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Google Censorship The Internet Technology

Google To End Google.cn Redirect 183

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the good-luck-with-that dept.
shmG writes "Google Inc. has announced a 'new approach' in China after the government said the company could no longer automatically redirect users to the unfiltered Hong Kong site. This gives Baidu Inc., which already has a greater than 60% share in Internet search in China, a chance to expand. It has announced new plans to hire US engineers to enhance its technical skills and propel its growth globally." Update: 06/29 18:27 GMT by S : Changed the headline to more accurately reflect what Google is doing. They're ending the redirect and applying for a license renewal, so it's still in question whether they'll actually go dark in China. However, they say they're also looking for ways to continue allowing uncensored search, such as putting a high-profile link to their Hong Kong site on the google.cn landing page.
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Google To End Google.cn Redirect

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  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday June 29, 2010 @09:11AM (#32730434) Journal
    The article is a little confusing on how they're going to change their strategy. The Official Blog [blogspot.com] has that info:

    We have therefore been looking at possible alternatives, and instead of automatically redirecting all our users, we have started taking a small percentage of them to a landing page on Google.cn [google.cn] that links to Google.com.hk [google.com.hk]—where users can conduct web search or continue to use Google.cn services like music and text translate, which we can provide locally without filtering. This approach ensures we stay true to our commitment not to censor our results on Google.cn and gives users access to all of our services from one page.

    Over the next few days we’ll end the redirect entirely, taking all our Chinese users to our new landing page—and today we re-submitted our ICP license renewal application based on this approach.

    It's kind of funny, the "landing page" is a false image of a search box [google.cn] and when you click anywhere on the page, you go to Google Hong Kong [google.com.hk]. How this is okay as opposed to a redirect, I'll never know ... and once that page starts eventually taking users to unfiltered results of Tiananmen Square, I think the Chinese Government will take a few more steps to stop it.

    Of course it looks like ibtimes has a policy that only allows them to link to more ibtimes sites instead of -- you know -- the original source of all their quotes.

    • It's kind of funny, the "landing page" is a false image of a search box

      Ah, the "our enemies are morons" strategy. I wouldn't bet on its success.

  • by TheKidWho (705796) on Tuesday June 29, 2010 @09:12AM (#32730452)

    I can't wait!

    Baidu, bringing Chinese internet censorship to you! Today!

    • No need to wait!

      Baidu, bringing Chinese internet censorship to you since 2000

    • Oh boy! Another crappy search engine, this time with incomplete results on purpose! Whoopee!!

      • by xaxa (988988)

        Oh boy! Another crappy search engine, this time with incomplete results on purpose! Whoopee!!

        I hope you're aware that Google filters search results.

        Last week on google.co.uk I got the message saying a result had been removed from view, with a link to Chilling Effects. It was also missing on the .de site, with a similar message. It was missing on the .com site, but there was no message (exactly the same results as the .co.uk site), which surprised me. It was visible on the .se site (one extra result compared to the other sites), although it was a link to a forum which wasn't working.

    • by blair1q (305137)

      I for one welcome our new Chinese overl...

      ...hey, wait just one second there!

    • Yawn...Fox News has been doing it for years for the good ol' USofA...

      Baidu, bringing Chinese internet censorship to you! Today!

  • Fuckface Leiberman and his internet kill switch. Government control of citizen access to information. You can bet your bottom yuan that when China starts producing serious IP they'll crack down on p2p. Their weak enforcement of copyright is simply Chinese mercantilism. Why send money overseas to pay for stuff that can be copied for free? Preserve capital at home. Joe Biden would love to have a Great Firewall of America.

    Very disgusted with both sides of the issue. If we're not getting screwed by military-ind

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      - You could vote for Libertarian-republicans (like Ron Paul) who would end all wars, bring all soldiers home, and end the military-government hegemony.

      - You could also join the "Free State" project to take-over New Hampshire, kickout the R's and D's, and turn into a Libertarian stronghold.

      - Or you could just keep doing nothing.

      Your choice. :-)

      • by Chrisq (894406)

        - You could vote for Libertarian-republicans (like Ron Paul) who would end all wars, bring all soldiers home, and end the military-government hegemony.

        - You could also join the "Free State" project to take-over New Hampshire, kickout the R's and D's, and turn into a Libertarian stronghold.

        - Or you could just keep doing nothing.

        Your choice. :-)

        Change the last one to "just keep doing nothing.except bitch about it" and you will have 99% of the population happy.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Pojut (1027544)

        Sorry dude...I agree with many of Ron Paul's ideas, but just like any other politician, he promotes and cares only about his own agenda, other people's opinions be damned.

        He listens to other people, he respectfully responds, I'm not denying that...but in the end, if you don't agree with him, there is absolutely no way he would ever change his way. Someone that rigid shouldn't be in charge.

