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Google was Pressured by China on Internet Censorship : Wikileaks

Google trying its best to operate its search engine in china has worsened after a high ranking Chinese official Googled himself and found “results critical oh him” as reported by a new cable released by Wikileaks on Saturday.

One of the members of china’s top ruling body believed that the company’s main search engine at Google.com was illegal after it discovered that the site is providing uncensored search results as claimed by an unnamed source in a cable released in may 2009. The official also demanded that the search giant should remove the link to Google.com from the company’s censored China-based search engine available at Google.cn.

In the cable which was recently released, the official name was deleted but New York Times report has mentioned the name in question. He is the member of China’s Politburo Standing Committee Mr. Li Chanchun and is also considered s the chief propaganda for china. The WikiLeaks cable had earlier mentioned Li as the government official who oversaw the December 2009 hacking attack on Google’s computer systems.

The release of the cables came months after Google had already decided to pull back some of its operations in the country. In the month of March, Google announced it would stop censoring its search results in the country, a requirement that was imposed on by the Chinese government. From March onwards company’s Google.cn page which redirected the users to Google’s Hong Kong search engine, providing them with unfiltered results. However The Chinese government still censors out searches from the page.

The recent released cable, along with another dated July 2009, had claimed that the Chinese government had taken lots of efforts not just once but twice to force Google to meet its demands on Internet censorship. From the year 2007 to 2009, Google had been receiving numerous requests for the company to remove the Google.com link from the Google.cn page.

As a forum of retribution the Chinese officials have asked the three state- owned telecommunications companies to stop working with them as claimed in the cables. The Wikileaks has stated that following the company’s three-year history of facing periodic blockages of its services by the Chinese government Google was also being “harassed”. However, Google was adamant on this front and held its position on not removing the link, with the company’s lawyers believing they found “no legal basis for China’s demands.”

As the Chinese government has claimed that the website Google.com is an illegal in order for the justification of its request for removal of the link. As a twist the Chinese law has refused to go about the demand by the government and to identify the site as illegal as thousands of other Chinese websites include links to google.com. Google further clear out its position by saying that keeping the link on the Google.cn page was one of the key principles that the company has to uphold at the time to testify to U.S. Congress about entering into the China market.

China is also demanding to take action against Google Earth images. The reason behind this is that, China’s military nuclear and space installations, as well as other sensitive government facilities, which may act as assets to terrorists and can create some “grave consequences”. However Google refused to comment on this and so did china’s foreign minister.

As the new result Google has applied for a necessary license with the Chinese government in order to continue the operation of its online mapping service within China only on the basis that Google must locate its online mapping servers within China to meet the license requirements.

Report: China Hacked 15% of the Internet-Really?

2010 has been the year of China showing its belligerence in the web domain, but according to McAffe’s vice president Dmitri Alperovitch China “sucked in” 15% of the web in terms of emails, chats and messages in April for 18 minutes. However it is not certain as to what China could have done with so much information.

According to Dmitri Alperovitch “The telephone giants of the world work on a system based on trust, he explained. Machine-to-machine interfaces send out messages to the Internet  informing other service providers that they are the fastest and most efficient way for data packets to travel. For 18 minutes April 8, China Telecom Corp. told many ISPs of the world that its routes were the best paths to send traffic. For example, a person sending information from Arlington, Va., to the White House in Washington, D.C. — only a few miles away — could have had his data routed through China. Since traffic moves around the world in milliseconds, the computer user would not have noticed the delay.”

China is known to have  an army of hackers that are constantly monitoring, not only Chinese citizens, but reading your messages as well!

Microsoft Join Hands with Sina Corporation

Microsoft has recently unveiled its joint venture in China by announcing partnership with Sina Corp. In the joint venture Sina Corp. will link Microsoft’s instant messaging service with the China’s biggest micro blogging service. Both, Microsoft’s Windows Live Messenger and Sina Corp’s Sina Weibo were launched in 2009 and have tens of millions of users. Also  Sina Corp. has claimed that it is looking to reach 100 million users by next year. There is no clear indication of when this venture will begin.

