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    Reporters Without Borders said in it’s 2005 special report titled “Xinhua: the world’s biggest propaganda agency”, that “Xinhua remains the voice of the sole party”, “particularly during the SARS epidemic, Xinhua has for last few months been putting out news reports embarrassing to the government, but they are designed to fool the international community, since they are not published in Chinese.”
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Archive for the ‘Google’ Category

Google exec in China says no knowledge of WikiLeaks claim over China attack

Posted by Author on December 7, 2010


AFP, Dec. 7, 2010 –

BEIJING — A senior executive for Google said Tuesday the firm had “no firsthand knowledge” of information in leaked US diplomatic cables linking China’s top propaganda official to cyberattacks on the US web giant.

In January, Google said it had fallen victim to attacks by China-based cyber spies apparently intent on hacking into the Gmail accounts of Chinese human rights activists, touching off a huge battle with Beijing on censorship.

Diplomatic messages leaked by WikiLeaks point to Li Changchun, the senior Chinese Communist party official in charge of propaganda, as the overseer of the attacks against Google and 20 other companies. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Beijing, China, Company, cyber attack, Google, Internet, News, Politics, Technology, World | Comments Off on Google exec in China says no knowledge of WikiLeaks claim over China attack

Wikileaks- Who led Google China hacking? Two Politburo Members, Li Changchun and Zhou Yongkang

Posted by Author on December 4, 2010


(Reuters) – The hacking of Google Inc that led the Internet company to briefly pull out of China was orchestrated by two members of China’s top ruling body, according to U.S. diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks and cited by The New York Times on Saturday.

Citing the cables, the Times said China made repeated and often successful hacking attacks on the U.S. government, private enterprises and Western allies as far back as 2002. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in China, Company, cyber attack, Google, Internet, News, Official, People, Politics, Social, Technology, World, Zhou Yongkang | Comments Off on Wikileaks- Who led Google China hacking? Two Politburo Members, Li Changchun and Zhou Yongkang

Google urges western governments to challenge foreign internet censorship

Posted by Author on November 16, 2010


Josh Halliday, guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 16 November 2010 –

Google is urging western governments to challenge internet censorship in countries such as China, saying the economic implications of stifled trade will become more grave if nothing is done.

“More than 40 governments now engage in broad-scale restriction of online information, a tenfold increase from just a decade ago,” the US-based technology giant warns in a policy brief on internet trade restrictions published yesterday. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Business, censorship, China, Company, Google, Internet, News, Politics, Technology, Trade, World | Comments Off on Google urges western governments to challenge foreign internet censorship

Chinese Users Report Google’s “question and answer” Page Blocked

Posted by Author on August 2, 2010


By OWEN FLETCHER, The Wall Sreet Journal, Aug. 2, 2010 –

BEIJING— A new Google Inc. question-and-answer page for Chinese users was inaccessible in China on Monday less than two weeks after Google announced the service.

Users in China reported problems viewing the site, http://www.google.com.hk/wenda, but a Google spokeswoman said the company was having no technical problems.

“Google.com.hk has generally been available to users since we moved our search services there,” she said.

She declined to comment on whether Chinese authorities had blocked the question-and-answer service.

China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, which oversees the Internet industry, didn’t immediately reply to a fax requesting comment.

The access issues highlight concerns that Google could lose Chinese users and advertisers if some of its services are seen as not reliable. Uncertainty has clouded Google’s future in China since the company in March moved its China search service to Hong Kong over concerns about Chinese government censorship requirements.

Google launched the new service, labeled “beta,” on its Hong Kong site after saying last month it would end technical support for a similar service from mainland Chinese Internet company Tianya. Google at the time emphasized its intent to keep serving Chinese users…….(More details from The Wall Sreet Journal)

Posted in Business, censorship, China, Company, Freedom of Speech, Google, Human Rights, Internet, News, Politics, Social, Technology, World | Comments Off on Chinese Users Report Google’s “question and answer” Page Blocked

Google Web search engine ‘partially blocked’ in China

Posted by Author on June 30, 2010


AFP, June 30, 2010 –

WASHINGTON
— Google’s Web search engine in China was “partially blocked” on Wednesday, the deadline for Beijing to renew the Internet giant’s Chinese business license.

A Web page maintained by Google on the accessibility to its services in mainland China, google.com/prc/report.html, listed its Web search service as “partially blocked” as of Wednesday.

The service had previously been listed as “fully or mostly accessible.”

Other Google services such as Gmail, News and Images were “fully or mostly accessible.”

Google said Tuesday it would stop automatically redirecting Chinese users to an unfiltered search site in Hong Kong, a process it began in March in response to state censorship and cyberattacks it claims came from China.

Google said all mainland users would now be directed to a new landing page on google.cn, which links to the uncensored Hong Kong site.

Google’s change in tack in the world’s biggest online market was aimed at addressing Chinese government complaints about the censorship issue and came just before its Internet Content Provider license was up for renewal Wednesday.

“It’s clear from conversations we have had with Chinese government officials that they find the redirect unacceptable — and that if we continue redirecting users, our Internet Content Provider licence will not be renewed,” Google’s chief legal officer David Drummond said on the company’s official blog.

