Google censors the Internet

The New York Times published an article yesterday (and I think I heard a reference this morning on Morning Ireland) about Google’s new Google.cn site.

According to the article, the new Chinese version of the Google search engine:

will not allow users to create personal links with Google e-mail or blog sites, will comply with Chinese law and censor information deemed inappropriate or illegal by the Chinese authorities

One of the reasons Google is hobbling its own technology in China is that Google.com is losing ground in the search market in China to Baidu.com – a Chinese search engine due to government censorship on some of Google.com’s content. A pre-censored Google.cn should have no such issues.

Google will argue that it is not putting profit before human rights – it is merely complying with the law of the land it wants to make profits in (they might not use that terminology exactly!) – the same as all the other major tech suppliers working in China (Cisco, Yahoo!, MSN, etc.). However, if these companies worked together, they could flout the repressive laws in China and theree would be little the Chinese Government could do against such a united front from their most important IT suppliers.

The price of doing business in China? You have to be prepared to sell your soul.

UPDATE:
I see John Battelle and Danny Sullivan of SearchEngineWatch have pieces on this as well.

Google’s motto of “Do no Evil” should now be changed to “Do no Evil (unless it interferes with the bottom line)”, I guess!

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11 thoughts on “Google censors the Internet

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  2. Tom Raftery

    You would imagine that the US market is rather large too – however that didn’t stop Google refusing to hand over files to the US Department of Justice when subpoenaed to do so – despite suffering a fall on Wall Street for so doing.

  3. Tom Raftery

    That was a PR ploy

    I don’t think so – read the Danny Sullivan article and John Battelle’s articles on this and you’ll see it is more to do with not wanting to lose control of sensitive data and Google will fight tooth and nail not to have to ‘play ball’ on this one.

  4. Michele

    I’ve already read a lot of that. On the one hand I can see how they may wish to argue about the data, but on the other I am all too aware of their love of headlines.

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