Jan 25, 2006

Google: US government requests? No way! China's? OK!

Whatever you think about Google's stance on the government's request for search information related to pornography, wouldn't it be nice if Google took a similar stand against China's call for censorship?

Not gonna happen.
The new Chinese service at http://www.google.cn will offer a self-censored version of Google's popular search system that restricts access to thousands of terms and Web sites.

Hot topics might include issues like independence for Taiwan or Tibet or outlawed spiritual group Falun Gong.

In seeking to compete more aggressively in the world's second biggest Internet market -- where Google has lost ground to a more popular home-grown search company Baidu Inc. -- the company is facing the toughest challenge yet to its corporate mantra of "don't do evil."

In a compromise that trades off Google's desire to provide universal access to information in order to exist within local laws, Google will not offer its Gmail e-mail service, Web log publishing services or chat rooms -- tools of self-expression that could be used for political or social protest.

Instead, it said it would initially offer four of its core services -- Web site and image search, Google News and local search -- while working toward introducing additional services over time.

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