Google Alerts Users to China’s Web Blocks
Google Inc. has begun notifying Chinese users when they are using search terms that can trigger China’s Internet blocks, in its boldest challenge in two years to Beijing’s efforts to restrict online content.
The Internet search giant unveiled on its Chinese search site this week a new mechanism that identifies political and other sensitive terms that are censored by Chinese authorities. For example, when users search for keywords like “carrot” — which contains the character for Chinese President Hu Jintao’s surname — a yellow dropdown message says: “We’ve observed that searching for ‘hu’ in mainland China may temporarily break your connection to Google. This interruption is outside Google’s control.”