Google is threatening that it will stop censoring search results in China, even if means that it may have to cease operations in that country following what they call a very serious cyber attack from China, obviously trying to ferret out info on Chinese dissidents.
Here’s a quote from David Drummond, SVP, Corporate Development and Chief Legal Officer:
These attacks and the surveillance they have uncovered–combined with the attempts over the past year to further limit free speech on the web–have led us to conclude that we should review the feasibility of our business operations in China. We have decided we are no longer willing to continue censoring our results on Google.cn, and so over the next few weeks we will be discussing with the Chinese government the basis on which we could operate an unfiltered search engine within the law, if at all. We recognize that this may well mean having to shut down Google.cn, and potentially our offices in China.
You can read the entire post here. Google, and other companies, have been roundly criticized for bowing to the Chinese government’s restrictions that force censorship and impinge on human rights, in order to do business there. Personally, I have always found a lot of that criticism misguided seeing that most of it was typed on keyboards that send text flickering across screens, all made in China. But, that’s me.
Google’s posture will have ramifications, but we will have to wait and see how this plays out.