“Without an ICP license, we can’t operate a commercial website like google.cn — so Google would effectively go dark in China,” he said.

Marsha Wang, a Beijing-based spokeswoman for Google, said the company was still waiting for a response from the central government on the license issue.

“We will keep communicating with (the government) to see what information it will give us,” she told AFP.

China is the world’s biggest Internet market, with an online population of more than 400 million, according to official data.

AFP

Posted in Business, censorship, China, Company, Google, News, Politics, Social, Technology, USA, World | Comments Off on Google Web search engine ‘partially blocked’ in China

Google ditches Windows on security concerns after China hack

Posted by Author on June 1, 2010


By David Gelles and Richard Waters in San Francisco, The Financial Times, May 31 2010 –

Google is phasing out the internal use of Microsoft’s ubiquitous Windows operating system because of security concerns, according to several Google employees.

The directive to move to other operating systems began in earnest in January, after Google’s Chinese operations were hacked, and could effectively end the use of Windows at Google, which employs more than 10,000 workers internationally.

“We’re not doing any more Windows. It is a security effort,” said one Google employee.

“Many people have been moved away from [Windows] PCs, mostly towards Mac OS, following the China hacking attacks,” said another.

New hires are now given the option of using Apple’s Mac computers or PCs running the Linux operating system. “Linux is open source and we feel good about it,” said one employee. “Microsoft we don’t feel so good about.”

In early January, some new hires were still being allowed to install Windows on their laptops, but it was not an option for their desktop computers. Google would not comment on its current policy.

Windows is known for being more vulnerable to attacks by hackers and more susceptible to computer viruses than other operating systems. The greater number of attacks on Windows has much to do with its prevalence, which has made it a bigger target for attackers.

Employees wanting to stay on Windows required clearance from “quite senior levels”, one employee said. “Getting a new Windows machine now requires CIO approval,” said another employee.

In addition to being a semi-formal policy, employees themselves have grown more concerned about security since the China attacks. “Particularly since the China scare, a lot of people here are using Macs for security,” said one employee……. (mor details from The Financial Times)

Posted in Company, Computer, Economy, Google, News, Software, Technology, World | 1 Comment »

China’s new secrets law to suppress free speech and may force Microsoft, Yahoo to follow Google out

Posted by Author on April 29, 2010


by Mike Elgan, IT World, Apr. 29, 2010-

The Chinese government today made sweeping changes to its state secrets law that directly affects Internet companies operating in the country. The amended law goes further to force these companies to help the Chinese Communist Party suppress free speech and censor the Internet.

The law requires that the transmission of “state secrets” over the Internet be stopped by these companies if they “discover” it. The companies are also required to keep records of such transmissions (e-mails, blog posts, text messages and so on) and report them to the Chinese government.

The law effectively requires all Internet companies operating in China — including Microsoft, Cisco, Yahoo and others — to serve as agents of the Government’s internal security apparatus.

What is or is not considered a “state secret” by the law is determined by Communist Party officials. For example, if Falun Gong supporters protest, and some blogger writes about it, that might be considered a “state secret,” and Microsoft would be required to report it.

American Internet companies who operate in China have come under some pressure after Google announced its departure from the country. Microsoft was especially vocal after the Google announcement that it would obey all Chinese laws.

What will companies do? My prediction: They’ll do nothing until their hands are forced by events. It’s a near certainty that information the Chinese government considers “state secrets” will be “transmitted” via Microsoft or Yahoo services, and via Cisco equipment. The American companies will no doubt try their best to not know what’s being communicated, but the Chinese government may actually force them to monitor communications somehow.

In the wake of Google’s brave stand against censorship, it will be interesting to see if a larger exodus of foreign companies isn’t forced by aggressive abuse of Internet companies by the Chinese government.

Read more about the amendments to China’s state secrets law.

– from the IT World

Posted in Business, censorship, China, Company, Economy, Freedom of Information, Freedom of Speech, Google, Human Rights, Internet, Law, Microsoft, News, Opinion, Politics, Social, Speech, Technology, World, Yahoo | Comments Off on China’s new secrets law to suppress free speech and may force Microsoft, Yahoo to follow Google out

Google’s Password Control System attacked by Cyber hacking from China

Posted by Author on April 20, 2010


By JOHN MARKOFF, New York Times, April 19, 2010 –

Ever since Google disclosed in January that Internet intruders had stolen information from its computers, the exact nature and extent of the theft has been a closely guarded company secret. But a person with direct knowledge of the investigation now says that the losses included one of Google’s crown jewels, a password system that controls access by millions of users worldwide to almost all of the company’s Web services, including e-mail and business applications.

The program, code named Gaia for the Greek goddess of the earth, was attacked in a lightning raid taking less than two days last December, the person said. Described publicly only once at a technical conference four years ago, the software is intended to enable users and employees to sign in with their password just once to operate a range of services.

The intruders do not appear to have stolen passwords of Gmail users, and the company quickly started making significant changes to the security of its networks after the intrusions. But the theft leaves open the possibility, however faint, that the intruders may find weaknesses that Google might not even be aware of, independent computer experts said.

The new details seem likely to increase the debate about the security and privacy of vast computing systems such as Google’s that now centralize the personal information of millions of individuals and businesses. Because vast amounts of digital information are stored in a cluster of computers, popularly referred to as “cloud” computing, a single breach can lead to disastrous losses.