Sina Weibo is a Twitter-like micro blogging service from China will link their accounts created by different users to the Microsoft’s instant messaging tool Windows Live Messenger. Users will also get the Sina Weibo messages displayed automatically on the instant messages contacts.

This is not the only one venture of Microsoft in China. Before this, known as the MSN China, is a joint venture of Microsoft and Shanghai Alliance Investment Ltd.  Windows Live Messenger, MSN web portal along with the other Microsoft Internet services in China, including the company’s MSN web portal are operated by Shanghai MSN Network Communications Technology Co. or MSN China.

The new partnership of Microsoft with Sina will also include the migration of the Microsoft’s Blogging Service i.e. Windows Live Spaces to Sina’s blogging service. So does that mean that Microsoft is trying to exit from the blogging business?

However, it is heard that Microsoft is also providing the search results from its search engine, Bing to the Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group for a new e-commerce-focused search website that is in the testing phase.

China to Ban Kinetic Sales

Kinect works like the eye of the Xbox 360. It is a camera which captures the player’s movements and specialised software converts the movements into game commands. Your physical movements determine the actions of the virtual character in the game. Experts predict that Kinect is said to be a huge success throughout the world, as it adds more to the popular Xbox gaming console. Moreover it enhances the concept of virtual reality while playing games, as it is not keypad based. Kinect is scheduled for launch in November this year and its sale will start from North America.

Microsoft is very positive for the success of Kinect. China has completely banned the sale of Kinect in China as it says that the device has broken several laws and thus they cannot allow Microsoft to sell Kinect in in China. China has already banned the sale and purchase of Microsoft’s Xbox 360 in the country and similarly the new addition, Kinect is also banned. The local Chinese market has several “Xbox” type consoles of their own and probably they want to focus on their sale rather face stiff competition from an external product like Kinect. Though Xbox 360 was banned in China, many game enthusiasts have managed to get the console into the country. Microsoft has accepted this ban from China and is not doing anything for removing the ban. Microsoft knows that people who would really need Kinect would get it anyways, as gamers  in China already have Xbox 360. As a result they would definitely need to complement their Xbox console with a Kinect.

Kinect was formerly knows as Project Natal and was later called as Kinect. Kinect is a sleek bar which you can place in from of your gaming console for it to capture your movements. It uses infrared rays for capturing the movements of maximum two players. It is capable of sensing 48 points of the player’s body in real time. It is done by beaming the invisible infrared rays in the room which returns to the sensors based on the players movements. The sensor is very sensible and captures slightest of the movements in the players body. Kinect is also equipped with a microphone so that you can talk with your Xbox and give voice commands to it. Kinect has taken the gaming world to high dimensions. It can create a 3d image of you in colour and can also let you login to Xbox after seeing your face. Not only an infrared camera but Kinect also has a decent web camera which allows the players to video chat with other players over the internet. If your friends are on Microsoft Xbox or on Windows Live messenger you can easily do a video chat with them using the Kinect’s camera. Kinect will be launched in November and will certainly take the gaming experience to great heights. Though the price is not officially disclosed but it is expected to be around 200 dollars by the experts.

New Controls For Twitter-Style Services Tested By China

The Chinese internet companies are working on some options to get into the market through popular media like Twitter. The Chinese people faced many problems in accessing various websites and blogs. They were unable to open the links as these are dead and inaccessible. Due to these problems many of the Internet users left and stopped using blogging services.

Chinese Portals

The other services offered by the Chinese internet portals like Sina and QQ informed that the services associated with Twitter are in testing mode. The two other services namely NetEase and Sohu are kept for maintenance. The microbloggers on sina were unable to work on the International web sites. Some editor having the maximum number of followers mentioned on their microblog that many of the users could not even find their names on the internet.

