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Interesting development from Google China  (View post)

DPic [PersonRank 10]

Wednesday, January 13, 2010
8 years ago10,446 views

googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/0 ...

<<Like many other well-known organizations, we face cyber attacks of varying degrees on a regular basis. In mid-December, we detected a highly sophisticated and targeted attack on our corporate infrastructure originating from China that resulted in the theft of intellectual property from Google. However, it soon became clear that what at first appeared to be solely a security incident--albeit a significant one--was something quite different.>>

Jérôme Flipo [PersonRank 10]

8 years ago #

Here's the HUGE deal:
<<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.>>

The far most important political move by Google ever IMO, with huge economic consequences.

TOMHTML [PersonRank 10]

8 years ago #

Unbelievable!!!

DPic [PersonRank 10]

8 years ago #

Yep, and they scored MAJOR goodness points with me!

que [PersonRank 10]

8 years ago #

images.google.cn/images?hl=zh- ...

Were these images shown prior to today?

DPic [PersonRank 10]

8 years ago #

Wow, Google has some serious balls!

This is incredible

Jérôme Flipo [PersonRank 10]

8 years ago #

A whole new world.

Luka [PersonRank 10]

8 years ago #

We need Philipp here POV!

James Xuan [PersonRank 10]

8 years ago #

How will Philipp writethis blog if there is no Google where he is! :O

Go Google! I think this is one of those times we can actually be proud of a company!

DPic [PersonRank 10]

8 years ago #

<<Go Google! I think this is one of those times we can actually be proud of a company!>>

You make it sound like they're usually bad! They're angels as far as corporations go. They're at the top of my least-disliked companies list haha

Mysterius [PersonRank 10]

8 years ago #

Count me impressed. I can hardly fathom how much that post alone has already cost them... and gained.

RC [PersonRank 10]

8 years ago #

Wow.. wow.. wow.. I'm not quite sure – confused..

lailai [PersonRank 1]

8 years ago #

Nah, just that google found they aren't getting too much profits because they only own 29% marketshare so they decided to make people think they're good

beussery [PersonRank 10]

8 years ago #

The "theft of intellectual property" is something I think Google takes very seriously. It seems like the "China issue" has been difficult from day one but, I'd hate to see them pull out at this point.... Tough decision for sure!

A S [PersonRank 3]

8 years ago #

[put at-character here] que above: You spelled Tiananmen Square wrong. That is why you see those relatively uncensored results (which is interesting by itself). Spell it right and you continue to get censored results:

images.google.cn/images?hl=zh- ...

I don't think Google has turned off the censor switch in China yet. They will probably do that in the next few days / after their talks with the Chinese government.

Rohit Srivastwa [PersonRank 10]

8 years ago #

<pun>
I have a very serious doubt
Philipp is working as a very senior adviser or policy maker in Google.
He goes to China & Google takes this drastic step for China.

Philipp, Tell us the truth man!
</pun>

Juha-Matti Laurio [PersonRank 10]

8 years ago #

And

googleenterprise.blogspot.com/ ...

NexusAndroid [PersonRank 1]

8 years ago #

Google you are the true man , Kudos for your Guts , Hats off Buddie Hats Off . Best wishes from India :)

TOMHTML [PersonRank 10]

8 years ago #

<<gossip inside google China is gov hackers found infiltrating google source code repository; gmail attacks an old issue.>>
twitter.com/wikileaks/status/7 ...

<<China has been quietly asking for the same access to google logfiles as US intelligence for 2-3 years now.>>
twitter.com/wikileaks/status/7 ...

TOMHTML [PersonRank 10]

8 years ago #


farm5.static.flickr.com/4040/4 ...


> flickr.com/photos/popoever/427 ...

GGreed [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

If Google definitely moves out of China, then it is a positive step towards a freer market; and will hopefully give other companies a chance of competing in the internet revolution of China and the world. If you visit Google Blog you notice straight away that Google is monopolising the market. There is just no need for Google to buy up any more companies. They already own loads of companies and have monopolies on video (You Tube), obviously search, shopping, and Google books is already going to have a very negative impact on book sales.

