To comply with the Chinese government’s strict Internet policies, Google today launched a censored version of its homepage and news search at Google.cn. Chinese users who attempt to search for keywords such as “Falun Gong”, “Taiwanese independence” or the “Dalai Lama” will find those results have been omitted. Google has also said it will not introduce email or blogging services until China gives the ok.
Of course, some are protesting this censorship. Reporters Without Borders, for one, is comparing it to Google’s fight against the U.S. Justice Department’s recent requests, saying, “The firm defends the rights of U.S. Internet users before the U.S. government but fails to defend its Chinese users against theirs.”
Google’s senior policy adviser Andrew McLaughlin explained this move the BBC Radio Four’s Today program, saying, “We don’t want to risk becoming irrelevant or useless due to the way that our content is blocked or filtered currently.”
“We feel it is a step forward. Not a big step forward but a step forward,” he added. “We understand that many people will find the decision either puzzling or objectionable.”