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.