A new approach to China: an update
3/22/2010 12:03:00 PM
On January 12, we announced on this blog that Google and more than twenty other U.S. companies had been the victims of a sophisticated cyber attack originating from China, and that during our investigation into these attacks we had uncovered evidence to suggest that the Gmail accounts of dozens of human rights activists connected with China were being routinely accessed by third parties, most likely via phishing scams or malware placed on their computers. We also made clear that these attacks and the surveillance they uncovered—combined with attempts over the last year to further limit free speech on the web in China including the persistent blocking of websites such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google Docs and Blogger—had led us to conclude that we could no longer continue censoring our results on Google.cn.

So earlier today we stopped censoring our search services—Google Search, Google News, and Google Images—on Google.cn. Users visiting Google.cn are now being redirected to Google.com.hk, where we are offering uncensored search in simplified Chinese, specifically designed for users in mainland China and delivered via our servers in Hong Kong. Users in Hong Kong will continue to receive their existing uncensored, traditional Chinese service, also from Google.com.hk. Due to the increased load on our Hong Kong servers and the complicated nature of these changes, users may see some slowdown in service or find some products temporarily inaccessible as we switch everything over.

Figuring out how to make good on our promise to stop censoring search on Google.cn has been hard. We want as many people in the world as possible to have access to our services, including users in mainland China, yet the Chinese government has been crystal clear throughout our discussions that self-censorship is a non-negotiable legal requirement. We believe this new approach of providing uncensored search in simplified Chinese from Google.com.hk is a sensible solution to the challenges we've faced—it's entirely legal and will meaningfully increase access to information for people in China. We very much hope that the Chinese government respects our decision, though we are well aware that it could at any time block access to our services. We will therefore be carefully monitoring access issues, and have created this new web page, which we will update regularly each day, so that everyone can see which Google services are available in China.

In terms of Google's wider business operations, we intend to continue R&D work in China and also to maintain a sales presence there, though the size of the sales team will obviously be partially dependent on the ability of mainland Chinese users to access Google.com.hk. Finally, we would like to make clear that all these decisions have been driven and implemented by our executives in the United States, and that none of our employees in China can, or should, be held responsible for them. Despite all the uncertainty and difficulties they have faced since we made our announcement in January, they have continued to focus on serving our Chinese users and customers. We are immensely proud of them.

Posted by David Drummond, SVP, Corporate Development and Chief Legal Officer


  我们也进一步明确,这些攻击和通过其显示出的背后的“监督力量”,和去年中国为进一步限制网络言论自由的举动有关——例如中国始终屏蔽 Facebook、Twitter、YouTube、Google Docs和Google Blogger。所有这些让我们决定,我们可能不再会继续审查Google.cn里的搜索结果。

  所以今天早些时候我们停止了对Google.cn上搜索、资讯和图片搜索结果的审查。现在用户访问Google.cn会自动转到 Google.com.hk,我们将在这里以简体中文提供未审查的搜索结果,这项服务是特别为了中国大陆的用户设计的,并将通过我们位于香港的服务器提供。位于香港的用户将继续接受现有的未经审查的繁体中文服务。由于目前香港服务器的流量增加,以及这些变化本来就复杂的特点,用户在使用服务时速度可能会下降,并发现一些产品暂时不能使用,因为我们正在将所有的服务转过来。

  我们先前已经承诺将停止在Google.cn上的审查,如何兑现这个承诺对我们来说一直是一个难题。我们希望这个世界上尽可能有更多的人可以使用我们的服务,这里面也包括位于中国大陆的用户。然而中国政府在谈判过程中已经很清楚地表示,自我审查是不可谈判的法律性要求。我们相信,在 google.com.hk以简体中文提供未经审查的搜索服务是解决我们面临挑战的一种明智的方案——这是完全合法的,而且也将为中国大陆的用户提供解除更多信息的机会。我们非常希望中国政府尊重我们的决定。我们也将仔细地监控登录方面的问题,并且创建了这个新页面。我们会每天规律性地更新这个页面,让每个人都可以看到,当前有哪些谷歌服务在中国可以被使用。



  本文由David Drummond,谷歌的首席法律代表(Chief Legal Officer)发布。
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