Clap. Clap. Clap clap clap clap… roaring applause… crazy guy hanging from the rafters screaming “YOU DA MAN, GOOGLE!”
In case you haven’t heard, Google has announced to China that they will stop censoring google.cn. This comes as a result of a series of targeted attacks on Google by China’s infrastructure – attacks that have not only resulted in theft of Google’s intellectual property, but caused dozens of Gmail users’ accounts to be accessed by third parties.
It’s no surprise that China has cyberattacked Google, let alone any company. The country has constantly implemented ways of restricting free speech on its citizens. Chinese officials have found ways, either cooperatively or not, to retrieve personal e-mails from their citizens that mention political content. This is no secret.
Now, Google is saying, “Enough is enough.”
Even though it attracts tens of millions of Chinese users, Google.cn could potentially be pulled from China if the country fails to comply with Google’s requests. Google is now telling China it will no longer censor search rankings, and if that’s not OK with them, they will shut down their offices in China.
Our take: Good for Google. This could have long-term repercussions not only for Google, but for how Internet censorship is handled from this point forward. Even still, this is a step in the right direction. We are so fortunate to have our freedoms here in America, and free speech and free press are tenets we think all people should live under.
It will be interesting to see how this shakes down for other companies like Microsoft and Yahoo. Will they follow suit? Probably wouldn’t hurt for Yahoo, who has already gotten bad press by playing along with China’s rules.
We encourage you all to read Google’s blog and stay updated on the issue at hand.
A great takeaway from this to not take for granted how easy it is to retrieve information in America. Google has come a long way and made life very easy for all of us here. Just when we thought it couldn’t get any better, now they are going the extra mile and trying to protect human rights.
Kudos, Google. Job well done.