The theft began with an instant message sent to a Google employee in China who was using Microsoft’s Messenger program, according to the person with knowledge of the internal inquiry, who spoke on the condition that he not be identified.

By clicking on a link and connecting to a “poisoned” Web site, the employee inadvertently permitted the intruders to gain access to his (or her) personal computer and then to the computers of a critical group of software developers at Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, Calif. Ultimately, the intruders were able to gain control of a software repository used by the development team…….(New York Times)

Posted in Business, China, Company, cyber attack, Google, hacking, Internet, News, Politics, Social, Spyware, Technology, USA, Virus, World | Comments Off on Google’s Password Control System attacked by Cyber hacking from China

Another company withdraws, validating Go Daddy’s move out of China

Posted by Author on April 5, 2010


By Cecilia Kang,Via The Washington Post, April 5, 2010 –

An Australian domain name registrar said last week it would stop taking new accounts in China. And the Web site of Foreign Correspondents Club of China recently experienced two days over continued cyber attacks.

Those events were among the scattered episodes in recent weeks that reaffirms Go Daddy’s decision to stop business in China, said executive vice president Christine Jones. Go Daddy and Network Solutions are domain name registrars that have stopped new business in China following that government’s push for tighter controls over online content. Last week, Net Registry, an Australian domain name hosting company said it would also stop taking new accounts but would continue hosting existing .CN Web sites.

“Each time see story like that, it’s confirmation that we did the right thing,” Jones said in a telephone interview over the weekend.

She said the episodic attacks or firewalls such as that Google experienced last week on its Hong Kong site, indicates Go Daddy, Network Solutions and Google could be in for a long standoff with the Chinese government over Internet censorship.

“Meanwhile we will hurry up and wait. Whether it takes months or years, no final resolution will be reached until there is action via Congress or the U.S. Trade Representative and big business together,” Jones said. She said the issue of online censorship in China and other nations needs to be part of a bigger dialogue on trade relations between the U.S. and other nations.

Those companies have been the few to alter course in China. And while business in China represents about 1 percent of revenue for Go Daddy and Google, the country of 400 million Web users is seen as an important market to growth their businesses.

Separately, last week, the Foreign Correspondents Club of China shut down its Web site last Friday after continued denial of service attacks. In an email to its members that it was unclear if the denial-of-service attacks on their Web site last week were from the Chinese government. But the attacks stemmed from within the U.S. and China. The event came days after foreign journalists said they discovered their Yahoo email addressed had been breached. They said it was unclear who had hacked into their accounts and that Yahoo hadn’t explained the circumstances around the episode.

“We do not know who is behind these attacks or what their motivation is,” the organization said in the letter about the recent Web site attack.

Washington Post

Posted in Australia, Business, censorship, China, Company, cyber attack, Google, Human Rights, Internet, News, Politics, Technology, website, World | 1 Comment »

Google drops Chinese name “Gu Ge” (photos)

Posted by Author on April 3, 2010


Google has taken another action today to express its willingness of keeping  distance with the Chinese censors: drops the Chinese name “Gu Ge” from the search engine logo and uses Google “Hong Kong” instead on its forwarded http://www.google.com.hk website.

Google started using the Chinese name “Gu Ge” on its Chinese website Google.cn from 2006 since it entered the China market, and has forwarded it to its Hong Kong website http://www.google.com.hk since last week, when it decided not to cooperate with the Chinese censor.

Here’s a screenshot of the website logo which you will see if you type into your browser the Google’s domain name in China, google.cn:

Google dropped Chinese name "Gu Ge" from its Hong Kong website logo and uses Google "hong Kong" instead.

Also the following photo shows the old “Gu Ge” logo which has been dropped by Google:

Old "Gu Ge" logo that was used by Google in China

Posted in Business, censorship, China, Company, Google, Hong kong, Internet, News, Politics, search engine, Technology, USA, website, World | 2 Comments »

Google, China and Censorship: A Wired.com FAQ

Posted by Author on April 2, 2010


By Ryan Singel, wired.com, apr. 2, 2010-

In 2006, Google started operating a mainland China-based search engine at Google.cn — agreeing to censor search results, so long as it could mention on censored search results pages that it was blocking content at the request of the Communist government. Then in January 2010, Google announced publicly that it was sick of censorship and seeing hacking attempts aimed at government critics and would no longer abide running a censored search engine in China.

So just two business weeks ago, Google abruptly redirected all Google.cn traffic to its uncensored servers in Hong Kong, an arrangement that seems to have reached a sort of stable peace with the Chinese government.

But it’s still sort of a confusing mess …

So did Google shut down its Google.cn search engine?

Technically, yes. As of March 22, all users trying to reach Google.cn are being redirected to Google.com.hk. That url uses different servers — ones not hosted in China’s mainland.

So, the Chinese government won?

Yes, maybe. Google is not operating a search engine in China proper that is not complying with its internet censorship law. Google has been shown to be an interloper meddling in China’s internal affairs, which won’t be tolerated on a .cn domain.

But, wait, Chinese users going to Google.cn are being re-directed to an uncensored Google search engine — also in Chinese — that doesn’t censor and shows ads. So Google won, no?

