China's Google Blockage

user165 at user165 at
Wed Jun 7 19:42:44 UTC 2006

 From , today:

China 'blocks' main Google site

Chinese authorities have blocked most domestic users from the main search engine, a media watchdog said.

Internet users in major Chinese cities faced difficulties accessing  
Google's international site in the past week, Reporters Without  
Borders said.

But, the controversial Chinese language version launched in  
January, has not been affected.

The site blocks politically sensitive material to comply with  
government censorship rules.

"It was only to be expected that would be gradually  
sidelined after the censored version was launched in January,"  
Reporters Without Borders said in a statement.

"Google has just definitively joined the club of Western companies  
that comply with online censorship in China," the organisation said., the search engine's uncensored international site, had  
previously been available to Chinese web users, but problems  
accessing the site had been reported across the country recently. It  
was blocked nationwide on 31 May, the statement said.

The blocking was also being extended to Google News and Google Mail,  
Reporters Without Borders said.

'Principled approach'

A spokeswoman for Goggle in Beijing said that the problem was under  

The spokeswoman, Cui Jin, said she could not give any more information.

On Tuesday, Google co-founder Sergey Brin defended his company's  
decision to launch the censored service, a move which drew  
heavy criticism.

"We felt that perhaps we could compromise our principles but provide  
ultimately more information for the Chinese and be a more effective  
service," he said.

"Perhaps now the principled approach makes more sense."

In addition to Google, US companies Microsoft, Yahoo and Cisco  
Systems have also been accused of accommodating China's demands on  
censorship in return for access to its huge internet market.

The Chinese government's internet filtering is some of the most  
sophisticated in the world.

Content considered to be a threat, including references to the  
Tiananmen Square massacre and notable dissidents, is blocked.

Chinese authorities have also stepped up measures against software  
designed to bypass internet censorship, the Reporters Without Borders  
statement said. 

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