In China, Google added a warning that searching for certain terms might “temporarily break your connection” as the results were blocked. Now, after extended clashes with the Chinese government, Google decided to remove the feature which had previously informed users from China of censored keywords. This indicates a new development in the relationship between the Chinese government and Google. Since Google moved its search engine to Hong Kong in 2010, censorship of its services such as YouTube, Google Plus and thousands of keywords on Google Search has been done by the GFW. The latest move was now fully controlled by Google and can as such only be described as self-censorship …
It was reportedly said that Google decided its move had been “counterproductive” to continue the technical dispute, despite several attempts to get around it. Google services have been blocked repeatedly in China, and it’s fought an uphill battle to avoid working within the local censorship regime — in 2010. It finally moved its entire search operation from mainland China to Hong Kong, which is a special administrative region with a separate political system. China apparently renewing its efforts now to block unauthorized VPN use and other methods of getting around the Firewall. So what could be the reason for Google to switch off their smart anti-censorship function ? This is a grave setback in the fight against censorship and Google has been caught on the wrong side. Google’s reputation as a fighter of censorship may not be fully earned.
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