Juha-Matti Laurio [PersonRank 10]

8 years ago #

wired.com/threatlevel/2010/01/ ...

Juha-Matti Laurio [PersonRank 10]

8 years ago #

From Wired's article:

"Google has decided to stop censoring search results in China, after discovering that someone based in that country had attempted to hack into the e-mail accounts of human rights activists. The company disclosed the move in a startling announcement posted to its blog late Tuesday.

Google said it was prepared to pull its business out of China, if issues around the surveillance and its decision to stop censoring results could not be resolved with the Chinese government.
...."

Above 23 comments were made in the forum before this was blogged,

Motti [PersonRank 10]

8 years ago #

gmailblog.blogspot.com/2010/01 ...

<<< Over the last few months, we've been researching the security/latency tradeoff and decided that turning https on for everyone was the right thing to do. >>>

[moved ~ hebbet]

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

8 years ago #

[Edit: Added the bit with Google's David Drummond's statement made on CNBC. Via mattcutts.com/blog/important-b ...]

[Edit 2: Added the paragraph starting with "Besides the attacks against Gmail users, I wonder how the mentioned IP theft weighs in on these issues."]

[Edit 3: Added a reference to the Reddit commentary in the post.]

JEShack [PersonRank 10]

8 years ago #

To China: Welcome to real world.

T [PersonRank 2]

8 years ago #

[moved from "Google, Citing Cyber Attack, Threatens to Exit China"]

nytimes.com/2010/01/13/world/a ...

Google threatened late Tuesday to pull out of its operations in China after it said it had uncovered a massive cyber attack on its computers that originated there. [snip]

Google Basher [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

Typical bully tactic of a predatory USA based company. Google is the modern day robber baron . Be wary wary of the wolf in sheeps clothing. Take nothing at face value. This sound like a strategy use for global domination based on the book the "Confessions of an econmic hit man".

TheRealist [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

Google is trying to force other countries to rethink how they run their nation.

The fallout of this will be that more countries will be turned off from Google.

Already in Asia Baidu is a bigger search engine in China and is experiencing explosive growth in other regions. It's a matter of years before Baidu is bigger in the most populous continent on the planet.

On the other hand Google will end up reaching a stalemate. Who else are they going to expand to if nobody in Asia is doing business with them?

Google's growth has already slowed down and it can only go backwards from here. To make matters worse most of the nations that are Google dominated as just coming out of a spine crushing recession that means they are purchasing less.

I'm willing to bet by 2020 Baidu will be bigger than Google and eventually Google will become irrelevant and disappear all together.

Fact of the matter is Google is a narrow minded company that has had spats with European nations before as well. One example of this was the Google Earth BS that gave terrorists sensitive information about soldier locartions in Iraq getting British soldiers killed.

Now that France are adopting a strategy to charge Google and then take that money and invest it into smaller companies so they can compete in a fair market its only a matter of time before the whole of Europe adopts that stance.

Last decade was Googles rise, this decade is Googles fall.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

8 years ago #

Can anyone access these? I can't:

--- rumors follow ---

"Gossip from within google.cn is Shanghai office used as CN gov attack stage in US source code network." ~ WikiLeaks
twitter.com/wikileaks/status/7 ...

"gossip inside google China is gov hackers found infiltrating google source code repository; gmail attacks an old issue."
twitter.com/wikileaks/status/7 ...

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

8 years ago #

Here are some comments compiled from the several Reddit.com threads on this issue:

-----------------------

"Dear World, ... We never cared much about the unsavoury practices of a country that had the potential to become a lucrative client until it treated us the same way it treats other nations and its own citizens. Now that it has directly impacted us, we're going to make a self-interested decision under the guise of moral courage. Please show that you have been adequately duped by our actions by voicing your support, increasing your usage of our products, and/or purchasing stock in the Company. ... Sincerely, Google"
- Girl_repellant

"Probably the first time I've heard news of a big company deciding in favor of ethics over money. Cheers Google."
- Bboe

"I'm glad Google now seems resolved to doing the right thing. Who knows what good may come out of it still, at least they now have a position to [negotiate] with the Chinese leadership."
- Must_submit_this_pic

