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Google: 'no timetable' on China talks

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Google has reiterated that it's no longer willing to censor search results in China. But as it continues to censor search results in China, it's not quite sure when this will actually stop.

In mid-January, as it told the world that alleged Chinese hackers had pilfered unspecified intellectual property from the company, Google said that it would spend "the next few weeks" discussing "the basis on which we could operate an unfiltered search engine within the law, if at all." That was seven weeks ago. But Google vice president and deputy general counsel Nicole Wong told the US Senate Judiciary Committee today that the company has "no timetable" for when talks will be completed.

That said, Wong insisted that the company is "firm in our decision that we will not censor our search results in China and we are working towards that end," as reported by the AFP.

"We want to get to that end - of stopping censoring our search results - in a way that is appropriate and responsible," Wong said. "We are working on that as hard as we can but it's a very human issue for us."

At a California conference about three weeks ago, Google co-founder Sergey Brin told The New York Times that any change in the company's China situation may take "a year or two" rather than "a few weeks."

"I want to find a way to work within the Chinese system to bring information to the people,” he said. “Perhaps we won’t succeed immediately, but maybe in a year or two.” ®

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