Damn Google, Buncha Commies!

Google in China

So, it’s not just June 4th… it’s semi-official – Google is now blocked in China. Like a bulb itchin’ to go out, it had teetered on accessible for a few days, but now Google.com is out. Fortunately for those that like Google searches that are censored for your viewing pleasure, you can still access Google.cn in China – oh, and it’s in Chinese.

Here’s the article from the Agence France Presse (AFP):

Google.com blocked in China: media watchdog
Wed Jun 7, 1:33 AM ET

(AFP) The Google.com search engine has been blocked in most parts of China, as Beijing steps up its efforts to restrict the public’s access to information, a Paris-based media watchdog said.

Internet users in many major Chinese cities have had difficulty connecting to the uncensored international version of Google for the past week, Reporters Without Borders said in a statement received here Wednesday.

Aside from the Google.com search engine, Reporters Without Borders said the blocking was being gradually extended to the Google News and Google Mail services.

“Google has just definitively joined the club of western companies that comply with online censorship in China,” Reporters Without Borders said.

“It is deplorable that Chinese Internet users are forced to wage a technological war against censorship in order to access banned content.”

Random attempts to access Google.com in Beijing appeared to confirm that the international version of the search engine had indeed been made unavailable, while the censored Chinese-language version, Google.cn, was still accessible.

Google.cn was launched in January amid much controversy because the company agreed to censor its service according to the wishes of China’s propaganda chiefs.

A Beijing-based Google spokeswoman said Wednesday the company was looking into the apparent effort to block its most widely used search engine, but declined any other comment.

“We launched an investigation last week,” spokeswoman Cui Jin said. “As long as we don’t have more certain information, it would be irresponsible for us to comment more.”

Reporters Without Borders also said the Chinese authorities had largely managed to neutralize software designed to sidestep censorship since late May.

Software such as Dynapass, Ultrasurf, Freegate and Garden Networks is normally used to gain access to news and information that is blocked by the firewall isolating China from the rest of the worldwide web.

Bill Xia, the US-based exile who created Dynapass, said the jamming of these programs had reached “an unprecedented level” and he was convinced the authorities were deploying considerable resources to achieve it.

As this directly affects A) my everyday searches, B) my GoogleAds on three sites, and C) the easiest images search… I’m relatively pissed about it. Fuckers. Honestly. Fuckers. There’s just no better word for them.
At the end of the day I can use my proxy to access blocked sites (for now), but it’s a right pain in the ass. I’ve started using Yahoo and Altavista for my searches, but Yahoo’s interface just isn’t as clean and Altavista doesn’t have as much search capability… damnit, I like Google – why do they have to be little commie bastards?

I’ll tell you why… the several hundred thousand expats in China aren’t worth losing the 1.3 billion (potential) visitors that don’t speak much English and are quite content never knowing what they’re missing.

Hey Google – don’t be evil eh?

13 Responses

  1. Hey Ryan! Was just wondering what makes Google the big bad company? I personally get why they did it, and don’t think they’re so bad for it. China is a huge market and losing their business would suck. The fact that they choose to sensor their news and searches shouldn’t rest on the shoulders of Google. It rests on the government and people who support and allow it. While I find censorship deplorable, I put the blame squarely on the people who support that government. Google is a business, not much different in my eyes then all the other companies (how about big bad Walmart which you frequent regularly) who sell their goods and services there. Just my two cents. I always enjoy reading your blog but am left wondering how you can rant about Google and then support and frequent a company like Walmart.

  2. Hey Thea! Glad you’re still reading… I think you’ve gotta be my longest reader. If we had prizes, I’d give you one. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    In a sentence: Walmart doesn’t sensor my bacon.

    Here’s the problem in my opinion. Unlike a business such as Walmart, Google is an information business. Their only product is information. So, let’s compare apples and apples. What if CNN wanted to break into the Chinese market. As their product is information as well, it’s more comparable.

    So this American news giant, whom has all sorts of “journalistic standards” (I know I know, but for the sake of argument, ok), swing their idea of bringing 24-hour world news and hard hitting journalism to China. The Chinese say, “NO PROBLEM! We love you American media. But, we is going to give you big list of things you don’t talk about – politics, spiritual movements, protests, and basically anything newsworthy – ok friend? If you agree – you can advertise to our peeps all you want.”

