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Google in China

Essay by   •  January 4, 2012  •  Case Study  •  944 Words (4 Pages)  •  1,526 Views

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1. INTRODUCTION

In today's world, freedom of expression is a key issue. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is promoting "freedom of expression and freedom of the press as a basic human right, through sensitization and monitoring activities" . China joined this organization in 1979 thus raising a series of questions such as: Is China really applying UNESCO laws? The question arises due to the paradox between the government wishing to defend human rights and reality itself. Several real life examples such as bloggers Han-Han and Ai-Wei-Wei as well as the blocking of Google prove that the Chinese government is actually trying to control Internet by censorship. These prime examples prompt this question: How does the censoring of Google in China interfere with basic human rights ideas relating to freedom of expression? I will hereafter debate the subject Google in China followed by a short analysis of actions and facts related to this topic in relationship with human rights.

2. GOOGLE IN CHINA

In 2006, Google accepts to censor research related to the implementation of the company in China. This was against their company's main mission "to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful" . For example, if you type 'Image of the Tiananmen Square' on Google.cn you will find pictures of happy families and not the actual students blocking the road of tanks. At the start of 2010, Google and many other companies where massively hacked by China. The instigator of those attacks was, as Wikileaks mentioned later, "orchestrated by a senior member of the communist politburo" . Those manoeuvres forced Google Inc. to review their strategy by adapting content and abiding with local laws and conventions and raised the question if deleting information was not against human rights. This lead the search engine company to announce on 12th January 2010 that it was no longer willing to continue censoring results on the Chinese website. In addition, the company expressed its will to discuss with the government to launch and operate an unfiltered search engine . The reason for this tension might stem from the action of redirecting Google.cn to Google.com.hk in Hong-Kong which benefits from an uncensored and free search engine, is legally acceptable and respects human rights. This action was welcomed positively by Chinese society contrary to China's political leaders. In the mean time the company was still trying to figure out a way to adapt Google.cn. In September 2011, Google's yearly Internet license to operate in China was renewed despite their avoiding China's censorship rules . This shows that Internet and its virtues are very difficult to control and lead inevitably to freedom of expression and globalization.

The facts discussed show that the Chinese government is determined to censor content and prevent any influence of the western world (mainly political, pornographic and gambling topics) but despite

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