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[liberationtech] Google Bows Down To Chinese Government On Censorship

Martin Johnson greatfire at greatfire.org
Thu Jan 10 03:03:48 PST 2013


Since the function was disabled, Google is back to functioning the way it
used to in China. That is, if you search for any of the thousands of
keywords that are blocked by the GFW (
https://en.greatfire.org/search/google-searches), you get a Connection
Reset warning in your browser. There are no results and no instructions
what to do. The user hopefully clicks the back button and tries a different
search. However, whatever that search is, the same Connection Reset warning
will be the result. That is because the GFW blocks any subsequent
connections to the same website for about a minute. So, the user has to
wait for a minute, reload the page and search for something else.

Yes, the question is what you call "working well". The censorship-warning
feature added last year was clearly improving the user experience. Removing
it worsened the user experience again.

Martin Johnson
Founder
https://GreatFire.org - Monitoring Online Censorship In China.
https://FreeWeibo.com - Uncensored, Anonymous Sina Weibo Search.
https://Unblock.cn.com - We Can Unblock Your Website In China.


On Thu, Jan 10, 2013 at 6:46 PM, Maxim Kammerer <mk at dee.su> wrote:

> On Thu, Jan 10, 2013 at 11:51 AM, Martin Johnson
> <greatfire at greatfire.org> wrote:
> > Even in theory, I don't understand how the GFW could block the function
> > "while still typing the words".
>
> Perhaps this is not the correct technical explanation. The point is
> that users would still find themselves blocked, rendering the system
> ineffective and possibly detrimental.
>
> > 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 question is what do you call “working well”. If it was me on the
> Chinese side, the first thing I would do given Google's alternative
> suggestions system is use some ontology-based Bayesian network to
> determine sets of words in subsequent searches that would be used to
> block users. Perhaps that's what the Chinese did (or, more likely,
> something much more primitive yet working by the same principle).
>
> --
> Maxim Kammerer
> Liberté Linux: http://dee.su/liberte
> --
> Unsubscribe, change to digest, or change password at:
> https://mailman.stanford.edu/mailman/listinfo/liberationtech
>
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