        • Right, because we all know that the people who are in charge listen to what the people want... Look at Obama, he basically shoved bills down people's throats because he could, I don't consider Obama, Bush, Clinton, etc. to have been all that listening to what people wants. I'm not saying that Ron Paul would be a perfect candidate, but it certainly would be a step in the right direction. People -don't- want costly wars to continue, people -don't- want hyperinflation caused by our country's spending addiction
        • >>>Ron Paul promotes and cares only about his own agenda, other people's opinions be damned.

          And that makes him different from the rest of us, in what way? We ALL do that - following our own agenda/beliefs. Besides I happen to agree with his agenda (downsize government, pay off the debt, restore freedom in a Pro-Choice fashion, end all wars), so I'm just fine to continue supporting him and others like him. PLUS he keeps getting reelected so apparently his home town likes him too. They are satis

          • by Pojut (1027544)

            All I'm saying is that someone who's views are so set that he would never possibly change them shouldn't be in charge.

            Yes, I'm aware that this is what most politicians do...which is why I rarely vote:-)

        • >>>He listens to other people, he respectfully responds, I'm not denying that...but in the end, if you don't agree with him, there is absolutely no way he would ever change his way. Someone that rigid... Oh wait. I thought we were discussing Congressman Paul, not President Obama. Sorry about that.

          ;-)
        • by Myopic (18616)

          So true. He is a perfect embodiment of an ideologue.

      • by eln (21727) on Tuesday June 29, 2010 @10:08AM (#32731356) Homepage
        Sorry, but as much as I disagree with much of what the current power base does, I'm not quite ready to join a bunch of raving nutters who think the solution is to abolish government entirely or return us to some imagined utopia that never existed where the economy was always stable and everyone was always prosperous (seriously, look up some of the many financial collapses that occurred while we were on the gold standard). Ron Paul has some good ideas but he also has some that range from the wildly impractical to the borderline insane.

        The Free State Project is basically an example of a few hardcore extremists being cheered on by a bunch of the same people you decry: they sit around and complain but when push comes to shove, they do nothing. That project has been around for many years, and so far the vast majority of people who claim to support it aren't moving and have no real concrete plans to move. Even if they somehow got enough people to move they'd quickly realize what has become apparent in some of the tea party organizations: beyond a general anger at the government, the people in the movement agree on very little. They have no unified plan as to how to fix any of our problems other than "kick everyone out and stop taxing me", which is not really a useful plan.

        The people on the extreme right today have the same problem as the extreme left of the 1960s: they're great at protesting and getting attention, but they have no real practical solutions to any of the problems we face. They're heavy on idealism and ideology but very light on pragmatism and reason. They don't represent a feasible alternative to what we have now, which is why they have so much trouble gaining traction beyond their far-right base, and why we're still stuck with the same old government we've always had.
        • Right on, the creed of the modern politician seems to be, "If reality contradicts our ideology, reality obviously must be wrong". This is why I miss Clinton, he was without a doubt the most pragmatic president in my lifetime*(technically I was alive when Carter was president, but only for a few months).
      • by Myopic (18616)

        Goodness, it would be awesome if all the Libertarians would move to New Hampshire and squawk to themselves so the rest of us don't have to hear about it anymore. Don't get me wrong, I love New Hampshire, I went to college there and it's a beautiful place. But if we can find a corner of the country to keep all the kooks, that would be swell. Even better, it would be a wonderful teachable example of how that kind of immoderate ideology leads to ruin, but it would be sad to watch a great state go on for probab

      • by ultranova (717540)

        - You could vote for Libertarian-republicans (like Ron Paul) who would end all wars, bring all soldiers home, and end the military-government hegemony.

        "Rather than lose China, I'd comply with the government's wishes and obey the law (i.e. filter). Nice guys who "do no evil" ultimately finish last. [slashdot.org]"

        Sorry, but I don't trust your advice, and don't think that anyone should.

        - You could also join the "Free State" project to take-over New Hampshire, kickout the R's and D's, and turn into a Libertarian stronghold.

    • by FriendlyLurker (50431) on Tuesday June 29, 2010 @09:36AM (#32730800)
      "far-left progressives" do not exist in America [politicalcompass.org], at least not by any definition of "left" that the rest of the world is used to. The Overton Window [wikipedia.org] has shifted Americans so far to the right they no longer know what is left unless it is so extreme as to have a Hammer and Sickle stamped on it.
      • I'm left. I'm from the US. I know exactly what I am.

      • by phantomfive (622387) on Tuesday June 29, 2010 @11:33AM (#32732544) Journal
        No, they are here, too [cpusa.org], they just don't get taken as seriously in the US because Americans tend to put priorities on different things, and don't trust government (this goes for people on the left and the right. No one wants the government to know your search results, for example). Really, look at this quote from that group I linked to:

        Socialism will meet the needs of the great majority of our people and lay the basis for solving our social, economic and environmental problems.

        Now tell me, do you personally as an American trust government to meet the great majority of your needs? I could be wrong, but I don't think many people would say yes.