    CNN (or in reality, Google) agrees to this and now China has a taste of “the world as the rest of the world knows it” and they start thinking that this is reality. Only it’s not. Let’s say they hear from someone “Hey, you know there seems to be some trouble in Tibet… those poor people” and they get curious what the hell their colleague is talking about; if they try their trusted International-looking search Engine they get nadda – everything says how wonderfully the people of Tibet are enjoying life since the “liberation” and how much better the Han Chinese have made such a life for them.

    The problem is, it puts an Internationally recognized brand on a totalitarian regime’s attempts to blind their public. It gives it all credit.

    Now to add to this your comment about it being the “people’s” responsibility who reside in the country to stop this… how would they know? Take away your free media and what do you know? You’d hear it from friends at the watercooler? But how would they know? They wouldn’t. No one would. And no one here does.

    The people know what they read in their text books and see on TV (which just reinforces what they read in their text books). There’s no such thing as “knowledge” here, it’s all population management. The people aren’t free thinking individuals but rather just little tiny parts of a big dirty machine.

    The one thing I had considered adding to my post was that Google.com was likely told it was going to be blocked in China, and so their options were thus: Create the .CN site and keep the Chinese market with a censored version, or keep their integrity and make a stand that if the Chinese Government wants to block free information, then a free information providor like Google really doesn’t have a market in China anyway (despite the RMB they might make).

    [Phoebe, I know you get CNN… but it’s just an example… and I think you would agree you get frequent blackouts ;-)]

    @db: thanks! and yeah… no kidding.

  3. @db: Thanks man! That’s awesome. Nice that the co-founder finally owed up to a bit of social responsibility. I think it’s becoming more and more important that companies not allow their facelessness to allow them to be immoral. I’ve argued before that companies are money making machines and just doing their jobs – but the end of the day, there are people behind that company, and it’s nice to see that sometimes they stand up and say “Uno momento!”

    Here’s the response I got from a somewhat pointed e-mail I sent to AdSense’s support:

    Hello Ryan, Thanks for bringing this issue to our attention. I understand your concernabout being able to access google.ca in China and seeing the Google ads onyour websites. Please know that we appreciate your taking the time toreport this and you can be rest assured that we have already resolved theproblem.

    However, if you continue to experience problems with your Googleads, please reply to this email and I’ll be happy to investigate further. Thanks for your continued patience and understanding.

    Sincerely,
    Christina
    The Google AdSense Team

  4. heh, my sensors were all out… damn bottles of Lรถwen. Censorship however good or bad, is an itch in my hard to reach spots.

  5. ๐Ÿ™‚ I just tried it too… no problem. We’ll see if it lasts. Check out db’s link above about Google’s comments on the situation. I’m really not sure why it’s working now. As you can see in my little picture in the post, I definitely couldn’t access it yesterday (or for about a week before).

    It’s definitely an issue though… no larf. Larf? Really?… and you guys tout that you “invented” the language… seems like you’re still inventing it! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  6. ๅฆ‚ๆžœไฝ ๅ‘Š่ฏ‰ๆˆ‘”ๆปš!” ๆˆ‘ไนŸๅ‘Š่ฏ‰ไฝ ”ๆปš!” ่ฟ™ๆ˜ฏๆˆ‘็š„ๅšๅฎข.

    ๅผ€็Žฉ็ฌ‘ๆˆ‘็š„ๆœ‹ๅ‹.

  7. No larfing matter! Here in Shanghai, my access to Google has been spotty for weeks. I’ve been thinking for a long time now that there has to be a pernicious force behind this. It seems to me that spotty access to Google is as bad, maybe even worse, to their business, than no access at all. Users who know no better will eventually switch to other search engines, like Baidu or Google.cn. And if people can access it every once in a while, then they’ll be a lot less likely to suspect that the government is playing a role.

  8. Y’know what’s funny… a month ago I’d struggle to get one or two comments in a week… I just want to let you guys know I really appreciate y’all comin’ ’round and droppin’ your two cents.

    @Chris, I agree. Even with Google working most of the time at the moment, I can’t be bothered to push the quick link to try when I can just push the quick link for a site I know will work. And hey, Baidu has naked chicks. I’ve got John at Sinosplice to thank for that little eye opener. Didn’t the gov’t cite pornography as one of the main reasons they wanted a censored version of Google?

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