Yes, maybe, exactly. Google is running an uncensored search engine that is providing mainland Chinese users an unfiltered set of search results. Hong Kong, a part of China since the British turned it over in 1997, retains a large measure of independence and does not censor political dialog online.

So can Chinese users learn all they want about Falun Gong and Melamine-tainted milk and the Tienanmen massacre?

Well, users will now see many more links in their search results than they used to. But that doesn’t mean they can actually open them, since they many are blocked directly by China’s collection of firewalls.

How can I check on what the Chinese government is censoring?

Google now has a page where it lists what services it says are blocked. You can test web search yourself using WebSitePulse’s service. Currently, many formerly blocked searches, such as one for the banned religion Falun Gong, return full search results to Chinese users. However, many of the results, such as Falun Gong’s Wikipedia entry, are blocked by the firewall.

So wait, why did Google go to China in the first place?

First, there’s money. China will eventually have more citizens online than any other country. Secondly, Google thought that by providing a local search engine, even a censored one would lead, eventually, to a reduction in censorship.

So Google gets off scott-free?

Not likely. The company is set to lose some deals where it powers the search for portals and mobile devices in China……. (more details from Wired.com)

Posted in Business, censorship, China, Company, Freedom of Information, Freedom of Speech, Google, Human Rights, Internet, News, Politics, search engine, Technology, World | Comments Off on Google, China and Censorship: A Wired.com FAQ

Google Says Mobile Service in China Partially Blocked

Posted by Author on March 29, 2010


By Brian Womack, Bloomberg, Via The Business Week, Mar. 29, 2010-

March 29 (Bloomberg)
— Google Inc., after shutting its Internet search engine in China last week, said its mobile services in the country are being partially blocked.

The services delivered to wireless phones were operating normally until becoming partly shut down yesterday, Google said on its Web site that tracks service availability in mainland China.

“Service availability fluctuates regularly, and it is too early to tell if this blockage will be persistent,” Google said in an e-mailed statement. “There is no specific indication that the change is related to our recent announcement.”

Google is keeping close tabs on its various Web-delivered services in China after a standoff with authorities led the company to start redirecting users of its Chinese search engine to its Hong Kong site. Google pledged in January to stop censoring results in mainland China after hackers stole data and targeted e-mail accounts of human-rights activists.

Mobile is the first service in China to have a change in status since Google unveiled the feature-tracking site on March 22.

Google’s Web, images and news-search services continue to have “no issues” while video-sharing site YouTube and Blogger remain blocked, according to the feature tracker.

The Mountain View, California-based company said last week it would no longer offer its mobile applications on Android phones in China “until further notice.” Chinese companies can still sell phones that use Android, an operating system backed by Google.

Google fell 80 cents to $561.89 at 2:50 p.m. New York time on the Nasdaq Stock Market. The shares had dropped 9.2 percent this year before today.

The Business Week

Posted in Business, China, Communication, Company, Google, Mobile Phone, News, Politics, Technology, World | 2 Comments »

Military warns of ‘increasingly active’ cyber-threat from China

Posted by Author on March 27, 2010


By Patrick Thibodeau, The Computer World, March 26, 2010 –

Computerworld –  On the same day that Google  Inc. and the GoDaddy Group Inc. complained about China to a congressional committee, U.S. Navy Admiral Robert Willard appeared before the U.S. House Armed Services Committee with an even stronger warning about cyber-threats posed by China.

Willard’s comments about China received little press attention but were stronger than anything said by either company.

“U.S. military and government networks and computer systems continue to be the target of intrusions that appear to have originated from within the PRC (People’s Republic of China),” said Willard.

He said that most of the intrusions are focused on acquiring data “but the skills being demonstrated would also apply to network attacks.”

Willard testified on the military’s operations in its Pacific command, which he said “faces increasingly active and sophisticated threats to our information and computer infrastructure.”

“These threats challenge our ability to operate freely in the cyber commons, which in turn challenges our ability to conduct operations during peacetime and in times of crisis,” Willard said in prepared remarks (PDF document). He said the military was responding in near real-time to threats.

It’s not just the military saying that the cyber-threats coming from China are on the rise. Appearing before the Congressional-Executive Commission on China Thursday, Christine Jones, an executive vice president and general counsel at domain registration giant GoDaddy, said that “in the first three months of this year, we have repelled dozens of extremely serious DDoS attacks that appear to have originated in China.”…… (more details from The Computer World)

Posted in Business, China, Company, Google, Internet, military, News, Politics, Technology, USA, World | Comments Off on Military warns of ‘increasingly active’ cyber-threat from China

Google’s noble withdrawal from China

Posted by Author on March 26, 2010


By Will Inboden, The Foreign Policy, Friday, March 26, 2010 –

One year ago, who could have imagined that the most significant international gesture of the year on behalf of freedom in China would come not from the United Nations, the United States, or another government, but from an internet search company? Such was Google’s principled decision this week to follow through on its earlier threat and withdraw from China rather than acquiesce in continued Chinese government control. Beijing reacted with predictable bluster, but I suspect the Politburo leaders were stunned when Google called their bluff and chose to lose access to the most potentially lucrative emerging market in the world rather than keep censoring itself. Google’s concern was not just China’s restrictions on its search results but, more ominously as my FP colleague Blake Hounshell highlighted, the co-opting of Google technology to use in surveillance and entrapment of political dissidents (not to mention from a commercial standpoint the potential theft of sensitive intellectual property). No longer was Google just complicit in restricted information flow; it was now potentially a new tool for the persecution of Chinese activists.

