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This is a disgrace, but the disgrace is not Google's

Ignorance about China, xenophobia and sour grapes about Google's success: this is the cocktail that fuels the "boycott Google" crowd. If you want a sip of the poisonous cocktail, go to the comments section of this post on the US hawk blog Little Green Footballs: Google will pass the global test (warning: it's not pretty).

Judging from the comments of this post, and from other blogs as well as newspaper articles, people outside of China do not really understand what has happened:

The international version of Google is still accessible in China (in simplified and traditional Chinese versions). Google has not censored the Internet. All they have done is to ensure that the Google engine hosted on Chinese territories complies with the Chinese government's demands. Chinese Google users are still free to go to international Google sites if they want unfiltered results. There is no reduction in the amount or type of information available on the Internet in China.

The anti-Google rage is misdirected. The point is eloquently made by a Chinese blogger at Gfans.org, roughly translated below:

Google China quietly went online, using the domain name Google.cn. At the bottom of the web page is a link to [Chinese government issued] ICP licence.

There are some changes to the navigation bar: 'News' has been renamed 'Information' (no News Permit?), "Groups" has been removed (No BBS licence?), and there's an extra search option to search only 'China Websites' (which eliminates websites blocked by the Great Firewall?).



I did a search on [human rights lawyer] Ye Ning's name. At the bottom of the page was the message saying 'To comply with local laws, regulations and policies, some search results are not displayed'...



...Gfans have started complaining, "this is a disgrace for Google". This is definitely a disgace, but the disgrace is not Google's.

Here are some related links pinched from Imagethief, whose own post is In praise of Google in China, well worth reading:

Peking Duck 1: His original post on this issue. Conflicted.
Peking Duck 2: On Google fighting a US government subpoena. A double standard?
Roger Simon (Via the Duck): Boycott Google.
Rebecca MacKinnon: "Don't be too evil."
Fons: Yi koutou! Er koutou! San koutou!
Life After Jiangxi: Agonizing...

Also worth reading:
ESWN: Google.cn "storm outside a teacup"
Non-violent resistance: Winter is Deep, But Spring Nowhere to Be Seen

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