[Homestead] Google-China-Bush conspiracy to hide bad news

Tvoivozhd 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 
Chinese government.

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.

*World view*

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.

*Inside out*

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 
its reach.

"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 
*New Scientist*.


Will Knight




 © Copyright Reed Business Information Ltd.


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