"Trust is the most fundamental good in a free market. Google, like all economic actors, requires some basic level of trust on the part of those it does business with. Thus it cannot afford to collaborate with state actions widely seen as beyond the pale, especially when those state actions directly attack the integrity of the services Google provides"
- Rechelon

"From having seen many of the players in this issue speak, I think there are two points that will outweigh everything else. First, the author credits China on raising hundreds of millions of people out of poverty in the past few decades (something unprecedented in human history), and second, China apparently overstepped some line with regard to attempts at breaking the security of multiple corporations that are both outside of China and integral to the functioning of the global system. ... In other words it is in China's, and the prosperous West's, best interest that China continue to rise, as the wealth of Chinese citizens increases that of citizens around the world, so they will do little if anything to destabilize the order that seems to be making it possible. The other point is that they have drawn a line. Apparently, they and other corporations will expose the lawlessness that governments regularly undertake within their own borders, if the operations extend beyond their borders, and they undermine and threaten the global system."
- Rz2000

"I'm pretty sure they're rational enough to not put users above profits. ... In the long term, it's better for Google if governments don't control the internet too much. It's also better for their reputation among users (and thus their market share in the rest of the world) if they're seen to not support oppression. And now that the Chinese government's actually attacking their services, it's better for Google to inconvenience them to discourage such behaviour."
- Jib

"At the very least, make them kick you out. Don't go voluntarily. If it's a principled stand you're after, just keep letting the information flow uncensored until the CCP boots you out of the country altogether."
- Khiva

"Bravo Google."
- Booster21

"Even if Google.cn shut down, Google.com would remain up."
- Sneakay

"Regardless of whatever transpired in these attacks, I have to give kudos to Google for at least having the balls to take a stand on free speech and human rights whereas most companies would have just released a vague statement."
- Freyrs3

"Dear Google ... Cry me a river. See if it can match the Yang-See sized effort you made in accommodating Chinese totalitarianism over the years. Your slogan is "don't be evil" but you went head first into China and gave them everything they demanded. Your complaint only stems from the fact that China didn't ask nicely for data this time around."
- Breakwater

"Amazing! ... That a Corporation, which almost by definition is a sociopathic entity which can have no morality, shows that it can have morals. (Albeit probably driven by self-interest...)"
- Severian6

"Thank you Google. ... Signed, Humanity"
- Hamsterghost

"Google may well be using this break-in attempt as some bargaining chips to negotiate with the Chinese government so that they can survive in such a hostile environment. It may be a business decision after all."
- Minghua

"To turn off Google.cn is a horrible idea. Even though Google censors some things, just like the Chinese filters, it doens't censor everything. ... Google.cn isn't just to make money, it's so the Chinese people have access to a vast amount of knowledge."
- Artr

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

8 years ago #

Danny Sullivan at Search Engine Land argues:

<<But what really made Google “get” that censoring in China was wrong, when so many said this three years ago? I think it’s because this time, Google’s “kids” were attacked.

Google is an engineering culture. The engineer rules over everything. And for these engineers, their creations are like children.

The Chinese hacking attacks that Google alleges are like an attack on those children. It’s a line that I think Google simply would not allow to be crossed. I think Google is reacting in the harsh way it did today because it feels like a mother who just watched some bully pick on their child. She’s going to pull the child close and say to the attacker, “Only over my dead body. Do what you want to me. You leave my child alone.”>>
searchengineland.com/google-sa ...

mbegin [PersonRank 10]

8 years ago #

>> Can anyone access these?

Yes, I can.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

8 years ago #

Do they point to any link at WikiLeaks Mbegin?

mbegin [PersonRank 10]

8 years ago #

Nope

Ianf [PersonRank 10]

8 years ago #

Philipp, in stating/ pontificating [in 10th para of blogpost, quotes included] a response to own question "[why would a cyber attack against a company make that company reevaluate its relationship with a government or its role in a country?]:

> One possible explanation could be that
> Google suspects the Chinese government
> to be somehow involved in the attacks. If
> so, and that is just speculation, then Google
> might find it even more difficult to continue
> to work together with the same authorities
> when it comes to accepting censorship
> lists for their Chinese search results" [...]

