Feeds

China warns Google over uncensored search threat

Stop filtering and 'you will bear the consequences'

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

China's Minister of Industry and Information Technology has warned Google that if it stops censoring search results in the country, it will "have to bear the consequences".

In mid-January, after alleged Chinese hackers pilfered unspecified intellectual property from its internal systems, Google announced it had made the decision to "no longer" censor search results in China, saying that it would spend "the next few weeks" in talks with the government to determine "the basis on which we could operate an unfiltered search engine within the law, if at all".

At a press conference in Beijing on Friday, the Wall Street Journal reports, Minister of Industry and Information Technology Li Yizhong was asked how the government would respond if Google followed through on its apparent pledge to stop censoring results. "I hope Google can respect Chinese rules and regulations," he said.

"If you insist on taking this action that violates Chinese laws, I repeat: you are unfriendly and irresponsible, and you yourself will have to bear the consequences."

Yizhong also said that his Ministry is only one of the government arms handling the Google situation and that it's difficult for him to comment on the government's talks with the company. But he did say that the web giant is welcome to stay in the country if it adheres to local law.

Citing "people familiar with the matter," The WSJ said that Google "could" stop censoring results "within weeks" but that it is unlikely to leave the country. One Journal source said that Google may make separate arrangements with various Chinese ministries that will allow it to somehow stop censoring results while still maintaining its operation in a "patchwork arrangement".

With its January 12 blog post, Google said: "We recognize that this may well mean having to shut down Google.cn, and potentially our offices in China." That would appear to leave open the possibility of shutting down the search engine while maintaining other Chinese services, but it also allows for its continual operation.

In mid-February, about a month after Google's blog post, company co-founder Sergey Brin told The New York Times that any change in the situation may take "a year or two" rather than "a few weeks".

We're now two months on from the blog post. Earlier this week, Google CEO said that "something will happen soon" with the company's government talks, though he reiterated that there was "no timetable" for the discussions.

In the meantime, Google continues to censor search results at Google.cn. But yesterday, the company confirmed with The Reg that it is "postponing" the use Google apps - including search - on Android phones from Chinese carriers. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Kate Bush: Don't make me HAVE CONTACT with your iPHONE
Can't face sea of wobbling fondle implements. What happened to lighters, eh?
Video of US journalist 'beheading' pulled from social media
Yanked footage featured British-accented attacker and US journo James Foley
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
Ballmer leaves Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls
From Clippy to Clippers: Hi, I see you're running an NBA team now ...
Online tat bazaar eBay coughs to YET ANOTHER outage
Web-based flea market struck dumb by size and scale of fail
Amazon takes swipe at PayPal, Square with card reader for mobes
Etailer plans to undercut rivals with low transaction fee offer
Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy
Press conference: ME ME ME ME ME ME ME (cont'd pg 94)
Call of Duty daddy considers launching own movie studio
Activision Blizzard might like quality control of a CoD film
US regulators OK sale of IBM's x86 server biz to Lenovo
Now all that remains is for gov't offices to ban the boxes
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.