Thursday, January 14, 2010

China Restores Government Censorship of Google

"Censors back on Google as China defends Internet actions"
January 14, 2010
CNN's Jo Kent, Mike Ahlers, Carol Cratty, Jeanne Meserve and Doug Gross contributed to this report.

"The Chinese government was defending its Internet practices Thursday, even as censorship of Google results -- which had briefly been lifted -- appeared to return.

Chinese officials' assertion that China 'works hard to encourage the healthy development and expansion of the Internet' came a day after Google said it may close its China-based site.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu spoke after Google announced that a 'highly sophisticated and targeted attack' from China targeted it and the e-mail accounts of at least 20 others, evidently to gain access to the e-mail accounts of Chinese human rights activists.

The activists were in the United States, Europe and China, a Google spokesman said...

Within hours of Google's announcement that it was no longer willing to self-censor in China, was retrieving results for sensitive topics including the 1989 crackdown at Tiananmen Square, the Dalai Lama and the banned Falun Gong spiritual movement.

Previously, a search for 'Tiananmen' would only return images of the square itself.

Pages appeared to fluctuate between uncensored and somewhat censored throughout Wednesday and, by Thursday, government censorship of Google seemed to have been restored, with terms such as 'Tiananmen Square' returning limited results.

Jiang emphasized that China 'welcomes international Internet enterprises to enter China according to the law.'

In response to repeated questions from journalists about the hacking and cyber attacks, she said Chinese law forbids cyber attacks and hacking.

When asked if this law means that the Chinese government itself is forbidden to conduct cyber attacks, she had no comment.

Chinese newspapers have reacted to the flap on opinion and editorial pages. The state-run Global Times said Google's departure would create a 'setback to China' and 'serious loss to China's Net culture.'"

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