... you assume that said actions MUST HAVE been agreed upon and/or coordinated with all the branches of China's govt. that were/ are capable of, and have the means to execute such attacks.

Not necessarily so... it may well be the case of one hand not knowing what the other hand is doing, or –not as unlikely case as it sounds– one hand forcing "the hand" of another, if not outright sabotaging a second branch's objectives in this matter. As a consequence of internal infighting, administrative chaos, plain incompetence and whatnot.

We all prefer our adversaries to be omnipotent power-mad monoliths, but they seldom are (just making conversation....)

David Mulder [PersonRank 10]

8 years ago #

This made me think; in china they would be willing – for whatever reason – to directly work against the law, in the hope they will get through somehow. However in the US they will always follow a judges order to hand over private data. Imagine what would happen if Google would decide to threaten the US that they will close down their service if they are forced to hand over private data again. (And once they are forced they would place a petition on the google homepage asking US citizens to sign against the governments actions, Google would probably have the power to force the US to reconsider)

mbegin [PersonRank 10]

8 years ago #

<< Why only subject lines? If the attackers could get access to subject lines, why couldn't they access entire e-mails? Apparently because the hackers infiltrated automated systems set up to provide such information to law enforcement in the US and elsewhere. (Getting access to the contents of e-mail messages is harder under US law than getting access to addresses, subject lines, etc, which are considered to be on the "outside of the envelope" and subject to pen register searches).

According to a Macworld source, "Right before Christmas, it was, 'Holy s—, this malware is accessing the internal intercept [systems].'" Later, Google cofounder Larry Page supervised a Christmas Eve meeting on the security breach.

Fun fact: Google's security team managed to penetrate one of the servers being used by the attackers, which was how the full extent of the attack—more than 30 companies—was revealed. >>

arstechnica.com/tech-policy/ne ...

mbegin [PersonRank 10]

8 years ago #

<< Several rumours from google sources that China accessed google's US-gov intercept system which provides gmail subjects/dates >>

twitter.com/wikileaks/status/7 ...

mbegin [PersonRank 10]

8 years ago #

<< One thing that leaped out at me from the announcement was the claim that the breach “was limited to account information (such as the date the account was created) and subject line, rather than the content of emails themselves.” That piqued my interest because it’s precisely the kind of information that law enforcement is able to obtain via court order, and I was hard-pressed to think of other reasons they’d have segregated access to user account and header information. And as Macworld reports, that’s precisely where the attackers got in... >>

cato-at-liberty.org/2010/01/13 ...

<< That's because they apparently were able to access a system used to help Google comply with search warrants by providing data on Google users, said a source familiar with the situation, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak with the press...

Corporate IT workers have come to expect all sorts of Internet attacks from China in recent years, but because of the distributed nature of the Internet, it's very hard to determine the true source of a cyber attack. For several hundred dollars, criminals from any country can buy so-called bulletproof hosting in China. These servers are guaranteed not to be taken down, even if they are linked to spam or other illegal online activity.

In this case, however, Google believes the attacks really were state sponsored, said Leslie Harris, president and CEO of the Center for Democracy and Technology. "They wouldn't be taking an action suggesting that they cannot operate in China ... if it was not related to the Chinese government," she said.

Google's security team eventually managed to gain access to a server that was used to control the hacked systems, and discovered that it was not the only company to be hit. In fact, 33 other companies had also been compromised, including Adobe Systems, according to several sources familiar with the situation. >>

macworld.co.uk/digitallifestyl ...

mbegin [PersonRank 10]

8 years ago #

<< "We've never seen any attacks that were on this large of a scale and were this successful against private companies," said Eli Jellenc, head of international threat intelligence with Verisign's iDefense security unit.

IDefense was called in to help some of the victim companies that Google had uncovered. According to Jellenc, the hackers sent targeted e-mail messages to victims that contained a malicious attachment containing what's known as a zero-day attack.

These attacks are typically not detected by antivirus vendors because they exploit a previously unknown software bug.