This recalls another recent landmark moment in the turbulent encounter between Chinese state capitalism and Western technology companies, but with a less happy outcome. The Chinese Government’s overconfident posture towards Google likely drew inspiration from Yahoo’s shameful capitulation to the Public Security Bureau in 2004 by turning over Chinese dissident Shi Tao, whose only “crime” was using his Yahoo email account to communicate with overseas Chinese democracy activists.  Shi Tao is currently serving a 10-year prison sentence.

Yahoo publicly admitted its role in late 2005. I was working at the National Security Council at the time, and shortly after Shi Tao’s arrest, some NSC colleagues and I met with a senior Yahoo executive to get their side of the story. It was a thoroughly disillusioning meeting. The Yahoo exec maintained a defiant, defensive posture, clinging to the talking points that Yahoo was just following the local laws in the country it was working in, couldn’t get involved in a “political case” like this, and besides didn’t U.S. Government policy encourage economic engagement with China? To which we reminded him that U.S. policy also encouraged human rights and free speech in China, which Yahoo’s actions directly undermined. Perhaps even more distressing was that the Yahoo exec made clear that his company felt no obligation, even in private, to remonstrate with the Chinese authorities over the arrest or to do anything to assist Shi Tao or his family. It was not an auspicious moment for the argument that Western technology companies will inevitably bring freedom to China. Following months of bad publicity and Congressional pressure, Yahoo eventually reversed course and expressed remorse. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Business, censorship, China, Commentary, Company, Google, Human Rights, News, Opinion, Politics, Social, Speech, Technology, Trade, USA, World, Yahoo | Comments Off on Google’s noble withdrawal from China

China’s instructions to medias on reporting on Google

Posted by Author on March 25, 2010


The Washington Post, Mar. 25, 2010-

Editor’s note: Google announced this week that it would move its Chinese search engine to Hong Kong and stop censoring search results to suit China’s leaders. In China, the government has sought to control how Chinese media portray Google’s decision. Below we reprint the government’s instructions to domestic news Web sites. The instructions were obtained and translated by China Digital Times, a bilingual aggregator of news and analysis run by the Berkeley China Internet Project.

All chief editors and managers:

Google has officially announced its withdrawal from the China market. This is a high-impact incident. It has triggered netizens’ discussions which are not limited to a commercial level. Therefore please pay strict attention to the following content requirements during this period:

A. News section:

1. Only use Central Government main media (website) content; do not use content from other sources.

2. Reposting must not change title.

3. News recommendations should refer to Central government main media websites.

4. Do not produce relevant topic pages; do not set discussion sessions; do not conduct related investigative reporting.

5. Online programs with experts and scholars on this matter must apply for permission ahead of time. This type of self-initiated program production is strictly forbidden.

6. Carefully manage the commentary posts under news items.

B. Forums, blogs and other interactive media sections:

1. It is not permitted to hold discussions or investigations on the Google topic.

2. Interactive sections do not recommend this topic, do not place this topic and related comments at the top.

3. All websites please clean up text, images and sound and videos which attack the Party, State, government agencies, Internet policies with the excuse of this event.

4. All websites please clean up text, images and sound and videos which support Google, dedicate flowers to Google, ask Google to stay, cheer for Google and others have a different tune from government policy.

5. On topics related to Google, carefully manage the information in exchanges, comments and other interactive sessions.

6. Chief managers in different regions please assign specific manpower to monitor Google-related information; if there is information about mass incidents, please report it in a timely manner.

We ask the Monitoring and Control Group to immediately follow up monitoring and control actions along the above directions; once any problems are discovered, please communicate with respected sessions in a timely manner.

Addition[al] guidelines:

— Do not participate in and report Google’s information/press releases.

— Do not report about Google exerting pressure on our country via people or events.

— Related reports need to put [our story/perspective/information] in the center, do not provide materials for Google to attack relevant policies of our country.

— Use talking points about Google withdrawing from China published by relevant departments.

– From The Washington Post

Posted in censorship, China, Company, Freedom of Speech, Google, Human Rights, Incident, Media, News, Politics, Social, Speech, World | Comments Off on China’s instructions to medias on reporting on Google

Second Hi-tech Company Leaves China- GoDaddy

Posted by Author on March 24, 2010


By Ellen Nakashima and Cecilia Kang, Washington Post Staff Writers, Wednesday, March 24, 2010-

GoDaddy.com Inc., the world’s largest domain name registration company, told lawmakers Wednesday that it will cease registering Web sites in China in response to intrusive new government rules that require applicants to provide extensive personal data, including photographs of themselves.

The rules, the company believes, are an effort by China to increase monitoring and surveillance of Web site content and could put individuals who register their sites with the firm at risk. The company also believes the rules will have a “chilling effect” on new domain name registrations.

