After a bizarre hacking/spying incident, Google announced yesterday that it was “no longer willing to continue censoring our results on Google.cn,” their Chinese outlet.
Google said they’d start implementing this over the coming weeks, but the blog On Point claims to be getting “heaps of reports of uncensored stuff” already from Chinese users.
The web giant said they had evidence of a “highly sophisticated and targeted attack on our corporate infrastructure originating from China,” and that ” a primary goal of the attackers was accessing the Gmail accounts of Chinese human rights activists.”
It is unclear that the human rights angle was a deciding factor, as Google claims the attacks also came against “at least twenty other large companies,” and that Google was working with them and “relevant U.S. authorities” in their defense.
“We recognize that this may well mean having to shut down Google.cn, and potentially our offices in China,” Google added.
At this writing Google.cn is still up. At ZDNet Larry Dignan says their move makes sense, as the attacks compromise other Google business partners, on whose trust the company relies, and that “Google doesn’t have as much to lose in China-at least today.” The stock market disagrees and Google is losing there.
Meanwhile China’s top search engine, Baidu.com, has been shut down temporarily “due to external manipulation of its DNS in the U.S.,” says its spokesman. A group called the Iranian Internet Army is taking responsibility.