"There is an attack exploiting a zero-day vulnerability in one of the major document types," Jellenc said. "They infect whichever users they can, and leverage any contact information or any access information on the victim's computer to misrepresent themselves as that victim." The goal is to "infect someone with administrative access to the systems that hold the intellectual property that they're trying to obtain," he added.

Once they have the data they move it out of the corporate network.

The attacks followed the same game plan that security experts have [snipped] >>
macworld.co.uk/digitallifestyl ...

mbegin [PersonRank 10]

8 years ago #

<< In the corporate world, online attacks that appear to come from China have been an ongoing problem for years, but big companies haven't said much about this, eager to remain in the good graces of the world's powerhouse economy.

Google, by implying that Beijing had sponsored the attack, has placed itself in the center of an international controversy, exposing what appears to be a state-sponsored corporate espionage campaign that compromised more than 30 technology, financial and media companies, most of them global Fortune 500 enterprises. >>

computerworld.com/s/article/91 ...

vidcrayzee [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

A tongue in cheek update on the China situation from Google's Android, blog.beema.com .

Jérôme Flipo [PersonRank 10]

8 years ago #

From slashdot:
Step #1: Visit www.baidu.com.
Step #2: Search for Google or blogspot.com. Note that both work.
Step #3: Now search for google.blogspot.com.
Step #4: Enjoy your Baidu lockout. You should be able to search again in 5-10 minutes, I haven't timed the duration exactly.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

8 years ago #

> Not necessarily so... it may well be the case of one hand not
> knowing what the other hand is doing

Very good point.

> Why only subject lines? If the attackers could get access
> to subject lines, why couldn't they access entire e-mails?
> Apparently because the hackers infiltrated automated systems
> set up to provide such information to law enforcement in
> the US and elsewhere.

Not sure what happened but just as another information point: some of the security holes we found with Google in the past also only allowed one to see such things as subjects, but not the full email. For instance, there was one hole that allowed to see someone else's iGoogle page, and included the Gmail widget on that iGoogle page would then expose the subject lines (but clicking through to the email would not work as the Gmail contents itself were not compromised).

Ken Wong [PersonRank 5]

8 years ago #

Good news indeed.

Freespiritedwoman [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

THANK YOU GOOGLE!!!!! yes I know I yelled, I meant to!!! If only other american companies would fight against China's inhuman treatment of it's people! MAJOR KUDOS! and, if you ever make it to my tiny part of Texas that isn't um bush run, I'd love to bake ya'll some cookies!!

WebSonic.nl [PersonRank 10]

8 years ago #

Here some more photo's,

flickr.com/photos/wangjy/sets/ ...


farm3.static.flickr.com/2734/4 ...




farm5.static.flickr.com/4069/4 ...




farm5.static.flickr.com/4039/4 ...

WebSonic.nl [PersonRank 10]

8 years ago #

[put at-character here]Jérôme Flipo Lol! Indeed I get This webpage is not available.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

8 years ago #

News agency DPA writes (my translation) "Beijing remains steady in the battle between internet company Google and China about ongoing censorship. Foreign internet companies should keep to Chinese laws when going about business in China, foreign ministry speaker Jiang Yu told members of the press in Beijing on Thursday."

When questioned about hacker attacks against Google originating from China, Jiang Yu according to DPA said "The Chinese government opposes cyber attacks".

[Thanks Stefan!]

Franta H. [PersonRank 6]

8 years ago #

Philipp, is google.cn sill filtered or not?

TOMHTML [PersonRank 10]

8 years ago #

It is, Google has confirmed it has done nothing yet on censorship in China, it is still enabled.

TOMHTML [PersonRank 10]

8 years ago #

[put at-character here]Philipp I've learnt that it's an internal tool of Google that has been hacked, it is used to give US Justice data about Google accounts of some users when they order it.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

8 years ago #

Today I asked Google: Did you already start partially lifting google.cn censorship?

Their reply: "No. Per our announcement, we are continuing to operate Google.cn in compliance with Chinese law. 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."

Mike Sullivan [PersonRank 1]

8 years ago #

A search (from the US) on images.google.cn for "Tiananmen massacre" appears to give uncensored image results. It's possible the server isn't located in China, of course, and if so the Great Firewall would presumably limit what can be seen within China. Is it possible that the server hosting those images is actually in China?

