Google Threatens To Leave China After Massive Security Alert

In a blog post entitled "A new approach to China", the Chief Legal Officer of search engine giant Google, David Drummond, has revealed that the company has decided to stop censoring search results in China, a decision that he admits could have "far reaching consequences".

In order to operate locally in the world's biggest internet market, Google needs to abide by a number of local laws and curtail free speech on the Chinese portion of the Google, Google.cn, which was launched back in January 2006.

The decision by Google to even consider leaving the Chinese market comes after the company detected an unusually sophisticated attack that targeted Google's Gmail servers as well as at least twenty other companies worldwide.

However, it was the fact that the primary goal of the attackers was to try and access Gmail accounts of Chinese human right activists, that convince the internet behemoth that it may have to review its business operations in China, something that Drummond acknowledges, is incredibly hard.

Without directly finger pointing the Chinese government, Google chose to allow observers to read between the lines and draw their own conclusions.

The rather unusual decision to come public with such a sensitive matter and openly question whether it could leave China not because it is faring well there but because of human rights and ethics seems to reaffirm Google's commitment to its decade long motto - don't be evil.

Our Comments

More than 26 million Nintendo Wii consoles have been sold in the US overall and Netflix is bound to increase its user base of more than 11 million subscribers in 2010 with the deal. Netflix is not available in the UK and there are apparently no current plans to launch it here - which is a shame really.

Related Links

Google's challenge in China

(NYTimes)

The Cost of Google Pulling Out of China

(Cnet)

Google versus China - a battle for information or reputation?

(MCVUK)

Google's about turn in China

(Techwatch)

Google leaves censorship to China's experts

(T3)