Feature: Blog Focus

Blog Focus on Google's Threat to Leave China

Author: Dennis Tarwood
Published: January 15, 2010 at 7:15 am

Blog Focus is Technorati's daily roundup of the top stories as told by the bloggers of the world. Each day a handful of posts, no matter how popular or nascent, will be selected by editors to portray a general unscientific reaction to discussion points around the 'Net.

Google and China have tried playing in the same sandbox.  Google shared its toy truck tentatively with China.  China dug out a little road for the truck and even jammed a couple sticks into the sand as stop lights. 

Unfortunately, China is one of those kids that everyone plays with only because they have the coolest back yard and the best toys, 'cause they're also prone to snit fits and you have to play every game by their rules.

Therefore, Google has told China to back off its oppressive censor games ("your truck can only drive down 'China Is Awesome Sauce' Ave. and has to go around 'Google Has Hemorrhoids' Lane to avoid the toy soldiers buried in the sand under house arrest") or else Google is taking its search truck and going home to the rest of the world.

Naturally, international business relations are far more complicated than children's games and cannot be boiled down to such rudimentary analogies.  Thus, the blogs have taken a more thoughtful approach to the issue:

Ars Technica — Ryan Paul also notes that Google's probably not too thrilled about the possibility that China's government has been hacking into Gmail et al to get information about political dissidents.  A report from an independent security firm seems to confirm China's involvement.  That spy gear is only for tracking the Boogieman, kids!

GeekSmack —Google's main competitor in China, Baidu, has government approval and continues to dominate the search market.  According to Patrick Laughner, investors are confident that Baidu will happily take over Google's market share after they stomp off. (Also, Baidu itself is no stranger to being hacked.)

Gizmodo — Rosa Golijan clears up one point about the hackage: it was an Internet Explorer 6 security flaw, not an Adobe Reader flaw, that opened the door for the hackers to access information at 33 U.S. companies, including Google.  What can we say?  Boys will be boys.

Download Squad — Sebastian Anthony notes the White House has taken the Google side of the argument (and, of course, those 32 other U.S. companies) and wonders if recent events are the harbinger of the Cyber Wars.  So be sure to stock up on Cyber Water and build your Cyber Bunker since we all know boys love to play war.


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Article Author: Dennis Tarwood

Dennis Tarwood was the founding Technology Channel editor for Technorati. He has developed educational technology products for the last dozen years and holds a teaching degree in computer science. He owns both a :CueCat and an OLPC XO, neither of which speaks well for his technology insights. …

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