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

8 years ago #

Mike: do you see a message below the image results printed in italics? If so, you're looking at self-censored results. (You can auto-translate the message.)

Cookie Lee [PersonRank 9]

8 years ago #

Well, the only thing I'm worrying about is Google China Music (google.cn/music/)...

Mike Sullivan [PersonRank 1]

8 years ago #

Initially, I did not get the censorship message and the images displayed were definitely not censored. Now, however, I do get the censorship message and the image selection has become much cheerier.

Trogdor [PersonRank 6]

8 years ago #

Some member of WebmasterWorld had a different take on this:

<<What hardware does Google have in China? Do they have datacenters (container or otherwise)? When Google.cn does get shut down, expect the Chinese government to confiscate Google's machinery ... and give Baidu an "anonymous" gift.

Google's smart enough to know this, though, and I'm sure they have some genius ways of deleting / destroying their intellectual property in such a scenario ... in response, Beijing will use Google.cn employees as a bargaining chip (if Google doesn't hit the self-destruct button, then its former employees won't end up in the gulag).>>

Jacob [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

This is unrelated to this forum topic, but it is related to what you [Philipp] just posted and translated from Chinese into English: I'm curious, how many languages do you speak/write? Over the past several years I've noticed English, German, and Chinese – any others?

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

8 years ago #

Jacob, sorry, when in my post I mentioned my translation from DPA, then I meant that the original article was in German (not Chinese). DPA is "Deutsche Presse Agentur", meaning German Press Agency, similar to AP/ AFP/ Reuters. I speak only a little bit of Chinese (also had a little bit of French in school) but NOT enough to read let alone translate news articles :)

Juha-Matti Laurio [PersonRank 10]

8 years ago #

More at
news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacif ...

David [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

More technical info

siblog.mcafee.com/aurora.html

RiyAndroid [PersonRank 8]

8 years ago #

Business Insider says:

<<we started thinking about who would win and who would lose if Google pulled out of China for good.

Winners:

   Sergey Brin's conscience
   Justice
   Baidu, Google's biggest rival in China
   China's law enforcement and intelligence community

Losers:

   Google's China users
   Google China employees
   Google's shareholders, who will lose out on ~$600 million in revenues and a monster future opportunity
   China's economic development leaders >>>

businessinsider.com/meet-the-c ...

RiyAndroid [PersonRank 8]

8 years ago #

businessinsider.com/meet-the-c ...

Jérôme Flipo [PersonRank 10]

8 years ago #

Can Google Beat China?, Room for debate (NYT)
roomfordebate.blogs.nytimes.co ...

Jonathan Zittrain, Harvard Law School: "What Web Sites Can Do"
Steven M. Bellovin Columbia University: "A Matter of Cost"
Timothy B. Lee, Princeton’s Center for Information Technology Policy: "Making Freedom Inconvenient"
Mikko Hypponen, F-Secure Corporation: "Not a War, a Stalemate"
Tyler Moore, Center for Research on Computation and Society: "Choices Made for Business" (he uses Google Viewer for all its PDF links!)
Ron Deibert, University of Toronto: "More Than a Tech Problem"
James Andrew Lewis, Center for Strategic and International Studies: "China May Succeed"
Ross Anderson, Cambridge University: "The Dictator’s Dilemma"

Ianf [PersonRank 10]

8 years ago #

Jérôme, judging by roster of names alone, this debate can hardly contribute anything of substance to the issue. Why? Because it is a discussion exclusively among male voices selected by someone for whom no female opinions on the matter apparently are of value. Ergo: disregard.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

8 years ago #

Something that may be of interest. Happyscrappy at Reddit in response to the news of Google Australian self-censorship writes (reddit.com/r/technology/commen ...):

<<One of my friends works for Google, and I can tell you Google isn't really upset about censorship in China at all. What they are upset about is getting hacked.

I came at him wanting to talk about Google pulling out and all he could talk about is how getting hacked (apparently Chinese government-led) has made it very difficult to do any work the last two weeks. They are spending all their time rechecking security, including having to physically bring their laptop to a review panel and prove it is theirs and they have the passwords for it.

