Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Censorship Google The Internet Your Rights Online

Google To Restart Talks With China 118

Posted by Soulskill
from the does-google-have-a-seat-on-the-un-yet dept.
eldavojohn writes "Following the infamous attacks allegedly carried out by the Chinese government, Google sent a strongly worded message to China. However, despite the show of plumage, Google.cn continues to operate filtered. While both parties are silent about any resolution, Google and China have planned to restart talks and negotiations over Google operating unfiltered in China. (If you have a subscription, you can read about the story from its original source, the Wall Street Journal.) The print edition of the WSJ names Google policy executive Ross LaJeunesse as their representative meeting with Chinese officials. Meanwhile, China's Foreign Ministry spokesman, Qin Gang, has officially rejected the claim that the attacks were sanctioned by the Chinese government. He said, 'Google's statement from January 12 is groundless, and we are firmly opposed to it. China administers its internet according to law, and this position will not change. China prohibits hacking and will crack down on hacking according to law.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Google To Restart Talks With China

Comments Filter:
  • by BlueBoxSW.com (745855) on Tuesday February 23, 2010 @10:36AM (#31244258) Homepage

    Is Google a country? Did I miss something?

    And exactly what "laws" is Google breaking in China?

    Why isn't this ever worth noting?

    • by girlintraining (1395911) on Tuesday February 23, 2010 @10:41AM (#31244312)

      Is Google a country? Did I miss something?

      Technically no. It's a state [xkcd.com] now.

      And exactly what "laws" is Google breaking in China?

      The shorter list would be, what "laws" aren't they? This is China afterall, home of the government that sends the surviving family a bill for the cost of the bullet to kill their politically undesirables.

      Why isn't this ever worth noting?

      Thiiiiiis.... iiiiis..... SSSSSLLLAAASSSHHDDOOOT!!!

      • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Maybe the Chinese are talking about laws like the Patriot Act, which has secret provisions to make exceptions, so that hacking by the Chinese government is actually legal. Then, when faced with the forensic evidence regarding the sources of the attacks, they may need to admit the existence of such secret laws.
        • Maybe the Chinese are talking about laws like the Patriot Act, which has secret provisions to make exceptions, so that hacking by the Chinese government is actually legal.

          Exactly. The summary says the Chinese government follows the law, but doesn't say what the law is. I feel fairly confident in saying that if the law allows the Chinese government to make people "disappear" then it also sanctions espionage. Given other stories about the Chinese military actively recruiting black hat hackers to infiltrate fo

      • I want to move to 127.*.*.*: Loopback! ;)

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Yvanhoe (564877)

      Is Google a country? Did I miss something?

      Two entities discussing don't have to be of the same type. US can buy GM, MS can be sued by EU, etc...

      The law Google was breaking was the law repressing some kind of political content on internet. Bad law, but law nonetheless

      • Is Google a country? Did I miss something?

        Two entities discussing don't have to be of the same type. US can buy GM, MS can be sued by EU, etc...

        And that's the problem with weakly typed languages! You never know who's chopping whom's head off.

  • Pussies. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by the_macman (874383) on Tuesday February 23, 2010 @10:36AM (#31244260)

    You just couldn't do it.

    • No kidding

      They're a business

      Money talks, baby!

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by jo42 (227475)

        They no doubt got a call from Washington D.C. going something like this: "WTF do you think you 'tards are doing? Don't you realize they have us by the balls? Do you have any idea how much of our debt they carry? The spare change from that could buy you clowns out twice! Have you no clue how much of the economy depends on being nice-nice with them? Now go back to kissing their backsides and spying on everyone on the nets."

        • If so, then the proper response would have been: "We'll be sure to give your concerns all due consideration."

        • Don't you realize they have us by the balls? Do you have any idea how much of our debt they carry?

          And exactly how does this give them any real power over us? More to the point, by wording it as you did, you suggest that there is some sort of individual that all the money is owed to that can make a collective decision on how to behave should we piss the government off.
          • Don't you realize they have us by the balls? Do you have any idea how much of our debt they carry?

