Monday, March 22, 2010

China Denounces Google 'US ties'

China's paranoid state media has attacked Google for having what it said were "intricate ties" with the US government.

Google provides US intelligence agencies with a record of its search engine results, the state-run news agency Xinhua said. It also accused Google of trying to change Chinese society by imposing American values on it.

Google denied that it was influenced by the US government, a spokesperson for the company was quoted as saying by AP.

"Google's high-level officials have intricate ties with the US government. It is also an open secret that some security experts in the Pentagon are from Google", reporters from Xinhua wrote in a commentary.

The attack comes as Google prepares to announce whether it will pull out of China because of internet censorship there.

"The decision to review our business in China was entirely Google's and Google's alone, Google spokeswoman Jessica Powell told AP news agency

Google's market share lags behind that of China's most popular search engine, Baidu, but China has more people online than any other country.

Censorship laws

Xinhua said China's internet regulations would remain unchanged whether Google left or not.

"One company's ambition to change China's internet rules will only prove to be ridiculous", Xinhua said.

Google announced in January that it would no longer comply with China's internet censorship laws. It warned that it may shut down because of censorship and a hacking attack on the portal.

Google began operations in China in 2006 to widespread criticism. While many argued Google was complicit in the censorship imposed by Chinese government, Google insisted it was nevertheless serving the public interest even though it was furnishing censored results.

Relations between China and Google cooled in January after what Google described as a sophisticated cyber attack in which the webmail accounts of Chinese human rights activists were targeted.

Xinhua; AP; Sky News; UPI.

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