>(pic courtesy)
A few days back Google published an article on its blog, stating its decision to move out of China or at least stop censoring its search results for Google.cn its chinese search page.

“In mid-December, we detected a highly sophisticated and targeted attack on our corporate infrastructure originating from China that resulted in the theft of intellectual property from Google. However, it soon became clear that what at first appeared to be solely a security incident–albeit a significant one–was something quite different. Read More.

An interesting article by TechCrunch covers the different sentiments around the web on this move. There are people applauding Google’s stand ‘against communism’ and other who state it has come to this only because Google was not the leading search engine of China anyway (It was Baidu) and there was no way it was going to be numero uno in the BIG C.
Read more on those two sides.

I frankly think both sides are too extremes. If Google was number one, then what it would do could be very different, but the thing is that its not on the top. So when it is not getting the largest market share in Big C, and it is seeing all sorts of ‘unethical’ surveillances by western standards it may not want to take it sitting down! So they are standing up and saying NO, which is fair enough.

While it may not be a decision made solely against the communism in China due to ethical reasons, it would still be a blow to the communistic regime of China. That is the other issue here, the Chinese communism. Towards this I read an interesting article today, it states that while China has been doing a lot of talk towards becoming capitalist and it opening up its market, in action it still remains a communistic regime and might become even more so! Read more on this here.

Another aspect of this entire debate is the role of Government in the ‘free web world’. Recently a cousin of mine from Germany said that the German government actually tracks pirated and illegal web content like movies, audio etc.. to the violaters computer. Where in it automatically takes a picture of the illegal content and then simply sends a summons to the person for cyber fraud. So this raises another question of ethics, how much of access should the government have to a citizens net access.

I have just penned down some thoughts, what are your ideas?

  • >Those who brush off Google's China pullout by saying that it was nothing ethical suffer from an inability to falsify their hypothesis thereby violating Popper's test of a theory.If Google stays in China, it's because they care only for profit. If they leave, again it's only for profit! No matter what Google does, these people will never believe that it was ever anything but business and ethics be damned.For the record, 30% of a market is no joke. Yahoo and Microsoft both hold less than 30% of the market in the US. Will they exit also since they can never catch up to Google? Ridiculous!I feel sad for those who believe that it's impossible for a company like Google to take a purely ethical stand. Their faith in humanity is so far gone that they find it inconceivable that someone can do the right thing. I believe that based on their actions, Google is the only corporate who is even half ethical. So let's support them instead of uselessly cribbing.

  • >Well, since Google so far was agreeing to China and working with them, so it does raise questions as to Why have they now decided to pull out and that too quite completely. Just for info, Yahoo and Microsoft have also been aware of these hacks from China but they did not make it public and they have not pulled out.