I wish someone within Google would speak out more, but it appears the only real reason Google is talking about pulling it is because by being in China they risk getting hacked which would compromised their worldwide business. They seem to think pulling out of China and thus making themselves not a target would be worth the lost profit compared to the potential of losing it all if their systems get compromised.>>

Moultano replies:

<<I work for Google, and that's completely untrue. Unfortunately I obviously can't give any specifics. You may note from the public blog post that the targets of the hacking attempts were the gmail accounts of human rights activists. That connects the hacking to the decision to no longer cooperate with the censorship of results.

I wish I could say more, because it pains me to see so many cynical contrarian posts on this, but if Google is going to maintain any presence in China it's going to require extremely skillful negotiations. I'm obviously not willing to risk my job and Google's presence in that market because someone is wrong on the internet.

There is a WSJ article on the subject.>>

From that Wall Street Journal article (reddit.com/r/technology/commen ...):

<<Google's very public response to [that infrastructure attack] was crafted over a period of weeks, with heavy involvement from Google's co-founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin.

Mr. Brin has long confided in friends and Google colleagues of his ambivalence in doing business in China, noting that his early childhood in Russia exacerbated the moral dilemma of cooperating with government censorship, people who have spoken to him said. (...)

Page and Brin, began discussing how they should respond, entering into an intense debate over whether it was better to stay in China and do what they could to change the regime from within, or whether to leave, according to people familiar with the discussions. (...)

Mr. Schmidt made the argument he long has, according to these people, namely that it is moral to do business in China in an effort to try to open up the regime. Mr. Brin strenuously argued the other side, namely that the company had done enough trying and that it could no longer justify censoring its search results.

The three ultimately agreed they should disclose the attack publicly, trying to break with what they saw as a conspiratorial culture of companies keeping silent about attacks of this nature, according to one person familiar with the matter.>>

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

8 years ago #

The Financial Times on January 15 released an analysis citing cheerful Chinese citizens who now use the new, uncensored Google for all sorts of searches.

"I've been doing all sorts of crazy searches, really distracting myself from my work", goes one quote.

Except: there is no uncensored Google China search engine. Google.cn is the same as it always was, showing the self-censorship disclaimer for some searches, while others work fine. Whatever "crazy search" is currently performed was also available before, normal search result fluctuations aside.

ft.com/cms/s/0/dc906ade-0225-1 ...

suning [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

go away from china!
And never come back!

David [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

Was it an inside job ?

news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20100118/w ...

/pd [PersonRank 10]

8 years ago #

any1 know about this ??

"China tried to hack India's computers – NSA Narayanan said his office and other govt departments were targeted on Dec 15, the same date that US defence, finance and technology firms, including Google, reported cyber attacks from China. "

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/in ...

Veky [PersonRank 10]

8 years ago #

In other words, nothing has happened, except that Google's reputation has gone up a little. They are still in China, and they still censor SERPs.

Jérôme Flipo [PersonRank 10]

8 years ago #

<<The State Department is not the foreign policy arm of Google, but we’re looking into the issue.>>

<<Alec Ross, senior advisor for the Innovation Office of US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, said 2009 was a very good year for Clinton “in terms of how she systematically integrated technology into America’s diplomatic agenda” while recognising opportunities to update the nation’s policy framework.

Panellist Ross, who spoke at an event hosted by the New America Foundation and Slate, said Clinton has “monitored and immersed herself in the issue of Internet freedom” and noted that she was expected to give an important speech on Thursday morning addressing the State Department’s position on the future of the internet. Internet freedom has “just very recently become a sexy A1 above-the-fold topic, but it has been a long term focus for us,” he said.

Ross is helping prepare Clinton’s speech, and in his remarks that likely will frame Clinton’s upcoming speech, he said the State Department will be offensively making positive use of tools for economic empowerment.

“We don’t just view the issue of internet freedom,” he said. “It goes to the issue of what kind of world we want.”>>

ip-watch.org/weblog/2010/01/20 ...

lailai [PersonRank 1]

8 years ago #

Someone told me that google is going to keep censoring results and still operate in china?

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