some sites, for a variety of reasons," says a statement issued by the company. "These sources were not included because their sites are inaccessible."

Re:Google's Reply (4, Insightful)

Enoch Root (57473) | more than 9 years ago | (#10316962)

Given the sheer amount of blocked websites that still show up in a standard Google search in China, I find this claim dubious. Why do they weed out the news for blocked sites but don't do so for websites such as the BBC, which has been blocked forever and STILL shows up in a Google search?

Re:Google's Reply (2, Insightful)

JimDabell (42870) | more than 9 years ago | (#10317034)

Because their news and search offerings are very different. Their search results comes from a vast database of every document indexed, weighted by keywords and other factors. Their news results come from a small list of pre-approved news sources. Having to determine which documents are available to the Chinese out of the billions they index on an ongoing basis is a completely different matter to determining which of their hundreds of relatively static news sources are unavailable to the Chinese. Filtering their news based on location blocking is feasible, filtering their search results based on location blocking is not feasible.

No surprise - I agree (4, Insightful)

djupedal (584558) | more than 9 years ago | (#10316908)

...and confirm what the top post pointed out - I'd like to add that Google, as an aggregator, isn't a news service. Google trawls and clips...that's all.

Anyone not aware enough to find other sources from time to time, deserves the narrowness they assume, whether it concerns Asia or Europe or NA.

Take responsibility for your own interpretation...after all, we were taught in school how American newspapers bury or bias 'news' by placing some on the front or back pages, while other stories get jammed against an inside margin. To repeat...don't be surprised when your 'news' is crafted by the source(s) you use.

I don't care about China (0, Flamebait)

corsair2112 (813278) | more than 9 years ago | (#10316917)

This may come as a [sarcasm]surprise[/sarcasm], but I don't care about China. I don't care what google does regarding China. I don't live in China, I don't want to go to China.

Why is this a story? Does the author believe that people will stop using google because they adhere to China's policies regarding censorship and the US looks down on China's actions. Google's one of the best research tools available and I'm not going to stop using it because someone tells me that China's bad, therefore Google's involvement with them makes google bad.

I'd be surprised if they didn't (5, Interesting)

r6144 (544027) | more than 9 years ago | (#10316923)

As a Chinese in China, this is hardly a surprise. Considering that Google news is accessible in China, while most foreign news sites such as CNN and BBC are blocked, I'd be very surprised if Google news are allowed to serve anything censored by the authority to those in China.

Note that I don't think this is right, and the current internet censorship really sucks, neither does it work --- new sites containing western political views spring up every day and they can't censor them one by one. The recent efforts against porn sites are even more laughable, considering that it is still hard to find a news site in China that does not contain sexual content deemed inappropriate for children by most parents. Hopefully some time in the future they will admit that such efforts are useless and use the money on places that really need them (such as some poor rural areas).

Re:I'd be surprised if they didn't (2, Informative)

Enoch Root (57473) | more than 9 years ago | (#10316956)

CNN isn't blocked... What are you talking about?

Re:I'd be surprised if they didn't (1)

djupedal (584558) | more than 9 years ago | (#10317048)

CNN is selectively blocked, depending on the city/region/province.

Just because you & I can reach it (I'm in Guangdong province/Shenzhen), doesn't mean everyone in China has similar access 24/7. Drop into a state controlled Beijing internet cafe and see if it comes up...

If you're clear, be happy and don't make it an issue that gains attention :)

Some google is better than no google (4, Insightful)

Heartz (562803) | more than 9 years ago | (#10316930)

It's easy to sit on your moral high horses and say that Google shouldn't censor news.

However, I feel that it's better for the chinese people to get some access to google, rather than none at all. The Chinese government would not hesitate to completely remove access to google.com. This would greatly trouble a great many number of chinese people.

Some (censored) google is better than no google.

Not a Surprise (2, Insightful)

ShadowFlair (690961) | more than 9 years ago | (#10316951)

I agree with the first poster that it is not a surprise that they adhere to Chinese laws when feeding content to a Chinese audience.