            And exactly how does this give them any real power over us? More to the point, by wording it as you did, you suggest that there is some sort of individual that all the money is owed to that can make a collective decision on how to behave should we piss the government off.

            I think we all know that the debt is owed to the U.S. Treasury Dept. and funded by the PRC Treasury, whatever they call it.

        • by jotok (728554)

          There's a saying:
          When you owe the bank a hundred dollars, you're fucked.
          When you owe the bank a hundred billion dollars, the bank is fucked.

    • You’re forgetting that China has probably more special agents ready to meet the Google bosses in their sleep, that Google has employees. They can’t exactly do much against a huge armed state.

      I still think one should fight what one thinks is wrong. But it doesn’t exactly make sense to lose one’s life in the process. Because as a dead person, you can’t change much, can you?

      So how about you? Let’s go to China. Then you’ll get to openly say your opinion in front of some

  • Google: Now the digital UN, sending strongly worded letters, and sending envoys worldwide to "investigate" cases of human rights abuses.

  • Show some backbone (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Nerdfest (867930) on Tuesday February 23, 2010 @10:38AM (#31244286)
    Show a little spine and turn the damn filters off.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by drinkypoo (153816)

      Show a little spine and turn the damn filters off.

      That will likely lead to the deaths of google employees in China. I do think that continuing to operate with filters on is evil, but I also think that throwing your people to the dogs of China is also evil.

      It would be nice if Google could find some third solution. I don't see it yet, but I'm not there.

      • by Spazztastic (814296) <spazztastic AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday February 23, 2010 @10:52AM (#31244442)

        It would be nice if Google could find some third solution. I don't see it yet, but I'm not there.

        1. Set up servers to be run remotely -- probably already done.
        2. Configure equipment to failover to other sites in the even of outage/bombing. Probably already done.
        3. Get employees out of China for a "meeting" at Google HQ.
        4. Turn off filtering.
        5. ???????
        6. Watch the mayhem ensue. And profit.

        • Actually, I believe the solution will be like "Google.cn stops filtering, the Greate Firewall start filtering on that domain." So Google can claim they get something; the government does not give up anything; nothing changed for the user.
      • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        1) set up cron job to turn off the filters
        2) fly all the employees out of the country on 'business'
        3) cron job turns off filters, government infiltrates compound to kill everyone in site, many mice die

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by coaxial (28297)

        That will likely lead to the deaths of google employees in China.

        Puh-lease. No one is going to do that, because it would be piss off Wall Street, and the CCP only cares about one thing: money.

    • by allcar (1111567) on Tuesday February 23, 2010 @10:51AM (#31244436)
      Is it just Google that you want to stand up to the Chinese, or should the rest of the businesses in the world follow suit? Indeed, should our governments "show a little spine"? Get into the real world.
      • by Nerdfest (867930)
        Yes, our governments should stand up to China. They've been too accommodating for too long.
      • Indeed, should our governments "show a little spine"? Get into the real world.

        They won't just like the Chinese government couldn't do anything when the US bombed their embassy in Kosov and blamined on "bad maps". Why? Here are some reasons:

        • No spy agency is going to reveal what they have done.
        • Everyone of them is doing the same to others; and they will continue to do so -- online or traditional
        • There are many other people, from the bored ones to the professionals, do the same hackings. The more noises out there, the better for the governments.
        • If they have any real evidence against
        • by BhaKi (1316335)
          Stay silent. By letting people know that US bombed a Chinese embassy, you're dealing against forces that are more powerful than you'll ever understand. Unless you want to get FBI to spy on you, stay silent.
      • Why would we even have to ask if Google should do the right thing?
        China is bad for human rights, so China must be confronted.

    • If that doesn't work, I suggest that Google just taunt them further. Worst case scenario, Eric Schmidt can wave his private parts at them. That seemed to work for this l'il troublemaker [newser.com].

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by daid303 (843777)

        I don't want to talk to you no more, you empty headed animal food trough water! I fart in your general direction! Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries!

        Now go away before I taunt you a second time.

