Today is Wednesday, 17th July 2024

Google Does Diplomacy


In the hours of last evening, Google (the very same corporation that does everything else in America) fired the first shots in a heated conflict over China’s record on human rights. Why? Google revealed recently that it had found evidence of hacking attempts made on the Gmail accounts of Chinese political dissidents, human rights activists, and other enemies of the current Chinese communist regime. While Google did not explicitly state that the Chinese government was behind these attacks, it stated that with these new developments it would engage in new dialogue with the Chinese government of possibly operating an unfiltered search service like it has desired to, and, barring that, that Google would have to seriously reconsider the prospects of doing business in China.

In related news, the U.S. State Department collectively creamed themselves.

All kidding aside, the language from Google in their latest blog posting seen HERE, while not striking outside of a business or governmental/diplomatic perspective, is unprecedented. Google doesn’t control the Internet, doesn’t control any sort of armed forces beyond the security guards at its offices, doesn’t even control the majority market share in China for search services (it’s beaten out by local search service, about 60%-30%). With such money to be made in a market like this, is Google’s move far too rash? Does it speak more to Google’s commitment to “do no evil” and stick up for human rights? Or does this speak of a more concrete concern for the company, the cybersecurity issues that have cropped up as the Chinese government moves to lock down the Internet for its own purposes? Perhaps Google cannot afford to spend more money on methods of complying completely with Beijing’s demands.

Article on Reuters.

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