GoDaddy’s move follows Google’s announcement Monday that it will no longer censor search results on its site in China. Analysts and human rights advocates have warned that China’s insistence on censorship and control over information is becoming a serious barrier to trade.

“GoDaddy is the first company to publicly follow Google’s example in responding to the Chinese government’s censorship of the Internet by partially retreating from the Chinese market,” Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-N.J.) said in a statement. “Google fired a shot heard ’round the world, and now a second American company has answered the call to defend the rights of the Chinese people.”

Smith has sponsored a bill that would make it a crime for U.S. companies to share personal user information with “Internet-restricting” countries.

In December, China began to enforce a new policy that required any registrant of a new .cn domain name to provide a color head shot and other business identification, including a Chinese business registration number and physical signed registration forms. That data was to be forwarded to the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC), a quasi-governmental agency. Most domain name registries require only name, address, telephone number and e-mail address.

“We were immediately concerned about the motives behind the increased level of registrant verification being required,” Christine N. Jones, general counsel of the Go Daddy Group Inc., told the Congressional-Executive Commission on China on Wednesday. “The intent of the procedures appeared, to us, to be based on a desire by the Chinese authorities to exercise increased control over the subject matter of domain name registrations by Chinese nationals.”

GoDaddy has been registering domain names since 2000 and has more than 40 million domain names under management. Jones said China was the first government to retroactively seek additional verification and documentation of registrants. …… (more details from The Washington Post)

Posted in Business, censorship, China, Company, Google, Internet, News, Politics, search engine, Social, Technology, Trade, USA, website, World | Comments Off on Second Hi-tech Company Leaves China- GoDaddy

U.S. Congress slams China and Microsoft, praises Google

Posted by Author on March 24, 2010


By David Goldman, CNN, Mar. 24, 2010-

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) — Two days after Google stopped censoring search results in China, a congressional panel praised the company’s actions while excoriating the Beijing government for its record on Internet censorship and human rights.

At a hearing held by the Congressional-Executive Commission on China on Wednesday, lawmakers called on China to allow a free flow of ideas on the Internet and sharply criticized Microsoft for continuing to act complicity with China’s censorship laws.

“China wants to participate in the marketplace of goods but keep the marketplace of ideas outside their country,” said Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., “Only when China respects human rights and allows the free flow of ideas … only then will they be treated as a full member of the international community.”

While lawmakers scolded China, they roundly applauded Google for shutting down its search operations in China.

Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., called Google’s decision “a remarkable, historic and welcomed action.” He also praised Internet domain host site GoDaddy.com for leaving China.

At the same time, he lit a fire under Google’s search rival Microsoft (MSFT, Fortune 500) for continuing to censor results in China and not following Google’s (GOOG, Fortune 500) lead.

“They [Microsoft] need to get on the right side of human rights rather than enabling tyranny, which they’re doing right now,” Smith said.

Microsoft could not immediately be reached for a response.

Smith said he supported the Global Online Freedom Act, which would require tech companies doing business in China to disclose what they’re censoring. He called on China to do “more than passing lip service” to Google and pass the act.

Google agreed that the United States needed to take action as well. At the hearing, Google’s director of public policy, Alan Davidson said governments should do more to protect Internet freedom around the world.

“Internet censorship is a growing global problem,” Davidson said. “It not only raises important human rights concerns, but also creates significant barriers for U.S. companies doing business abroad.”

But Google did not completely avoid criticism from lawmakers. When asked specifically what Google was censoring in China, Davidson said he could not reveal that information, because it is a Chinese state secret.

“I admire the decision … but aren’t you able to talk about it outside of China?” asked Dorgan.

Davidson declined, to Dorgan’s displeasure. Davidson said the legality of the issue represented one of the reasons why the company shut down its search service in the company because it puts Google “in a terribly difficult position.”…… (more details from CNN)

Posted in Business, censorship, China, Company, Freedom of Information, Google, Human Rights, Internet, Microsoft, News, Politics, search engine, Social, Technology, Trade, USA, website, World | 1 Comment »

Google’s Brin urges US to make China row ‘high priority’

Posted by Author on March 24, 2010


AFP, Mar. 24, 2010-

LONDON — Google co-founder Sergey Brin said in an interview published Wednesday that Chinese regulations which prevent the Web giant from being competitive in China should be considered a “trade barrier.”

Brin, in comments published by the British newspaper The Guardian, said human rights issues should be given “equal time” with trade concerns and the US administration should make the censorship row with China a “high priority.”

China has attacked Google for stopping censorship of its Chinese-language search engine but said there should be no broader fall-out in Sino-US ties provided the issue is not politicized in the United States.

Google announced Monday it would no longer filter results on China-based Google.cn and was redirecting mainland Chinese users to an uncensored site in Hong Kong — effectively closing down the mainland site.

Brin urged pressure from government and businesses on Beijing over the row.

“I certainly hope they make it a high priority,” he told the newspaper. “Human rights issues deserve equal time to the trade issues that are high priority now — I hope this gets taken seriously.”

He added that issues of trade and censorship were closely linked.

“Since services and information are our most successful exports, if regulations in China effectively prevent us from being competitive, then they are a trade barrier,” Brin said.

Brin’s remarks coincided with a hearing to be hosted in Washington on Wednesday by the US Congressional-Executive Commission on China on “Google and Internet Control in China: A Nexus Between Human Rights and Trade?”

