It all started last December when some hackers hacked Gmail accounts of some human right activists. Later Google found that these accounts were hacked by the hackers who originated from mainland China. As a result Google threatened Chinese Government that it will shutdown its search operations and will no longer tolerate what it calls "Strict Censorship". Not only Google but over 20 large companies world-wide were similarly targeted by these Chinese hackers.
According to Google, the primary target of these hackers were the Gmail accounts of human rights activists. Further investigation by Google revealed that accounts of dozens of US, China and Europe-based Gmail users who are advocates of human rights in China have been routinely accessed by third parties. These accounts have not been accessed through any security breach at Google, but most likely via phishing scams or malware placed on the users computers.
Some words by Google:
We have decided we are no longer willing to continue censoring our results on Google.cn, and so over the next few weeks we will be discussing with the Chinese government the basis on which we could operate an unfiltered search engine within the law, if at all. We recognize that this may well mean having to shut down Google.cn, and potentially our offices in China.
It was also found that Chinese hackers managed to get into the Gmail accounts of human rights activists via a bug in Internet Explorer which was later confirmed and fixed by Microsoft. Google also doubt that Chinese government itself is involved in these attacks. U.S. authorities tracked down the person who wrote the code to attack Google in China. The guy in question was a freelance security consultant in China, and his discovery made it even more difficult for the Chinese government to deny their involvement. The worst news came when last month, two Chinese Institutions were also discovered in hacking Google sites. These schools were also reported to have tacit connections with PLA.
Check out this video in which Google have censored some of the keywords like Tiananmen Square and Tank Man etc
On Friday, Li Yizhong, minister for industry and information technology, said:
If [Google] takes steps that violate Chinese laws, that would be unfriendly, that would be irresponsible, and they would have to bear the consequences.
Chinese officials like Mr Li are trying their best to encourage Google to continue its operations in the country. Li said that "[Google] has taken 30 per cent of the Chinese search market". He further asked Google to continue in China by saying:
If you don't leave, China will welcome that, if you don't leave, it will be beneficial for the development of the internet in China.
China has the potential to soon be the largest internet market in the world and Google new strategy to China can cost it billion of dollars. Google currently holds a third of Chinese search market but according to the Google the question of revenue is not really material to this issue but this issue is about freedom of speech and human rights. Experts also say that these Internet disputes may stoke tensions between China and U.S.Contact Us for News Tips, Corrections and Feedback