  • by hyades1 (1149581) <hyades1@hotmail.com> on Tuesday February 23, 2010 @10:49AM (#31244410)
    I don't doubt for a minute that China will, "...crack down on hacking according to law." Hacking that isn't according to law, however, will continue as usual.
    • by BhaKi (1316335)
      The fact that your post has been modded as insightful instead of funny, should tell you something.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 23, 2010 @10:52AM (#31244452)

    China doesn't need google. Why should they bother? They have Baidu and it's in their best interest for this market in China to be owned by a Chinese company.

    I'm just not seeing how Google has any kind of negotiating position here.

    • by Spazztastic (814296) <spazztastic AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday February 23, 2010 @11:07AM (#31244640)

      The Chinese people need Google. Here's why:
      1. Go to Baidu.com [baidu.com]
      2. Search for "falun gong"
      3. Enjoy your temporary IP ban.

      The internet is a great danger to any dictatorship. It allows people who are secluded to see what the outside world is really like instead of the portrait that their overlords paint for them.

      • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

        You're doing it wrong. Search for Falun Gong in Chinese, Baidu functions completely normally, returning all the relevant results. Google.com(English, using Chinese search terms) and Baidu naturally return different results; but the Chinese results are much better! They provide much more useful information regarding the evil cult that is Falun Gong! Sort of like how searching Google for Scientology provides nasty, biased, Scientology-backed and funded apologist propaganda, but China helpfully censors tha

      • by uncanny (954868)
        Since when does the chinese government care about what the chinese people need?
      • by BhaKi (1316335)
        The internet is also a great danger to the world. It allows the propaganda-partners of big corporations (especially oil companies and arms companies) to convince people about the existence of WMDs, etc.
      • You mean like how the US government censors war reporters. Or how the US government doesn't allow the caskets of soldiers to be photographed?

        It's not just dictatorships that cover their citizens eyes. In some aspects, you can say that the US government is worse because we are governed "by the people" but the people aren't allowed the vital information needed to make important governmental decisions. At least, in a dictatorship, you expect this kind of thing.

        -1 offtopic, -1 flamebait

        • by DVD9 (1751726)
          "You mean like how the US government censors war reporters. Or how the US government doesn't allow the caskets of soldiers to be photographed?"

          You must be referring to the murder of Al Jazeera reporters and the Italian communist party reporter in Iraq. The so-called "American" reporters do not need to be censored. They are all "ride-alongs". They don't support the police, they are the police.
      • by steelfood (895457)

        Most people aren't looking for falun gong. Instead, they're probably looking for Jay Chow.

  • by wisebabo (638845) on Tuesday February 23, 2010 @10:53AM (#31244470) Journal

    Okay, let's face it, China is THE rising power this century. Thanks to the mistakes of a previous administration, the U.S. will be surpassed sometime in the 2020s (not the 2050s as was previously predicted). If you're Republican you can pick Clinton, if you're Democrat you can pick Bush. (On the other hand, if you believe in reality, I think the choice is obvious).

    But I digress. Despite all the bad things that the U.S. has said and done and been blamed for, I think it is obvious that it is still a much more benevolent world power than China has shown itself to be. Consider Tibet, North Korea, Ulighars, Global Warming, dissidents, Iran, Africa etc. etc. Let's face it, China only cares about itself and only about keeping the ruling party in power (and rich). They may not be actively supporting "evil" in the world but they sure don't go out of their way to fight against it.

    Frankly, there's not too much that'll stop this from happening. But it's better to light a single candle than to curse the darkness. So, please, ask yourself when you have a choice, do you want to support China? If there is another product that's just a little more expensive from another country, please consider buying it. If you can get a return on investment that's just a little less than investing in China consider changing your investments (I did a couple of years ago).

    You'll sleep better because of it.

    • by jgtg32a (1173373) on Tuesday February 23, 2010 @11:03AM (#31244574)

      I don't claim to be an expert but I don't see China growing to surpass the rest of the world. China got to the point it is today by doing stuff cheaply, as far as I can tell they are more dependent on us than we are on them. Our dealings with China are only for cost savings and their dealing with us is their life blood.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Try going to Shanghai where they are expected to double the 4000 skyscrapers they already have there in the next 15 years. (Manhattan only has 2000).