The Google co-founder also accused arch-rival Microsoft of exploiting the row to score points against his California-based firm.

“I’m very disappointed for them in particular,” he said. “As I understand, they have effectively no market share — so they essentially spoke against freedom of speech and human rights simply in order to contradict Google.”

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal published online on Wednesday, Brin discussed some of the reasons for Google’s dramatic move, telling the newspaper China was increasingly reminding him of his native Soviet Union.

The 36-year-old Brin’s parents fled the Soviet Union when he was six years old to escape anti-Semitism and other repression……. (more details from AFP)

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HRW calls on other companies to follow Google ending all their censorship in China

Posted by Author on March 23, 2010


Human Rights Watch, March 22, 2010 –

(New York)
– Google’s decision to stop censoring its Chinese search engine is a strong step in favor of freedom of expression and information, and an indictment of the Chinese government’s insistence on censorship of the internet, Human Rights Watch said today.  Google announced today that it would not censor searches and instead redirect searches to its uncensored Hong Kong-based site that would provide results in simplified Chinese.  The company also said it would monitor and publicize any attempts at censorship of the site by the Chinese government.

“China is one of the world’s largest economies, but hundreds of millions of Chinese internet users are denied the basic access to information that people around the world take for granted,” said Arvind Ganesan, business and human rights director at Human Rights Watch. “Google’s decision to offer an uncensored search engine is an important step to challenge the Chinese government’s use of censorship to maintain its control over its citizens.”

China’s estimated 338 million internet users remain subject to the arbitrary dictates of state censorship. More than a dozen government agencies are involved in implementing a host of laws, regulations, policy guidelines, and other legal tools to try to keep information and ideas from the Chinese people. Various companies, including Google, Yahoo!, and Microsoft, have enabled this system by blocking terms they believe the Chinese government will want them to censor. Human Rights Watch documented this corporate complicity in internet censorship in China in “Race to the Bottom,” a 149-page report published in August 2006.

On January 12, 2010, Google announced that it was prepared to withdraw from China unless it could operate its Chinese search engine, Google.cn, free of censorship. This decision was made after the company disclosed “highly sophisticated and targeted attacks” on dozens of Gmail users who are advocates of human rights in China. Google said some 20 other companies were also targets of cyber attacks from China. On February 18, 2010, the New York Times reported that these attacks had been traced to Shanghai’s Jiaotong University and the Lanxiang Vocational School. The latter reportedly has close ties to the Chinese military.

In response to the prospect that Google might stop censoring its search engine, on March 12, Li Yizhong, China’s minister of industry and information technology, said, “If you want to do something that disobeys Chinese law and regulations, you are unfriendly, you are irresponsible and you will have to bear the consequences.”

On January 22, 2010, in a major speech on internet freedom, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called on the Chinese government to investigate those attacks. She also noted that the “private sector has a shared responsibility to help safeguard free expression. And when their business dealings threaten to undermine this freedom, they need to consider what’s right, not simply the prospect of quick profits.”

Human Rights Watch said that companies operating in China or other countries have an obligation to safeguard freedom of expression and privacy online. The Global Network Initiative (GNI), an international effort comprised of companies, including Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo!, human rights organizations such as Human Rights Watch, academics, and socially responsible investors to protect freedom of expression and privacy online, recommends that companies: “challenge the government in domestic courts or seek the assistance of relevant government authorities, international human rights bodies or non-governmental organizations when faced with a government restriction that appears inconsistent with domestic law or procedures or international human rights laws and standards on freedom of expression.”

Human Rights Watch called on other companies to follow Google’s example and end all their censorship of politically sensitive information.

“This is a crucial moment for freedom of expression in China, and the onus is now on other major technology companies to take a firm stand against censorship,” said Ganesan. “But the Chinese government should also realize that its repression only isolates its internet users from the rest of the world – and the long-term harm of isolation far outweighs the short-term benefit of forcing companies to leave.”

Human Rights Watch

Posted in Business, censorship, China, Company, Economy, Freedom of Information, Freedom of Speech, Google, Human Rights, Internet, News, Politics, search engine, Technology, USA, website, World | Comments Off on HRW calls on other companies to follow Google ending all their censorship in China

CPJ welcomes Google stand on China censorship

Posted by Author on March 23, 2010


CPJ, Mar. 22, 2010-

We issued the following statement today after Google announced it had stopped censoring its search engine in China:

“We welcome this stand against censorship and hope that all Internet companies operating in China take a similar principled position,” said CPJ Deputy Director Robert Mahoney. “Many of the Web sites censored by the Chinese government are news and social networking Web sites, with a wide range of topics blocked from general discussion.  Google’s decision to stop censoring search results will put Google on the wrong side of the Great Firewall. In the long run, however, we hope that it ramps up pressure on the Chinese government to allow its citizens to access the news and information they need to be informed and engaged citizens.”

CPJ

Posted in China, Company, Freedom of Information, Freedom of Speech, Google, Human Rights, News, Social, Speech, World | Comments Off on CPJ welcomes Google stand on China censorship

Google stops censoring in China- redirects traffic to uncensored Hong Kong Web site

Posted by Author on March 22, 2010


By Juan Carlos Perez, Computer World, March 22, 2010-

IDG News Service – Google has stopped censoring results in China, acting on a decision it made in January.

