updated 01:50 pm EST, Fri March 12, 2010
Google to stop censoring web results in China?
Google may cease its censorship of search results on the web in China over the next few weeks, according to slips from unnamed sources. While contacts for the WSJ claim the search engine giant may try to avoid leaving the Chinese market altogether, they say it would make several individual agreements with numerous Chinese agencies to operate parts of its business while letting it abandon the search site if the government refuses to allow uncensored material. Government officials have insisted that allowing Chinese residents to see the full Internet would break its laws.
Google is widely known to have been in talks with the Chinese government, though the result of these talks is not evident. It's already aware of the consequences and has already said it's prepared to shut down services and offices based in China.
The fight began after Google discovered hackers attempting to get into the e-mail of Chinese opponents to the communist political regime. Officially, China has maintained that it never instigated the searches, but Google hasn't accepted its version of events as the truth and has continued to promise uncensored results. Google co-founder Sergey Brin is partly involved in the decision as his early life in the pre-breakup Soviet Union has made him more aware of censorship issues.