        The whole dichotomy between left and right is so flawed that it is more a tool used to divide us than anything meaningful. For example, I favor government that works: I don't care if healthcare becomes state-run or remains independent as long as the more serious problems are fixed. I don't care if gays get married or do anything else they want, as long as it's not hurting other people. I do favor freedom to use guns, and all other basic freedoms. I do think we should help people who need help, whether with a welfare program or some weird faith-based initiative like Bush was pushing, I don't care, as long as it works.

        A lot of people don't fit into the left-right mold, and breaking into teams only serves to help those who want us to be fighting (ie. politicians who are always looking for a reason why you should vote against the other guy). Don't give in to their manipulation, instead favor government that works.

        • Socialism will meet the needs of the great majority of our people and lay the basis for solving our social, economic and environmental problems.

          Now tell me, do you personally as an American trust government to meet the great majority of your needs? I could be wrong, but I don't think many people would say yes.

          Well, first of all, there is a distinction to be made between wants and needs. Beyond that, though, those that deny that government can meet the great majority of the needs of its citizens apparently are blind to the myriad ways in which government already meets those needs, most of which are taken for granted. I'm referring to national defense, clean air/water/food, a functioning economic system (including currency, trade, insurance, banking, enforcement of private contracts, etc.), a functioning transport

          • the myriad ways in which government already meets those needs, most of which are taken for granted

            These aren't taken for granted by most people. That's a strawman that is typically set up by people who are trying to make the exact point you are trying to make.

            I don't think we have a consensus that using guns, in particular, is a "basic" freedom.

            Of course not, my statement was a partisan view. Republicans tend to want to keep guns as a basic freedom, Democrats want to relegate it to a second class freedom. Fortunately for the Republicans (and in this case, also for me), the constitution takes the view that it is a basic freedom which makes it difficult to limit them.

    • Preaching to the choir, friend.

      Cut out the swearing, put it on headed paper, and send it to your elected representative. Otherwise, you're just another armchair revolutionary.
      • by Myopic (18616)

        Is it better to complain to your fellow man, who might listen, or to complain to your representative, who certainly will not?

        I can see it both ways.

  • by swb (14022) on Tuesday June 29, 2010 @09:30AM (#32730726)

    That's what this reads like, pro-China PR. Bad round-eye company kicked out, good Chinese company on to world domination!

    The only thing missing is the agitprop poster of the worker leading the masses to victory.

  • Uh, going dark? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by roothog (635998)

    How on earth is this considered "going dark"? Google will no longer automatically redirect to .hk, but they're doing that specifically so they stay up in China. What's happening is the opposite of going dark.

  • Honest question:

    Does it really make sense to try and hire US software folks? Is local talent that bad that Baidu looks for US folks or folks outside the US?

    The US has good software folks, but is it really that much better than places like Brazil, etc., where Baidu could probably get a bigger bang for their buck if global growth is a priority?

    • Imagine Baidu building a search engine for various regions where censorship is desired. They'd certainly corner the market on oppressing information (if that's profitable I don't know).

      • > They'd certainly corner the market on oppressing information (if that's
        > profitable I don't know).

        Profitable for the Chinese government? Of course. They'd gain influence over governments that made Baidu the sole permitted search engine in their territories while flooding such nations with pro-Chinese propaganda.

  • I wonder if Baidu will have search results for Tienanmen Square or any other bullshit China is up to? If not, they will lose. :-) sri
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      The reason I was reading comments was so I could find an appropriate one to reply to. As soon as I read this story, I pulled up both Google and Baidu, and translated Baidu. Searching for Tiananmen Square yields nothing about a massacre, and searching Tiananmen Square Massacre only yields FOUR results. FOUR. A couple of them are regarding civilians volunteering to patrol Tiananmen Square for a holiday or something. I am absolutely blown away and until today had no idea just how bad the censorship is. Inc
  • by Tisha_AH (600987) <Tisha.Hayes@gmail.com> on Tuesday June 29, 2010 @10:30AM (#32731690) Journal

    To really rub China the wrong way Google should move all "Chinese" operations to Taiwan with a statement that google.cn will still be available in the one bastion of free Chinese, Taiwan.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by phantomfive (622387)
      That would annoy the Chinese people, too. Most of them don't have too high an opinion of Taiwan, being fed a daily stream of anti-Taiwan propaganda (and it probably didn't help that at one time Taiwan wanted to 'borrow' nuclear weapons from the US, in order to invade China).
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by readin (838620)
      Calling Taiwan a bastion of free "Chinese" would make the government of China very happy. They want the world to believe that their plans to annext Taiwan are an attempto "reunify" rather than naked aggression. Oddly their strongest ally is the authoritarian ruling party of Taiwan that migrated from China. They are also helped my too many media sources that give a false impression when they say things like "Taiwan separated from China after the communists' victory in the Chinese civil war in 1949".

      Tha
  • Fine. Everyone go to http://www.baidu.com [baidu.com] and search things like:

    tiananmen square massacre pictures

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