On Monday, Google stopped censoring Google Search, Google News and Google Images on Google.cn, according to a blog post from Chief Legal Officer David Drummond.

“Users visiting Google.cn are now being redirected to Google.com.hk, where we are offering uncensored search in simplified Chinese, specifically designed for users in mainland China and delivered via our servers in Hong Kong,” he wrote.

As expected, the Chinese government didn’t entertain allowing Google to continue operating an uncensored Google.cn. The Hong Kong work-around is “entirely legal,” he said.

“We very much hope that the Chinese government respects our decision, though we are well aware that it could at any time block access to our services,” Drummond wrote.

Google has set up a Web page where people can monitor the status of its services in China……. (more details from The Computer World)

Posted in Business, censorship, China, Company, Freedom of Information, Freedom of Speech, Google, Human Rights, Internet, News, Politics, search engine, Social, Technology, USA, website, World | 1 Comment »

NP editorial: Memo to Google — get out of China

Posted by Author on March 16, 2010


NP Editor, The National Post, Canada, Mar. 16, 2010-

As of press time, we were still waiting for final resolution of the escalating, months-old confrontation between Google and the government of China. Our hope is that the world-leading web-search company plays hardball with Beijing — even if that means exiting China entirely.

Countless companies run into headaches in China, a country whose booming free-market economy often bumps up against the pronouncements of its authoritarian government. But the friction has been especially notable in the case of Google, which controls almost one-third of China’s web search market. The company is a world-leading icon of the free flow of information, and it has been jarring to see it submit itself to the Chinese government’s censorship demands. Search for “Chinese human rights abuses” or “Dalai Lama” off of Google.com, and you will get a long list of unfiltered search results. Perform the same search on Google.cn — or any of the portals featuring a Chinese Google search box — and you will get a much shorter list.

The moral case for Google saying goodbye to China is obvious: The company’s informal motto is, after all, “Don’t be evil.” But there is a strong business case for fleeing the Communist nation, as well. In recent months, Google has learned of a campaign to hack the Google Mail (i.e. Gmail) accounts of human rights activists. At the same time, the U.S. government and various Western high-tech corporations are fighting off a massive, well-organized campaign of electronic attacks and espionage, much of it based on Chinese servers. In both instances, the driving force is believed to be the Chinese government, or elements connected to it.

Google’s share of the Chinese market — the world’s biggest — is obviously a major asset. But more important is Google’s good name in the rest of the world. Like everyone else, we love Google’s search service, Gmail and its growing cloud-computing services. But there are other competing providers in all these areas — so why would we trust our data with a company seen to be bending over backward for a foreign government that combines Communist anti-Western phobias with the sleazy ethos of a backroom phishing operation?

Google itself is no doubt trustworthy. But companies, like people, are known by the company they keep.

The National Post

Posted in Business, censorship, China, Commentary, Company, Economy, Freedom of Information, Google, Human Rights, Internet, News, Opinion, Politics, Press freedom, Speech, Technology, website, World | Comments Off on NP editorial: Memo to Google — get out of China

U.S. Could Challenge China on Google’s Behalf at WTO

Posted by Author on March 3, 2010


By David Coursey, PCWorld, Mar. 3, 2010-

Google made news in Washington on Tuesday as the Obama Administration is reportedly considering using the World Trade Organization to help Google in its censorship battle with China. Meanwhile, a leading U.S. Senator said he plans to introduce legislation punishing companies that cave in to censorship demands.

Illinois Senator Richard Durbin said he plans to introduce a bill that would penalize Internet companies that violate customers’ human rights at the demand of foreign governments. The Democrat made the announcement Tuesday, but offered few specifics, beyond saying that civil or even criminal penalties might be involved.

This is a wonderful thing as U.S. tech companies have a pretty sad record of protecting their overseas business at the expense of their customers’ human rights. The bill appears to target search engine and social networking companies particularly.

“I recognize that the technology industry faces difficult challenges when they deal with repressive governments,” Durbin said. “But we have a responsibility in the United States, and Congress shares in that responsibility, to ensure that American companies are not complicit in violating freedom of expression.”

Durbin spoke at a meeting of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Human Rights and the Law. Several companies were invited to present during the hearing, including Twitter, Facebook, McAfee–as well as Apple, which was recently hit by a scandal involving reports that underage workers have been used to build the company’s products.

Of those invited, only Google agreed to appear. (If you want more details on the hearing, Grant Gross has written an excellent report.)

On the WTO front, the Obama Administration is reportedly considering whether to fight China in front of the World Trade Organization, where it would have to defend its actions publicly. The U.S. would charge that China’s censorship is a barrier to free trade.

If used, this novel approach would be similar to the way law enforcement sometimes battles criminal rackets using charges not directly related to the primary crime (think Al Capone or the RICO statute).

Taken together, these actions–both at the discussion stage right now–show that at least some in the U.S. government want Internet companies to do a better job of representing American values in their overseas businesses……. (PC World)

Posted in Business, censorship, China, Company, Economy, Freedom of Information, Google, Human Rights, News, Politics, Technology, Trade, USA, World | 1 Comment »