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[liberationtech] Google Bows Down To Chinese Government On Censorship

Martin Johnson greatfire at
Thu Jan 10 01:51:01 PST 2013

Regarding "the Chinese moved the block to an earlier phase when the user is
still typing the words":

Like I said before I believe the function was working up until Google
disabled it in early December. To verify, I just ran the latest HTML file
that was saved by our test system, downloaded on Dec 5. If I type in 六四, I
get the warning message. This is simply by opening the static HTML file in
a browser - no external files are loaded.

Even in theory, I don't understand how the GFW could block the function
"while still typing the words". They can block external files (which they
did in the past, and so Google moved the code to it's HTML file). They can
block the whole site. But they can't block individual code blocks on a
given page.

Unless you can show me otherwise - in practice, or in theory - I stand by
our original story. The function was working well until Google decided to
disable it.

The point is not to bash Google. They do a lot of good work. Particularly,
in China, their Gmail service is very valuable.

But, as we stated in the original post, this is a new development since
Google themselves decided to disable an anti-censorship feature. It
indicates a new direction in the relationship between Google and the
Chinese government.

Martin Johnson
Founder - Monitoring Online Censorship In China. - Uncensored, Anonymous Sina Weibo Search. - We Can Unblock Your Website In China.

On Thu, Jan 10, 2013 at 4:42 PM, Maxim Kammerer <mk at> wrote:

> On Thu, Jan 10, 2013 at 8:41 AM, Martin Johnson <greatfire at>
> wrote:
> > I also don't know how "Chinese cyber experts" could have disabled the
> > function. All the code was embedded on the front page.
> From what I understand, the Chinese moved the block to an earlier
> phase when the user is still typing the words, before Google could
> warn the user. What I think should be clear here is that Google is
> considered a high-profile target, so this is not a case of
> circumventing some generic GFC rules by a clever system — rather, it
> is an arms race with unclear implications for people affected if it
> continues, as Karl Fogel noted above.
> I mean, I like to bash Google just as the next guy — they suck talent
> while being a purely engineering company that produces nearly nothing
> original, and is focused on advertising, of all things. And their
> baseless hype machine is unbearable. But you have to give them the
> benefit of the doubt when they face Chinese experts. [1]
> [1]
> --
> Maxim Kammerer
> Liberté Linux:
> --
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