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Chinese citizens laid flowers on the Google logo at the company's headquarters in support of the company's decision to stand up to the Chinese government's censorship  (Source: Vincent Thian/Associated Press)

In response to Google's decision to uncensor its search, the Chinese government is accusing Google of espionage and attempting to kick Google's Android OS out of China's phone market.  (Source:
Google President Brin urges President Obama respond to Chinese action and statements

According to the Chinese government, the U.S. is committing a campaign of cyberwarfare against it (its claims echo those voiced by top U.S. armed forces officials, who conversely claim China is carrying out a cyberwarfare effort against the U.S.).  

People’s Daily, the main newspaper of the Chinese Communist Party, on Wednesday unleashed serious accusations against Google. In a front-page piece it claims that Google, the second largest search engine in China, and one of the largest companies in the U.S., is colluding with U.S. espionage efforts.

Writes the paper:

For Chinese people, Google is not god, and even if it puts on a full-on show about politics and values, it is still not god.  In fact, Google is not a virgin when it comes to values. Its cooperation and collusion with the U.S. intelligence and security agencies is well-known...All this makes one wonder. Thinking about the United States’ big efforts in recent years to engage in Internet war, perhaps this could be an exploratory pre-dawn battle.

The editorial follows Google's Monday decision to stand up to the Chinese government.  Fed up with cybercrime in China and the country's policy of censoring internet access to a variety of materials, Google defied Chinese regulators by uncensoring its search results in China.  It redirected Chinese visitors from to its uncensored Hong Kong search site.  The Hong Kong site uses the same simplified Chinese characters that the mainland uses and thus is readable to those in mainland China.

As of Tuesday the site was still not blocked, but most observers believe that the Chinese government will move to block or  Some are astounded at the move by Google.  Former U.S. ambassador to China J. Stapleton Roy, director of the Kissinger Institute on China and the United States at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, states, "I don’t understand their calculation.  I do not see how Google could have concluded that they could have faced down the Chinese on a domestic censorship issue."

Google could pay deeply for the move.  China is home to over 155 million smart phone users and that number is growing rapidly.  Contrary to its previous statements, the Chinese government is now moving to ban Google's Android handsets from China.  It is reportedly pressuring telecoms like China Unicom to delay or scrap smart phone offerings that use Google's Android OS.  This could prove a boon to Research in Motion and Apple, the latter of which has seen poor sales of its iPhone in China.

The Chinese government is also pushing telecoms to terminate their search deals with Google, which could boost Microsoft.  Google is expected to lose its 31.3 percent search stake in China's internet market of over 350 million users -- more users than the entire population of the U.S.

The accusations of espionage could also result in charges against Google's 600 China employees.  Google is fearful of this and was careful to say that none of its Chinese employees were involved in the decision to uncensor the search.  Chinese courts might not accept that claim, though.

Google co-founder and president Sergey Brin knows a little about what its like to grow up in an oppressive communist regime.  Brin was born in 1973 in Soviet Russia, but later attended college at Stanford University -- where he met fellow Google co-founder Larry Page.

Brin says that the Obama administration should take action against China rather than avoid the issue.  He stated in an interview with the UK newspaper 
Guardian, "I certainly hope they make it a high priority.  Human rights issues deserve equal time to the trade issues that are high priority now … I hope this gets taken seriously.  Since services and information are our most successful exports, if regulations in China effectively prevent us from being competitive, then they are a trade barrier.

And Brin had some stinging criticism of U.S. rival Microsoft, who has vowed to continue censoring its Chinese search, in cooperation with the government of China.  Says Brin, "I'm very disappointed for them in particular. As I understand, they have effectively no market share – so they essentially spoke against freedom of speech and human rights simply in order to contradict Google."

In China many people are celebrating Google's decision to stand up against censorship.  The logo in front of Google's headquarters was covered in flowers left by supporters.    That support, though, may only serve to further anger Chinese regulators.

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RE: Respond to what ??
By TerranMagistrate on 3/24/2010 11:27:04 AM , Rating: -1
Except our closest allies, like Israel for example; President Hussein Obama seems more than willing to throw them under the bus given right opportunity.