        Or go to Guangzhou where a sleepy fishing village 20 years ago is now a mega city with buildings stretching to the horizon.

        Consider that China is building 42 high speed rail lines (in addition to the world's only maglev). How many does the U.S. have? Zero.

        Or think to the future, already the world's largest solar panel manufacturer, China will soon overtake t

        • Unfortunately, bricks and mortar do not equal success. Not necessarily, anyhow.

          In the early 90's it was 'the era of Japan' and they were the up and coming power.

          Without an ethical business infrastructure, China can't maintain a lead. And they're already facing the fact that the milk is poisoned again, only a short year or two past the last time they poisoned all those babies.

          No, I see Civil War in China's future. Really messy Civil War.

          • No, I see Civil War in China's future. Really messy Civil War.

            I disagree. The American colonies were full of misfits kicked out of Britain. They sure had some puritans, but overall had an independent spirit that was not going to put up with shit. Coupled with French aid (they hated Britain until recently, and the two warred every century or so for about 1,000 years) a revolution was born. The second civil war was largely caused by economic concerns with an underlying polarization along the slavery issue. If

      • by MozeeToby (1163751) on Tuesday February 23, 2010 @11:43AM (#31244992)

        Don't forget that in another 10-15 years 10% of their population won't be able to find a spouse. For what it's worth, I doubt that kind of societal pressure can be dealt with safely without great loss of life. I might be wrong, but if I certainly wouldn't want to be the one responsible for the country when 100,000,000+ young men are desperate, lonely, and sexually repressed.

        • by elrous0 (869638) *
          Actually, that's something we should be worried about just as much as them. What if the government decides to turn that anger into martial spirit and channel it into war?
          • Modern war isn't fought successfully by throwing raw manpower at an opponent. This was proven in the Iraq/Iran war, and that wasn't even a very big one.

        • they don't need to be repressed, half of them can follow girlintraining's lead and just hit for the other team. Problem solved.
      • China surpassed the rest of the world a long time ago. Just because their people are impoverished doesn't make them weak. They have an excellent propaganda machine, and their people have enough prosperity that they can plausibly present to their people a world where China reigns supreme.

        And let's be honest, it does.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by psnyder (1326089)
        The USA sold a lot of stuff cheaply to Europe in the 19th century (such as wheat). It was in a similar position at that time to China and India's position now. It did pretty well financially in the 20th century.

        As for China's "dependency" on the US:
        China's exports are 39.7% of their GDP. Of that 17.7% is to the US. [wikipedia.org] That means 7% of their money comes from exports to the US.

        Can you take a 7% hit in salary and still survive? Would you want to? That's the position China's in now. But calling the US
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by sp3d2orbit (81173)

          Your analogy is flawed.

          First, the US still sells wheat cheaply to the rest of the world, this hasn't changed.

          Second, the US wasn't an industrial power until after the Civil war and really didn't take off until after WWI.

          Third, the US had (still has) much greater access to raw materials within its borders. The Chinese environment is quickly degrading into a nightmare, and the US has more forests today than any time since Lewis and Clarke. Not to mention huge reserves of almost every other natural resources e

      • by DarthVain (724186)

        It is a two way street. USA might depend on China for cheap crap, however what happens to China if the USA ever stopped buying or being able to afford their cheap crap anymore. What other market could China possibly use? The answer is practically none. Much of China lives in rural poverty, and their growth is unsustainable without US support.

        So while one might predict upon current trends that China will become the new economic superpower, one has to realize that this does not happen in a vacuum. So if the U

        • by wisebabo (638845)

          Actually this has already happened (to an extent). During the recent "great recession" exports from China have plummeted. Not just to the U.S. but to all of their major "developed" country trading partners. So what happened? Did the Chinese economy crash and burn?

          Just the opposite. Due to a massive stimulus program (that they, unlike us, paid for out of their huge foreign reserves) they basically just blew by the recession. China's economy has become developed to the point that THEY ARE THEIR OWN LARG

      • I don't claim to be an expert but I don't see China growing to surpass the rest of the world. China got to the point it is today by doing stuff cheaply, as far as I can tell they are more dependent on us than we are on them. Our dealings with China are only for cost savings and their dealing with us is their life blood.

