In the Media
Citizen Lab staff and research in the news.
When Google made the surprising announcement on Tuesday that it would no longer censor search results in China, it was applauded by human rights advocates around the world. Since China isn’t likely to allow unfiltered results, which would bring up banned topics, Google would have to quit operating google.cn, its Chinese search engine.
Google’s announcement that it had been hit by cyberattacks from China and that it’s reconsidering its services in that country has smacked the world like a thunderclap: Why the drastic move? How will China respond? Will other companies with interests in China, such as Microsoft and Yahoo, follow suit? What does it mean for the future of cyberspace? Ron Deibert and Rafal Rohozinski write a piece in Friday’s Globe and Mail.
By refusing to accept China’s censorship for its Internet search engine, Google has sent a message to the authoritarian state and its 300 million Internet users. The hidden cost of doing business may be to sell out the values on which the business depends. It took courage for Google to refuse to pay that price and take on China so publicly, by threatening to pull out if limits on the search engine persist.