Google To Stop Censoring Search Results In China

In a tense post over at the Official Google blog, Google’s Chief Legal Officer David Drummond discusses recent cyber attacks made against Google in attempts to retrieve information about Chinese human rights activists. While Drummond says the attack was unlikely successful, it’s changed Google’s approach to China going forward:

These attacks and the surveillance they have uncovered—combined with the attempts over the past year to further limit free speech on the web—have led us to conclude that we should review the feasibility of our business operations in China. We have decided we are no longer willing to continue censoring our results on, and so over the next few weeks we will be discussing with the Chinese government the basis on which we could operate an unfiltered search engine within the law, if at all. We recognise that this may well mean having to shut down, and potentially our offices in China.

A new approach to China [Official Google Blog]


  • This is still fresh but Robert Scoble (and people who’ve commented on his blog) have some really interesting points to think about.

    First, that Google did this when its rights were potentially being violated – not those of its users.

    Secondly, lots of companies are quite happy to sit inside the walled garden of what the Chinese government is happy with. One of these is HTC and some people have wondered how this might bode for Android.

    But all in all, a good thing I think. Sooner would have been nicer but better late than never.

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