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China blocks Google, Gmail as porn dispute continues

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googlelogoChina’s dispute with Google has reached a new level as millions of users found they were unable to access the English or Chinese versions search engine or Gmail. The block was put in place after the government accused Google of willfully spreading pornography.

“We have found that the English version of Google.com has spread lots of pornographic, lewd and vulgar content, which is in serious violation of Chinese laws and regulations,” government spokesperson, Qin Gang, was quoted by the BBC.

Google has been called upon to meet with Chinese officials but has not commented on the block. It’s unknown if China considers any content it doesn’t agree with, such as political sites critical of the government, as “unhealthy content” or just traditional adult sites. Knowing how China censors with an iron fist, it probably does lump any content it doesn’t like under that label.

In another show of censorship, Microsoft’s new Bing search engine has been found to deliver different results for politically sensitive keywords if they are typed in in English, traditional Chinese as opposed to simplified Chinese. Simplified Chinese is used in China.

Google is expected to find a way to meet the Chinese government’s demands although they obviously have no clue how a search engine works. While it’s disappointing that American companies are reluctant to stand up to China’s censorship demands, it’s understandable that they don’t want to risk losing such a large market.

Read [PCWorld]

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