[Homestead] Google-China-Bush conspiracy to hide bad news
tvoivozd at infionline.net
Wed Sep 22 13:17:11 EDT 2004
*Google omits controversial news stories in China*
17:36 21 September 04
The internet's most popular search engine Google has been accused of
supporting Chinese internet controls by omitting contentious news
stories from search results in China.
State-sponsored internet providers in China routinely block access to
internet sites deemed inappropriate by the government. These include
both Chinese and foreign news sites carrying reports that criticise the
Researchers at Dynamic Internet Technology (DIT), a US company that
provides technology for circumventing internet restrictions in China,
have discovered that the recently-launched Chinese version of Google
News omits blocked news sources from its results.
The origin of a computer sending a search request can be identified
using its internet protocol (IP) address.
Google admits to omitting some news sources within China but says this
is meant to improve the quality of the service.
"In order to create the best possible news search experience for our
users, we sometimes decide not to include some sites, for a variety of
reasons," says a statement issued by the company. "These sources were
not included because their sites are inaccessible."
Bill Xia, chief executive of DIT, however, accuses Google of reinforcing
Chinese internet restrictions by leaving some sites off its list. "When
people do a search they will get the wrong impression that the whole
world is saying the same thing," he told *New Scientist*.
DIT enables Chinese internet users to get around government restrictions
by connecting to computers located outside of the country.
Some users recently reported that Google's Chinese news search returned
different results depending when they searched using a computer based
outside of China. The claims were substantiated by researchers who
connected to computers inside the country.
In the past, other search companies have also been accused of supporting
Chinese internet controls. In 2002, for instance, Yahoo's Chinese search
engine was modified to provide only limited results for queries related
to the banned religious group, Falun Gong.
And Xia notes that Google recently acquired a stake in a Chinese search
company called Baidu.com.
Ben Edelman, of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society, part of
Harvard University in the US, says Google will face increasing pressure
from the Chinese government to adhere to its restrictions as it extends
"As Google gains more interest in China and even comes to have financial
interests in China, it's hard to imagine Google won't do so," he told
© Copyright Reed Business Information Ltd.
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