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On the Hill, Sergey hints Google may leave China

'It's perfectly reasonable to do something different, to say, 'Look, we're going to stand by the principle against censorship and we won't actually operate there.'
Written by ZDNet UK, Contributor

Google's Sergey Brin visited Capitol Hill yesterday to lobby for net neutrality legislation and in the process allowed that Google's decision to participate in China doesn't align with the company's much-touted ethics and might be reversed, AP reports.

Brin said Google agreed to China's censorship demands only after authorities blocked the search engine, and the company noticed that competitors who complied suffered no international opprobrium. But Google, Brin has surely learned by now, is different. "we felt="" that="" we="" could="" compromise="" our="" principles="" but="" provide="" ultimately="" information="" for="" chinese="" be="" effective="" service="" and="" make="" of="" a="" difference="" perhaps="" now="" the="" principled="" approach="" makes="" more="" sense="" brin="" said="">

According to Reporters Without Borders, Google.com is no longer available within China. Only the censored version, Google.cn can be reached.

“It was only to be expected that Google.com would be gradually sidelined after the censored version was launched in January,” Reporters Without Borders said. “Google has just definitively joined the club of western companies that comply with online censorship in China. It is deplorable that Chinese Internet users are forced to wage a technological war against censorship in order to access banned content.”

Brin said Google is trying to improve its censored search service, Google.cn, before deciding whether to reverse course.

"It's perfectly reasonable to do something different, to say, 'Look, we're going to stand by the principle against censorship and we won't actually operate there.' That's an alternate path," Brin said. "It's not where we chose to go right now, but I can sort of see how people came to different conclusions about doing the right thing."
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