        China and the U.S.A. have a symbiotic relationship -- saying one needs the other is redundant. We need China to produce our Walmart-quality crap cheaply, and they need us to drive the demand

    • Despite all the flack that China gets in the western world constantly, it is quite a peaceful country (internationally) compared to the U.S. How many wars, "conflicts", or secret wars has the U.S. been involved with in the last 50 years? Yet we always seem to take ourselves to be a constant benevolent force working to liberate these conveniently oil-rich countries from their own governments. Say what you will about China, but on the international scene, but it's something of a sleeping dragon. The rule for
      • by wisebabo (638845)

        You have many good points that I won't try to refute because I agree with (many of) them. I am all too aware of the many unnecessary (and worse!) conflicts the U.S. has gotten into because of purely nationalistic (or worse!) goals. However, I'd like to believe that at least sometimes the U.S. has worked on more than pure short-term self-interest (even if that was just long-term self-interest). But like I said, I agree on many of your examples.

        As an American though, I CAN (TRY) TO CHANGE the situation, th

      • by BhaKi (1316335)

        You are right about everything except one. The older generations do know things, actually they know better. Look at Noam Chomsky, the Nobel-winning mathematician.

        http://www.chomsky.info/

        http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Chomsky/Noam_Chomsky.html

        No matter how rationally and how objectively he put forth his arguments, the mainstream media successfully portrayed him as a conspiracy theorist.

        Heck, the mainstream media even marooned (figuratively) Albert Einstein because his political views were socialist. He wa

        • That's true, there has been a very respectable minority in the older generation that has had things more or less right for a long time. Chomsky is probably the most dramatic example, because his message has basically been the same prescient combination of facts and logic since the 1950's. It's almost scary to watch him tear William F. Buckley apart in their debate about Vietnam.
    • China is having too many males and theres no way they'll have enough jobs or resources. It's a disaster waiting to happen.

  • Fists. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bluefoxlucid (723572) on Tuesday February 23, 2010 @10:54AM (#31244478) Journal
    Google has started wielding their fists in China. They've been trying to operate unfiltered, they shut the filters off briefly in this debacle, they've started drawing bad publicity on China and threatening to just walk away. Their behavior has forced some other Chinese-operated search engines to back off on censorship, and forced the Chinese government to ease up a little. They seem to be tired of waiting calmly for negotiations to turn favorable, so they've taken to slugging the other guy in the face when he doesn't give ground fast enough.
    • by elrous0 (869638) *

      The only reason that Google got so pissy over this attack was because apparently the hacker stole [wired.com] some of their proprietary source code during the hack. Until this threat to their actual IP, they didn't give a rat's ass how many people they turned over for imprisonment in China or how much they filtered out words like "democracy" from their search results. This isn't about Google standing up to evil totalitarion China--it's about Google saying "Look, we'll turn over dissidents and censor our search results

  • How this plays out (Score:4, Interesting)

    by bsDaemon (87307) on Tuesday February 23, 2010 @11:03AM (#31244584)
    Let's face it -- Google's not pulling out of China because the market is too big and China's not going to back down on filtering. The way I see this playing out is a deal where Google is allowed to operate unfiltered on their end, however the Chinese government places in-line content filters down stream from Google, between their network and the rest of country. This way the content still gets blocked, but Google can say "its not our fault."
  • If you want to read the article, and don't have a Wall Street Journal membership, you can simply enter the article name in Google, and Wall Street Journal will let you use Google as a referrer to read the article through the paywall.

    Here's the link [google.com] to the Google search for you.
  • I thought governments lie.

  • Can we please stop regarding Google's saccharine "Don't Be Evil" claptrap for anymore than what it always was: branding.

    Thanks.

    • by Atanamis (236193)

      Can we please stop regarding Google's saccharine "Don't Be Evil" claptrap for anymore than what it always was: branding.

