Google to ‘review’ continuing business in China after email attacks

January 13th, 2010 - 9:52 am ICT by IANS  

San Francisco, Jan 13 (DPA) Internet giant Google said Tuesday that it was evaluating whether to continue doing business in China, after discovering attacks on email accounts belong to human-rights activists.
Servers from Google and other Western companies were targeted last month in an attempt to hack into email accounts of Chinese human-rights activists, among others, Google’s chief legal officer David Drummond wrote in a company blog.

“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,” he said.

“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.”

The company launched Google.cn in January 2006, agreeing to comply with Chinese laws and filtering search results.

“The decision to review our business operations in China has been incredibly hard, and we know that it will have potentially far-reaching consequences,” Drummond wrote.

“We want to make clear that this move was driven by our executives in the US, without the knowledge or involvement of our employees in China, who have worked incredibly hard to make Google.cn the success it is today. We are committed to working responsibly to resolve the very difficult issues raised.”

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