Google and China

(This is probably old news for anyone who stays abreast of tech news, but for everyone else…)

A while ago I complained about China’s draconian censorship laws.

In 2006 Google launched google.cn, a China-based google.cn search page with censored results. According to wikipedia, “results were filtered so as not to bring up any results concerning the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, sites supporting the independence movements of Tibet and Taiwan, the Falun Gong movement, and other information perceived to be harmful to the People’s Republic of China (PRC).”

People had mixed reactions to this decision. The core question: Is it better for Chinese citizens to have access to censored Google, or not have access at all?

In January of this year Google announced their intent to stop censoring search results in China. And on Tuesday morning they turned off the China-based google.cn site and are redirecting users to uncensored servers hosted in Hong Kong. They also set up an incredible status page.

Thank you Google! For having a spine, and for creating a status page that will make it easier for the rest of the world to chide China, should they block anything further.

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