Google to China: Drop Dead

Google has taken some flak for collaborating on Chinese censorship when it opened, but apparently their complicity in the Great Firewall of China wasn’t enough: it turns out, “someone” has been actively hacking Google from a Chinese IP, with a healthy interest in Chinese human rights activists. Hmmm, I wonder who that could be?

Google’s response is stellar; read the whole thing, but the punch quote is:

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 recognize that this may well mean having to shut down, and potentially our offices in China.

More at Ars Technica, who point out:

Well, we’ve got to hand it to Google—the company’s “don’t be evil” schtick has long worn thin and governments around the globe are already probing its potential monopoly power, but who else would come out swinging against the entire Chinese government and announce an end to its own collaboration in censorship, all while recognizing that it could lose access to the entire Chinese market? And do it in a blog post?

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