Google's blog post clearly describes the impact of recent Chinese attacks. “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. We have decided we are no longer willing to continue censoring our results on Google.cn, and so over the next few weeks we will be discussing with the Chinese government the basis on which we could operate an unfiltered search engine within the law, if at all. We recognize that this may well mean having to shut down Google.cn, and potentially our offices in China.” Google isn't the only company in China targeted by sophisticated electronic attacks.
Google may be hoping other search and e-mail services, especially Microsoft and Yahoo!, will consider their own policies regarding China's heavy-handed approach to the Internet. The Chinese government has made frequent censorship and government-sanctioned hacking part of its official policy of State security and public order. I doubt Google will significantly change that stance with its decision to repudiate China but these latest undertakings by the most powerful company in the United States clearly put Western Digital Rights on a collision course with State Order and Discipline. It's difficult for the two to co-exist without tension in the marketplace.
Personally, I think the Google phone will still be made in China, even if you cannot search on Google from the factory floor. Companies trading in China have even more of a reason to set up and operate robust virtual private networks.
David Drummond, Google SVP, Corporate Development and Chief Legal Officer, on the Google Corporate Blog, 12 Jan 10.
Ben Parr -- "HUGE: Google Considers Pulling Out of China in the Name of Free Speech" on Mashable, 12 Jan 10.
Danny Sullivan -- "Google says no to Chinese Censorship" on his Searchengineland blog, 12 Jan 10.
Jeff Jarvis, voice on This Week in Google -- "What should Google Do" on The Buzz Machine 12 Jan 10.
Web2Asia -- Google to retreat from China (update) on 12 Jan 10.
Dan Goodwin -- "Adobe Reader vuln hit with unusually advanced attack" in The Register, 4 Jan 10.
Bobbie Johnson in The Guardian -- "US asks China to explain Google hacking claims" on 13 Jan 10.