13 Jan 2010

Google's China crisis?

Just occasionally Snowblog is on the button! Yesterday I asked whether the world was just beginning to get tough with China over its systemic abuses to human rights. Yesterday that pressure came from iron ore producers, today it’s Google.

The search engine is considering pulling out of China altogether after discovering a coordinated attack on accounts it hosts for human rights campaigners.

Google’s darkest hour was recorded in 2006 when the company agreed to censor its site in China in return for a permit to run a limited Chinese search engine.

It has blown up in their faces – China’s and Google’s. This has all the stink of the Chinese thought-police hacking into dissidents’ email accounts and into the traffic of multinational corporations.

We must hope the Chinese throw Google out altogether – jam the site and worse.

That in its turn will stir the increasingly savvy Chinese cyber-folk. China’s attempt to limit its people’s access to the web are doomed to failure – the genie is out fo the bottle.

China’s action may be the most tangible infringement of the activities of the masses since the imposition of the “one child per couple policy” – this time round the masses may not prove quite so quiescent.

Meantime I admit, Jim Flavin‘s comparisons of human rights abuses between China and America have set me thinking.

I suspect there is something invidious about trying to set up a league table of human rights abusers. In the end it’s the individual who suffers when his or her rights are abused – who are we to sit in judgement on the parity of pain?

Finally how fitting that Iran – another systemic abuser of its people’s human rights – should be the progenitors of an attack on China’s own search site Baidu.

Some clever-dick hacked into the site on Tuesday and covered it with an Iranian flag and the words “Iranian Cyber Army”.

Tweets by @jonsnowC4