Cybersecurity

By Ben Bain

Blog archive

How will Google/China spat end?

Google CEO Eric Schmidt has told reporters in Abu Dhabi that he expects some resolution soon in his company’s ongoing row with China's government.

"I'm going to use the word 'soon', which I will not define otherwise," Reuters quoted Schmidt as telling reporters on March 10. Meanwhile, Bloomberg News cited a Google spokesperson as saying the company expected to resolve the dispute in weeks, but didn't specify what form the resolution would take.

The Associated press reported on March 10 that Schmidt’s comments in the United Arab Emirates came soon after a Chinese official reportedly dismissed reports that talks between China and Google were even underway. AP also reported that Schmidt told reporters that Google's dispute with China wasn't prompted by the U.S. government.

Google announced in January that it was no longer willing to go along with the Chinese government and censor Google.cn, a version of Google for China. The announcement, a post on the company’s blog, said the company had detected “a highly sophisticated and targeted attack on our corporate infrastructure originating from China that resulted in the theft of intellectual property from Google.”

“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,” David Drummond, Google’s senior vice president for corporate development and chief legal officer, said at the time.

Since Drummond's announcement, the dispute has become a matter of foreign relations with Chinese and U.S. officials trading jabs over Internet policy. Meanwhile, Google Deputy General Counsel Nicole Wong told the House Foreign Affairs Committee on March 10 during a hearing focused on the Google/China episode that the company won’t hesitate to reconsider its approach to China if the Internet giant is unable to achieve its goals.

Posted by Ben Bain on Mar 11, 2010 at 12:12 PM


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