      The only reason branding exists is to make an implied promise to the consumer. McDonald's brand promises fast burgers following a similar recipe in a fairly consistent eating environment. Google's brand is supposed to represent easy to use, highly effective, and non-evil. If they at least appear to practice this brand, they sell more stuff. If they don't, they lose the brand value. Regardl

  • by Anonymous Coward

    China called Google's bluff and destroyed Google's credibility. Next time think it through first, Google. Right now you look like any other multinational corporation that would sell their founders' grandmothers to make more profit.

    • by Servaas (1050156)
      When were they (Google) anything different? China didnt destroy Google's credibility. Google did. First when they actually thought they would get treated better then the average 9 to 5 worker. Then by making claims they couldn't back up with evidence. And now by continuing talks...
    • by zill (1690130)
      Google already destroyed its own credibility by the announcement. A simple youtube search would reveal the hilarious infomercial on of the "school with ties to the Chinese military": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Xx6Y6XOM58 [youtube.com]

      For crying out loud Google, you own youtube; at least try to use it before you make an ass out of yourself on the world stage. If Lanxiang vocational school really had "ties to the Chinese military" they wouldn't be interrupting my soap-operas every hour with cheesy infomercials tha
  • Hacking? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    No, no. As a government-sanctioned action it would neither be considered 'hacking' nor against the law.

  • According to Law??? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by HockeyPuck (141947) on Tuesday February 23, 2010 @11:28AM (#31244844)

    China administers its internet according to law, and this position will not change.

    Like there's anybody out there reading /. or the WSJ for that matter that is fluent in Chinese Law. This is their perfect 'get out of jail free card.' They can play the PR game all day long and hide behind whatever laws are defined. Any government would do the same thing, this isn't exclusive to the Chinese.

    • I'm not fluent in Chinese law (yet, though I plan to be someday), but there are large numbers of Western lawyers who are. And I'm sure Google and the US government employ many of these.

  • China administers its internet according to law, and this position will not change. China prohibits hacking and will crack down on hacking according to law.'"

    Am I just getting cynical in my own age, or is it entirely possible that this is just doublespeak and state-sanctioned attacks are permitted under chinese law.

    • by Nadaka (224565)

      China can say they are following the law and be telling the truth, provided that they have secret laws.

    • I'm sure there are laws against this. I'm also quite certain that a wise local can get around them. This is one of the biggest problems in China. They can tighten the law all they want and it doesn't stop things because the enforcement is corrupt.

      It also creates a huge inequity against foreign companies (like Google) because the same people who take the bribes either are already bribed by the locals or are afraid if they accept bribes from foreigners, the foreigners will be more likely to rat them out for t

    • by BhaKi (1316335)

      ... state-sanctioned attacks ...

      So far, there's no proof. All we have are presuppositions and rhetorical claims. Hey, I'm not saying Chinese people didn't do it. But still people are so prejudiced that I'll get modded into oblivion.

      • ... state-sanctioned attacks ...

        So far, there's no proof. All we have are presuppositions and rhetorical claims. Hey, I'm not saying Chinese people didn't do it. But still people are so prejudiced that I'll get modded into oblivion.

        In my case, it's not prejudice. When *any* government tells me the sky is blue, I look out the window for verification.

  • Have you ever Googled "google, NSA" (without the quotes)? It is not a pretty sight. I would be shocked at this point to discover that Google was not working hand-in-glove with the CIA, Pentagon and FBI. Same with Microsoft. Surely the CIA, Pentagon and FBI can enter a Windows computer (and OSX) at will through a supplied back door. The only people capable of discovering something like this would also wish to exploit their knowledge, so would never reveal it. Google and Microsoft claim it is against the law
    • by BhaKi (1316335)
      You just suspect it. I'm pretty sure the latest accusation by Google is just a drama that is part of the Google-Feds relationship.
      • by DVD9 (1751726)
        That is certainly possible. There is a strong synergy between the "main stream" media, Federal intelligence, military and police agencies, and Fortune 500 corporations. Also the big elite Universities, Harvard, Yale, MIT, Stanford etc. That is the government.
  • Why bother to negotiate if there has been no change in the mindset that created the problem in the first place. Just walk away Google. Don't be evil.

At work, the authority of a person is inversely proportional to the number of pens that person is carrying.

Working...