RE: Respond to what ??
By banthracis on 3/24/2010 11:58:34 AM , Rating: 5
In all honestly, Israel brought it's current trouble on itself.
Politically stirring up a hornet's nest out of the blue without informing your allies before hand and expecting them to support you is not the way diplomacy, or any sort of relationship should work.

RE: Respond to what ??
By vkelman on 3/24/10, Rating: 0
RE: Respond to what ??
By Reclaimer77 on 3/24/10, Rating: -1
RE: Respond to what ??
By wiz220 on 3/24/2010 1:02:49 PM , Rating: 5
Relations with Israel and China are at 30 year lows.

LOL, what metric is used to measure this? I don't think everyone voted for Obama to necessarily make everyone love us, they did it because they believed he would do the right thing and that MIGHT lead to better foreign relations. That doesn't mean that Obama ever had control over what these other countries do. If Israel is going to act irresponsibly at a very inopportune time as far as peace talks are concerned, and China is going to continue trampling human rights, it's THEY who have strained relations, not us. I appreciate any leader (be it political or business) who will stand up and speak out when someone, especially an ally, is acting inappropriately.

RE: Respond to what ??
By Reclaimer77 on 3/24/10, Rating: 0
RE: Respond to what ??
By clovell on 3/24/2010 1:43:51 PM , Rating: 2
You appreciate our leaders exacerbating the situation by straining relations with friend and foe alike by calling them out on the world stage?

Give me a break.

RE: Respond to what ??
By Reclaimer77 on 3/24/10, Rating: -1
RE: Respond to what ??
By clovell on 3/24/10, Rating: 0
RE: Respond to what ??
By Reclaimer77 on 3/24/10, Rating: -1
RE: Respond to what ??
By zmatt on 3/25/2010 11:46:49 AM , Rating: 3
How about we stop trolling and get back on topic? We can argue about Obama's foreign policy on the next article that mentions it.

RE: Respond to what ??
By TerranMagistrate on 3/24/2010 12:43:09 PM , Rating: 2
It's not just the current situation that I'm alluding to. I recently read somewhere that Obama is blocking Israel from purchasing U.S. military hardware of all sorts, sales that were already underway when the current president took office.

RE: Respond to what ??
By GiantPandaMan on 3/24/2010 2:19:32 PM , Rating: 2
Citation or you're just spreading FUD.

RE: Respond to what ??
By TerranMagistrate on 3/24/2010 2:46:47 PM , Rating: 2

In 2008, the United States approved an Israeli request for bunker-busters capable of destroying underground facilities, including Iranian nuclear weapons sites. Officials said delivery of the weapons was held up by the administration of President Barack Obama, Middle East Newsline reported.

Since taking office, Obama has refused to approve any major Israeli requests for U.S. weapons platforms or advanced systems. Officials said this included proposed Israeli procurement of AH-64D Apache attack helicopters, refueling systems, advanced munitions and data on a stealth variant of the F-15E. "All signs indicate that this will continue in 2010," a congressional source familiar with the Israeli military requests said. "This is really an embargo, but nobody talks about it publicly."

For stability in the region, Israel needs a significant military advantage as a deterrent. Obama seems keen on undermining Israel in this regard and so in every regard.

RE: Respond to what ??
By clovell on 3/24/10, Rating: 0
RE: Respond to what ??
By Ardan on 3/24/2010 3:19:31 PM , Rating: 2
You really think they would've actually listened to him even if he was to be impossibly specific? He could've told them not to build houses on a certain block of a certain area and they would've ignored him. The Israeli PM, Benjamin Netanyahu, isn't very moderate at all. They had every intention of building over there, regardless of the administration's displeasure. The fault lies with the current Israeli government, not Obama, over this current tension.

RE: Respond to what ??
By clovell on 3/24/2010 4:21:48 PM , Rating: 1
Yeah, asshat, I do - you can't just not tell someone where the line is, and then bitch them out for crossing it in front of everybody, and finally justify you're not telling them where it was by saying, "Oh, well - you wouldn't have cared anyway."

That's what's lacking in the administration, same as the last one - accountability. Biden F*cked up, and you're excusing it. The fault lies with Obama, because Obama's administration botched this one bad.

Your entire argument is retarded.

"I'd be pissed too, but you didn't have to go all Minority Report on his ass!" -- Jon Stewart on police raiding Gizmodo editor Jason Chen's home

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