Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Google's Just Gotta Have Conan's Cahonies
Well, you may have met your match. Google is putting up a fight. In what history books may record as Google vs China, Google may not be sure exactly how to handle this delicate situation just yet, but rest assured, they won't settle for removing free access and free speech one brick at a time. They are Google, after all. If they allow good ole' fashioned communist parties (that can't quite decide whether they are, in fact, People or not - People's Republic of China or simply the Republic of China - WHO THE HELL ARE YOU ANYWAY, CHINA?) to increase their censorship practices on Google's platform, then surely Google will be admonished to something wholly unlike Google.
In a carefully-crafted, well-written letter explaining the current situation of Google considering to exit from the business of China altogether, David Drummond, SVP, Corporate Development and Chief Legal Officer, wrote, "These attacks and the surveillance they have uncovered--combined with the attempts over the past year to further limit free speech on the web--have led us to conclude that we should review the feasibility of our business operations in China. We have decided we are no longer willing to continue censoring our results on Google.cn, and so over the next few weeks we will be discussing with the Chinese government the basis on which we could operate an unfiltered search engine within the law, if at all. We recognize that this may well mean having to shut down Google.cn, and potentially our offices in China."
Read about how Google originally agreed to add special censorship clauses to it's Chinese contract back in 2006. And then read what CNN says about a possible pullout now that China seems to be taking advantage of that initial generosity (let's call it). Check out what others are reporting about the ongoing incident at Wired or Yahoo! or the Huffington Post.
Let's see if Google has cahonies like Conan.