According to the AP (and a H/T to Running Bare):
Google Inc. will stop censoring its search results in China and may pull out of the country completely after discovering that computers hackers had tricked human rights activists into opening their e-mail accounts to outsiders. The change-of-heart announced Tuesday heralds a major shift for Google, which has repeatedly said it will obey Chinese laws that require some politically and socially sensitive issues to be blocked from search results that are available in other countries.
The internet company (whose staff almost exclusively donates to Democrats, whose search results and ad policies have been caught displaying bias, and who resisted any attempts from the Bush government to acquire data on searches which might have assisted in The Activity Formerly Known As The War On Terror) has been eager to bend over backwards (or forwards, or in whatever position was requested) for the Chinese government – including, but not limited to, censoring search results in China based on directives of the government to keep the people from being exposed to nasty, hurtful facts. (Unfortunately, they are not alone in this; Microsoft and Yahoo also have the blood of Chinese dissidents on their hands.)
Google disclosed in a blog post that it had detected a “highly sophisticated and targeted attack on our corporate infrastructure originating from China.” Further investigation revealed that “a primary goal of the attackers was accessing the Gmail accounts of Chinese human rights activists,” Google said in the post written by Chief Legal Officer David Drummond.
Shocked, yes shocked were they, of course. Google didn’t give a damn about China torturing and murdering dissidents, but they sure got pissed off in a hurry when the Chinese started harassing them! It’s like you can’t even trust your socialist fellow travelers anymore.
Google did not specifically accuse the Chinese government. But the company long associated with a motto of “don’t be evil” added that it is “no longer willing to continue censoring our results” on its Chinese search engine, as the government requires. Google said the decision could force it to shut down its Chinese site and its offices in the country. …
They may have been associated with their smug little motto, but they certainly made no attempts to abide by it. Unless they want to claim, “Hey, we did no evil, we just facilitated others in doing evil!”
… “Google has taken a bold and difficult step for Internet freedom in support of fundamental human rights,” said Leslie Harris, president of the Center for Democracy & Technology, a civil-liberties group in Washington. “No company should be forced to operate under government threat to its core values or to the rights and safety of its users.” …
Funny how they only responded when they were attacked. “Bold and difficult step for Internet freedom in support of fundamental human rights” my ass. As for the others:
… Yahoo Inc. had come under fire for giving Chinese officials information about the online activities of two journalists, who were then arrested, convicted and sentenced to 10-year prison terms for allegedly leaking state secrets and political writings. Meanwhile, Microsoft Corp. was criticized for shutting down, at Beijing’s request, a popular Chinese blog that touches on sensitive topics such as press freedoms.