Google exited the business of censorship today, redirecting traffic to google.cn for Search, News and Images, including mobile traffic, to google.com.hk from which I grabbed (and subsequently touched up subtly) the picture of Tankman to my right. As of the time of my posting this, China is not blocking its citizens from accessing Google’s Hong Kong site for Search, News, Images, Gmail and Ads while fully blocking Youtube, Sites and Blogger and partially filtering Docs, Picasa and Groups. Judging by the activity I’m seeing on Google Maps, Google Buzz is working fine. Trying to reach some of them for comment but they’re probably asleep. Better fire up my Android Google Translate app.
Update! Read my new Buzz transcripts from China by hitting …click here to read more here or preferably at the bottom! Sample buzz in response to my question about believing their news media:
李鹏 – nothing is true in the newspaper, all written by people, with their own understanding.just information.find the truth by our own mind.11:11 am
So Google wasn’t bluffing, their stock didn’t tank today (actually it’s up in after hours trading) and I’m proud to see them make this move finally. Up to Beijing how to handle this. I imagine they’ll drum up more rhetoric about Google and the US, have their journalists write negatively about Google’s bad manners but without filtering any further the Hong Kong site than they currently are. To eyeball that, here’s the status page. And here’s the press release.
What’s up now, Beijing? Let me guess, shame on us for being so arrogant and defiant with our big companies meddling in your affairs? This will help your own Internet companies thrive? Something like that? Good luck pedaling that crap, maybe your people will keep buying it. Be grateful they didn’t redirect it to Taiwan. Bravo Google. Cue face saving posturing music from the Orient.
I had better attempt to clarify China’s arrangement with Hong Kong though I may only confuse you more. China has autonomous areas. They call Hong Kong and Macau Special Autonomous Regions which are afforded full responsibility for governing themselves with exception to anything involving diplomacy (which I suppose could extend to Googlegate) and national defense. Such regions have their own legal systems and China keeps their distance. Basically China is to Hong Kong and Macau as the States are to Indian reservations.
It’s getting close to 7am in China (the whole place has the same time zone) and people are starting to go online and right now their government is not blocking the Hong Kong site for Web searching, image searching, news and Gmail (but still is for Youtube and the others I listed). Will the country topple with anarchy if too many people get the scoop on what happened with the man in the picture if the government doesn’t put a stop to it?
Update: Buzzing it up with anyone I can find on the streets of Beijing who’s not afraid of what will happen to their families if they respond to my buzz with information on the reaction of the PEOPLE. Read more for Buzz transcripts which are in progress.
Doug Simmons – Hello. Are you still able to use Google services?
小幸 – yes. lt’s nice.⊙.⊙7:37 pm (7:37am EST)
Doug Simmons – 谢谢您。我写这篇文章的有关问题 mobilitydigest.com 和将是有益的，如果你能告诉我今天如何回应市民感觉谷歌无视你们的政府。我将感谢任何评论。(I’m doing a thing on the situation and you’d help me save face if you’d give me some kind of comment on what’s doin’ over there, can you dig it?)
gong zhang – i think our goverment did a wrong thing
Doug Simmons – Do you also think Google did a right thing? What do you think your government will to today in response?
Doug Simmons – Would you like your country even more if its restrictions on what information you can receive were relaxed as with Hong Kong? What is different about the people of Hong Kong that they do not need to be protected from unfiltered information?
gong zhang – what can i do for this ？i live here. i esteem google，i can get the information by other way . 9:26 pm
Doug Simmons – What you can do, what you are doing, is providing the rest of the world with the view of the Chinese people. All we otherwise get is press statements by your authorities and what your media reports which they apparently control. But you are restricted from going to sites like many blogs so we do not know what you think. However, right now with this Buzz chat for example, this precious information is getting through. As the world learns that not everyone in China hates Google and their defiance as the officials would lead everyone to believe, but esteems them, then it adds to the leverage that might be used politically to persuade your government to relax its restrictions on your freedom of information. 9:45 pm
in response to your question, not all people believe in what the ‘official’ said, but freedom of information is not necessarily the answer to getting the truth, right? but it sure bring some second opinion other than the ‘official’ one. so yeah, im fighting for ‘freedom’ via vpn:)1:18 am