Official Google Blog: A new approach to China Google is officially stating that a number of email accounts hosted by Google were attacked from within China. The accounts seem to be mostly connected to Chinese human rights activists. They also state that this is part of a larger pattern extending over a number of other companies.
The most amazing thing about this is the very aggressive pro-privacy stance Google is taking in response to this. They are saying that they will stop censoring search results at Google.cn. That they will talk with the Chinese about how to do this, but are willing to completely pull out of operations in China if they can't provide un-censored content from within.
The post is worth reading in full. Here are the concluding paragraphs:
These attacks and the surveillance they have uncovered--combined with the attempts over the past year to further limit free speech on the web--have led us to conclude that we should review the feasibility of our business operations in China. 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.
The decision to review our business operations in China has been incredibly hard, and we know that it will have potentially far-reaching consequences. We want to make clear that this move was driven by our executives in the United States, without the knowledge or involvement of our employees in China who have worked incredibly hard to make Google.cn the success it is today. We are committed to working responsibly to resolve the very difficult issues raised.
Wow. We shall see.