Who’d a thunk I’d be doing two posts on Google and China today? First Google apologizes for a copyright breach issue in China (?!), and now the Mountain View company is threatening to pull out of China because of claims the Asian behemoth breached Google email accounts of human rights activists. Whatever else is going on here, I don’t see any changes to China’s overarching attitudes toward individual privacy or intellectual property — well, at least the intellectual property of non-Chinese citizens.
I understand Google wanting to do business with such a massive market, but it made serious concessions regarding censorship when it went into China so it can’t be all that shocked when China decides to just go out and do whatever it wants.
(Quick joke for Robot Chicken fans — Darth Vader: I’ve changed the terms of our deal. Pray I don’t change it further. Lando: Man, this deal keeps getting worse all the time.)
From the second link:
The company disclosed in a blog post that it had detected a “highly sophisticated and targeted attack on our corporate infrastructure originating from China.” Further investigation revealed that “a primary goal of the attackers was accessing the Gmail accounts of Chinese human rights activists,” Google’s post said.
Google did not specifically accuse the Chinese government. But the company added that it is “no longer willing to continue censoring our results” on its Chinese search engine, as the government requires. Google says the decision could force it to shut down its Chinese site and its offices in the country.