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Google's censorship struggles continue in China
bill




msg:3934867
 3:54 am on Jun 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

Google's censorship struggles continue in China [news.cnet.com]

Google was going to help democratize data in China. Instead, about three years after entering the Middle Kingdom, the search company still finds itself in an uncomfortable working relationship with government censors.

For about eight days between June 3 and June 11, Google.cn blocked all results that might come from searches for Beijing's Tiananmen Square. Not just politically sensitive results, not just historical accounts of the hundreds of deaths on June 4, 1989, but every single result--including directions to the square--with an error message that read "Search results can not be displayed as they may contain contents that do not comply to related laws and policy."

As of Thursday, things had appeared to return to normal. A search for "Tiananmen Square" in either English or Chinese brought up links to shops in the area, historical documents about one of China's most storied places, and images of fun, happy times in downtown Beijing.

So how did Google know that it was supposed to drop the hammer on all results for Tiananmen Square for that brief period of time? And how did it know that it was once again safe to reapply the limited filter?


 

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