The competitive site Sohu was affected badly in operation. As it was kept for the maintenance, the microblog facility offered by them had no search function. Users could not publish links to several other sites than those of Sohu. When the users posted links to other sites, these were unsuccessful and never materialized. The lawyers who were involved in public interest saw there were microblogs and a few blogs on Sohu. The person Yao Yuan wrote a blog on Sina which has rival matter against Sohu. The moserators and the webmaster of Sina removed this post later.

When the telephonic interviews were held, people talked about several operational sites that refused to tighten controls. They mentioned that they were continuously testing as their operating system came into market and could not control users and their activities. However, they failed to explain clearly why they had not noted this change earlier.

These incidents create news and makes lots of bad reviews and publicity in the press media. But one of the employees who is in charge of Sina informed that it is like a day to day event. It is not the news in fact it is a daily occurring. Employees working in other portals informed that this change is in response of direct restrictions from the Chinese Internet Authorities.

One of the editors at Sahu said that he cannot give any detailed information as they are still assessing and learning the current situation in China. He kept his name confidential as he was worried to come into the focus of the government. He further said that these products were new for the Chinese people. The officials and the media partners in respective states are also taking the benefit of these new tools in order to have better interaction with the public and know their opinion.

But the institute’s in affiliation with government instigated regarding the hindrance of hostile forces in china and international countries for exploring sites to the fans. One of the new media specialists informed that there have been difficulties where internet users have discussed among themselves about these incidents, but the news which come into focus because of them is not liked by the government and so the relevant information and factual details are all suppressed.

Google To China: Two Operational Products Will Close

In the year 2005, Google China was created. It was supervised by Kai-fu Lee.  Its main headquarters in China is located in Beijing. The area of service is the people’s republic of China, mainly because Hong Kong has its own service. Because of fewer shares by Google in the business, Kai-fu lee has decided to leave the partnership. Recently, there was breaking news that two operational products of Google will close. In one of the most popular forums in their country, it was said on Tuesday by one of the most popular search engine, Google, that they will be closing their product in China.

Google Closes Two Products In China

As a strategy, Google has decided to phase out their products. The idea was launched by March 2010 when they even made an alternate route from Google.cn (cn stands for China) to Google.hk (hk stands for Hong Kong). This was because there was news that China had blocked Google’s You Tube. This happened in March 2009. There were also other issues of gaining unauthorized access to computer data of Google by the hackers from the country of China. Since Hong Kong is not under any power from China and there was a headquarters there, Google decided to reroute through that office. Also, Google wants to invest there because there is freedom from censorship.

The official statement was released by Mr. David Drummond, the senior vice president, on behalf of Google Company. He officially stated the news also in a Google blog. The reason of closing their products in China was because of the censorship of the internet in China. The censorship by the country is not on the scheme of things or part of the mission of Google. Its mission is to provide worldwide service to the people around the world. Google expressed disagreement to China when China objected to free information. Google would have been a huge participant in China’s infrastructure. They would have helped by giving information to the public. By using the applications by Google, surely, it could have brought them a helping hand. Compared to China, Hong Kong has a high respect for freedom of speech. This was the effective marketing plan made by Google initially.

Mainland China Obstructs Google Websites

By the last week of March 2010, Mainland China decided to obstruct the websites of Google and links through the site to every country, all over the world including its mobile features. These are the results of DNS (Domain name service) error. A spokesperson of China, Xiao Quiang, also director of China’s International Network Project, said that the China can ban all of the services from Google if they want too. Since then, Google decided to have its services through Hong Kong.

Google is accepted around the world in all major countries except for China because of censorship. They continue to serve people with their popular applications known worldwide. These are Gmail (a web-based electronic mail), Google Chrome (an internet browser used to have access to the world of internet), Google Maps (a map guide), mobile services and many more. Although freedom of speech with the use of Google search engine was blocked by China, the services continue to grow. They made it a point that they will provide a link through Hong Kong to China so that they can be still of service to the Chinese people.

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