Google & China — the last draw

Google recently disclosed a sophisticated hack was attempted on their Gmail servers specifically targeting Chinese human rights activists. This, in combination with Google restricted operations curtails the importance of freedom — specifically freedom of information.

One might wonder, China already restricts Google’s operations in China by purging banned topics from the search results. China recently banned YouTube as well. Are Chinese citizens behind this hack or is it the government trying to apply questionable strong arm tactics without suffering blame?

One of Google’s mantras is “do no evil”. This mantra surely was put into question when Google agreed to these restrictions back in 2006. Every year, around the anniversary date, Google must also block search requests regarding Tiananmen Square for week or so. Clearly, the world, Google’s customer base, sees this as somewhat contradictory. As with any business however, the lure of new markets — particularly the Chinese market which is destined to be the next world power within the next few decades, money and profit talks and BS walks.

All this however came to a shocking standstill yesterday when Google decided to officially stop filtering for the Chinese government. This about face stands in dark contrast with traditional trends because Google fully accepts the possibility of having to fully exit the Chinese market. The statement makes a more compounding effect with Google’s 30% market share in search or potentially discarding a billion dollars in ad revenue in the coming years with their current growth rate.

Personally, I feel this move does more harm and penetrates the great firewall of china much more effectively. Effectively, on a grand scale, explicitly depriving Chinese citizens from accessing and being part of the Google move. Certainly this will cause revolt and change. The scale of this change many never be publicized, however freedom does indeed ring and only a minority few are deaf.

ref:
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/13/world/asia/13beijing.html?pagewanted=1

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