Google Challenged to End China’s Internet Censorship

Should Google take on ChinaEUs censorship machine single-handedly? That seems to be the cry from a non-profit anti-censorship group thatEUs appealing to Eric Schmidt and the Internet search giant he chairs.

Charlie Smith, co-founder of GreatFire.org, is calling on Schmidt to make good on his words in a Nov. 20 speech in Washington. Bloomberg quoted him declaring, EUWe can end government censorship in a decade. The solution to government surveillance is to encrypt everything.EU

San DiegoEUs Daily Transcript reported that Schmidt said he thinks there will be movements from Chinese citizens using technology that countryEUs leaders wonEUt be able to control or stop, such as the campaigns in favor of gay rights and same-sex marriage that developed within the United States. EUYou cannot stop it if itEUs a good idea broadly held,EU Schmidt said. EUThatEUs how China will change.EU

The Great Firewall of China

EUIf we are to take Mr. Schmidt seriously, we must ask what Google is doing in practice in the most censored of all Internet markets: China. The answer, unfortunately, is disappointing,EU Smith wrote in a blog post. EUOver the last few years, all that Google has seemingly done in China is to put up a warning to users trying to search for blocked keywords -- and even that feature was later removed.EU

WhatEUs more, Smith continued, anti-censorship and anti-surveillance technology that has been rolled out on Google Search in other parts of the world have been withheld from the country where it would matter the most. Encrypted-by-default search was rolled out in the U.S. quickly after the NSA revelations, he noted, but not in China where users are not only monitored but thousands of keywords are blocked altogether.

SmithEUs specific suggestion: Google needs to switch its China search engine to HTTPS by default like it has done in the U.S. and other...

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