China Pushes Censorship Amidst Google Threat
China says it's their way or the highway.
This week, headlines were filled with Google's bold statement that it might pull out of China altogether in response to hacker attacks.
"These attacks and the surveillance they have uncovered--combined with 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," said Google's Chief Legal Officer David Drummond.
"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," were the telling words from Drummond.
While the threat of the world's most important internet company pulling its operations from within a country is serious, the Chinese officials have yet to even flinch.
According to Bloomberg, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said at a regular briefing in Beijing today that Chinese law prohibits hacking and other forms of online attacks.
Jiang Yu said, "The Chinese government administers the Internet according to law and we have explicit stipulations over what content can be spread on the Internet."
While the Chinese spokeswoman did not directly apply that statement to Google, the message appears clear that if Google is unwilling to play by the country's censorship laws, then the internet giant has no place in China.