In fact, I think it would be odd if they don't. There is simply no point in jeopardizing their business this way.

This reminds me of the whole Kazaa Lite censorship stuff, where they took a rather conservative route in obeying the law. But I think their stance in the legal area should save them lots of trouble dealing with the implications.

snip snip (-1, Offtopic)

tovarish (746937) | more than 9 years ago | (#10316965)

this post has been censored by a slashdot chinese government moderator

Remember the Yahoo Auctions affair? (4, Insightful)

CdBee (742846) | more than 9 years ago | (#10316977)

Yahoo got in trouble as an auction site they run had items on it which are illegal in France. Maybe Google are just trying to comply with local laws rather than be censored completely...

Who Cares??? (-1, Troll)

smoothwallsamuel (753105) | more than 9 years ago | (#10317004)

Seriously, what does it matter, unless you can speak chinese, most chinese news will be impossible to read anyway.
If you can speak chinese, visit a chinese news site, how hard can it be???

samuel

The issue is broader here.... (4, Interesting)

syrinje (781614) | more than 9 years ago | (#10317014)

Listen up, because I gave up moderation rights on this thread to say this.

Many of us on Slashdot use Google very frequently (almighty god, give us this day our daily byte...) to find all kinds of information including stuff that we need and use to make our livelihood. We also use google to keep up with the news. Mostly, we find what we need if it is out there on the net.

This easy access to information on the net seems to have distorted our expectations somewhat. We expect, nay demand, that Google find everything there is to find, always, correctly, without fear or favour, without regard to consequences that might affect Google itself, without consideration for the laws of the many lands that Google serves - in short we want Google to be a completely good and benevolevent omniscient oracle. Googles 'do ot be evil" motto is partly to blame for this - especially to people unfamiliar with the context of the phrase. I don't think the motto calls on Google to commit hara-kiri to assert its fealty to freedom and the protection of all good in the universe. I do not expect Google to take on the Death Star in a battered Millenium Falcon. I do expect, and rightfully, that google will not screw me over by selling my personal information, by setting terms and conditions that take away my ability to use it in conjunction with any other service or sofware I want, by taking away my right to choose, by deliberately and maliciously determining what I see in order to increase their profit.

Unfortunately, the same omniscient hold that Google has on the information on the net makes it easier for oppressive governments to control information. Previously, where such regimes had to track and control a million individual sources of information, they can now achieve that control by influencing Google. Since Google is subject to the laws of the countries where it operates (GASP!), it has no choice but to comply when threatened with complete blocking of its services in e.g. China or France. Remember the case of Yahoo! and neo-Nazi material? You can bet that Yahoo! will pull that information now that it is clear the first amendment will not protect them from legal process in France or Germany in respect of that material.

So, the question is, do we give up on google altogether? Of course not - it has for better or worse, grown into an extension of our memory, we google as easily as we breathe - my three year old daughter knows that google will help her find her favorite cartoon sites! What we need is a tempering of the expectation that we have of Google. Get used to the idea - you will need it more in the days to come, Google is merely another tool you have at your disposal. It is NOT the be all and end all of all known human wisdom.

Umm... regional Google? (3, Insightful)

Anubis333 (103791) | more than 9 years ago | (#10317046)

One of the pillars of Google's trusty algorithms is finding what sites link to URLs, that's how it ranks (nay?). If it is illegal for ISPs to provide links to said URLs, wouldn't they not be in the China link database anyhow? And if China linked to them because it compared databases with those of other countries, wouldn't it be getting normal people into trouble by serving them links to illegal material, whether or not they knew it to be such?

It just seems like a touchy subject, and I think a lot of people like to jump up and down assuming other places/countries are peopled by others like ourselves.

this story sounds familiar... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10317050)

Uh, what about this?

Yahoo, Google 'Irresponsible' In China [slashdot.org]
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