3/22/2010 12:03:00 PM
On January 12, we announced on this blog that Google and more than twenty other U.S. companies had been the victims of a sophisticated cyber attack originating from China, and that during our investigation into these attacks we had uncovered evidence to suggest that the Gmail accounts of dozens of human rights activists connected with China were being routinely accessed by third parties, most likely via phishing scams or malware placed on their computers. We also made clear that these attacks and the surveillance they uncovered—combined with attempts over the last year to further limit free speech on the web in China including the persistent blocking of websites such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google Docs and Blogger—had led us to conclude that we could no longer continue censoring our results on Google.cn.
So earlier today we stopped censoring our search services—Google Search, Google News, and Google Images—on Google.cn. Users visiting Google.cn are now being redirected to Google.com.hk, where we are offering uncensored search in simplified Chinese, specifically designed for users in mainland China and delivered via our servers in Hong Kong. Users in Hong Kong will continue to receive their existing uncensored, traditional Chinese service, also from Google.com.hk. Due to the increased load on our Hong Kong servers and the complicated nature of these changes, users may see some slowdown in service or find some products temporarily inaccessible as we switch everything over.
Figuring out how to make good on our promise to stop censoring search on Google.cn has been hard. We want as many people in the world as possible to have access to our services, including users in mainland China, yet the Chinese government has been crystal clear throughout our discussions that self-censorship is a non-negotiable legal requirement. We believe this new approach of providing uncensored search in simplified Chinese from Google.com.hk is a sensible solution to the challenges we’ve faced—it’s entirely legal and will meaningfully increase access to information for people in China. We very much hope that the Chinese government respects our decision, though we are well aware that it could at any time block access to our services. We will therefore be carefully monitoring access issues, and have created this new web page, which we will update regularly each day, so that everyone can see which Google services are available in China.
In terms of Google’s wider business operations, we intend to continue R&D work in China and also to maintain a sales presence there, though the size of the sales team will obviously be partially dependent on the ability of mainland Chinese users to access Google.com.hk. Finally, we would like to make clear that all these decisions have been driven and implemented by our executives in the United States, and that none of our employees in China can, or should, be held responsible for them. Despite all the uncertainty and difficulties they have faced since we made our announcement in January, they have continued to focus on serving our Chinese users and customers. We are immensely proud of them.
Posted by David Drummond, SVP, Corporate Development and Chief Legal Officer
Google Will Redirect China Users to Uncensored Site – NYTimes.com: “Google Shuts China Site in Dispute Over Censorship
By MIGUEL HELFT and DAVID BARBOZA
Published: March 22, 2010
SAN FRANCISCO — Just over two months after threatening to leave China because of censorship and intrusions by Chinese hackers, Google said Monday that it was closing its China-based Internet search service and instead directing Chinese users to a Hong Kong-based uncensored version of its search engine, which may get blocked in mainland China.
In a blog post, Google also said that it would retain much of its existing China operations, including its research and development team and its local sales force. The stunning move represents a powerful slap at Beijing regulators but also a risky ploy in which Google — one of the world’s technology powerhouses — will essentially turn its back on the world’s largest Internet market, with nearly 400 million Web users and growing quickly.
by INN Staff – 21.03.2010
(IsraelNN.com) Hungarian lawmakers have passed legislation to punish those who deny the history of the Holocaust. Along with the Hungarian Social Party, which sponsored the bill, a wide Christian-Jewish coalition helped push the law through.
The bill passed by a vote of 197-1; however, there were 142 abstentions, signaling the lingering ambivalence of many Hungarian lawmakers over the issue.
%u201CThose who publicly hurt the dignity of a victim of the Holocaust by denying or questioning the Holocaust itself, or claim it insignificant, infringe the law and can be punished by a prison sentence of up to three years,%u201D according to the new legislation.
The main opposition party, Fidesz-Hungarian Civic Union, was among those who abstained. A party spokesman, MP Robert Repassy, said the party %u201Cintended to draw up legislation after the general election which penalizes sympathy expressed for the Nazi- and Communist-era crimes on equal terms.%u201D Elections are set for April 11.
The law, which takes effect in early April, brings Hungary into line with numerous other European nations who have enacted similar measures, Germany among them.
March 15, 2010
Communications Minister Stephen Conroy has hit back at a new report listing Australia as a potential internet enemy.
Press freedom advocacy group Reporters without Borders released their Enemies of the Internet report last Friday, to coincide with World Day Against Cyber Censorship.
It found Australia should be kept ‘under surveillance’ for signs that internet freedom may soon be curbed.
The federal government wants all internet service providers to ban refused classification material hosted on overseas servers.
Senator Conroy said listing Australia as a country that may be an ‘enemy of the internet’ – alongside South Korea, Turkey and Russia – showed Reporters without Borders were seriously mislead about what Labor wanted to do.
‘What we have indicated we will block is refused classification content,’ he told parliament on Monday.
‘Material that is not currently available in a newsagent, in a bookstore, on a DVD, at the movies or on television.
‘Material like child pornography, pro-rape websites, pro-bestiality websites and material of that nature.’
Senator Conroy disputed that he ever dismissed critics of his plan as advocates of child pornography.
He said the material cited by Reporters Without Borders had been supplied by the group Electronic Frontiers Australia who had been challenged publicly to produce a quote where that was said.
‘I challenge each and every one of you to come up with such a quote, because it does not exist,’ he said.
‘Electronic Frontiers Australia have one of the most disgraceful misinformation campaigns and have misled Australians.’
© 2010 AAP