Google to launch censored .cn website in China

Google will launch the new version of its search engine using the China “.cn” suffix. A Chinese-language version of Google’s search engine was available at the .com address but because of the Chinese government’s filtering it was often inaccesible or the reults led nowhere. Google will not offer its Gmail e-mail service, web log publishing services or chat rooms.

“Other products—such as Gmail and Blogger—will be introduced only when we are comfortable that we can do so in a way that strikes a proper balance among our commitments to satisfy users’ interests, expand access to information, and respond to local conditions,” the company said in a statement.

That could save Google some trouble ahead. Yahoo gave Chinese authorities info on a Chinese citizen that sent an email to a human rights group and he received a 10 year sentence. MSN recently removed a blogger at the request of the Chinese government. Here in the US, Google is resisting a government subpeona to provide information about search terms related to Internet pornography. Other major search engines have already complied.

Sources: Forbes, eWeek.com

David Temple

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3 Responses to Google to launch censored .cn website in China

  1. Nick Wilsdon says:

    Very interesting text there Ebina – thanks. Yes I know the name Oxblood/cDc from the Back Orifice software. I have to admit I always had a fascination for that kind of thing – but it usually stretched to reading articles on astalavista rather than *ahem a more practical experimentation.

    Strong words there on his opinion on Western companies coming into China and definitely on-topic for this debate.

  2. Ebina Cho says:

    Talking about peekabooty project.. it was a while ago(5 years or so..). Oxblood Ruffin from CultDeadCow(remember Back Orifice – old school backdoor? It was developed and distributed by them:)organized a group named Hacktivismo, gathered developers and started peekabooty project. Peekabooty was almost done and was scheduled to be released in H2K conference but just before the conference is held, one of developers said that since he played a major part in developing peekabooty, the peekabooty must be release under his name not Hacktivismo. He said that he would leave Hacktivismo, find another sponser and develop peekabooty on his own and that’s how the story goes. I was busy to make my ends meet, haven’t heard from them for a long time.:) We do sometimes forget that China is a Communist country.. Please read http://hacktivismo.com/public/tfiles/wagingpeace.txt for more information if you have the time. Sorry for my late reply. Regards to all!

  3. Nick – I think this is different. It’s one thing removing sites which offend every man in the street – another preventing them from having information about how their state operates. What we’re seeing here is the commercial imperative over-riding Google’s “don’t do evil” mission.

    I think this is an error on Google’s part – I think they would have gained much more in the longer term if they’d stood their ground and accepted less success in China than elsewhere.

    If they can censor in China – people will expect they censor elsewhere and the whole thing introduces doubt.

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