Google, the $5.2 billion Mountain View Internet powerhouse that originally stood for “freedom of the net” has submitted to Chinese censorship, blocking certain words and phrases from its new Chinese search engine including “human rights,” “freedom” and the banned religion “falun gong.” At the same time, Google says it will fight attempts by the U.S. government to search its files for information on how often Google users search for child pornography. Critics, such as The Hearld of London, are howling: “Google, the last of the cyberspace good guys, the company whose motto is “don’t be evil”, the firm so cool it lets its staff ride bikes in the corridors and stuff themselves with free Gummy Bears, had gone over to the dark side.” In Red Herring, Google co-founder Sergey Brin explains why his company agreed to Chinese censorship. Still, Congress will investigate the Great Firewall Google has agreed to build. Google shares closed at 433.49 today (Jan. 27), down from their all-time high on of 475.11 on Jan. 11.

SF Press Club News

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