John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

Google to Resume Talks With China–Not That China Is Listening

With the Chinese New Year holiday over, Google is resuming talks with Beijing about the future of its operations in China. People briefed on the matter tell The Wall Street Journal that Google’s state policy head, Ross LaJeunesse, formerly deputy chief of staff to California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, has been charged with convincing Chinese officials that the company should be allowed to operate an unfiltered search engine in the country in violation of its laws.

A thankless task given that China’s unwavering stance on Internet censorship was reiterated today by Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang. “Google’s statement from January 12 is groundless, and we are firmly opposed to it,” Qin told reporters. “China administers its Internet according to law, and this position will not change.”

As I said, a thankless task. Increasingly, it seems that Google (GOOG) is going to make good on its more-than-a-month-old threat to shut down operations in China rather than continue to filter search results in the country. Unless the company has reconsidered. As I wrote last week:

China is the world’s largest Internet market. But in order to operate in China, foreign businesses must abide by laws restricting Internet content, and Google has said publicly that it will no longer do so….“We are no longer willing to continue censoring our results on Google.cn…”

If that’s truly the case…why are censored results still appearing on Google.cn? Is the moral high ground the company claimed a month ago proving just a bit too high?


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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik