Below is an excerpt from a written statement distributed by Google.
What Google is Doing in China
1. Launch Google.cn
We have recently launched Google.cn, a version of Google’s search engine that we will filter in response to Chinese laws and regulations on illegal content. This website will supplement, and not replace, the existing, unfiltered Chinese-language interface Google.com. That website will remain open and unfiltered for Chinese-speaking users worldwide.
2. Disclosure of Filtering
Google.cn presents to users a clear notification whenever links have been removed from our search results in response to local laws and regulations in china. We view this a step toward greater transparency that no other company has done before.
3. Limit Services
Google.cn today includes basic Google search services, together with a local business information and map service. Other products – such as Gmail and Blogger, our blog service – that involve personal and confidential information will be introduced only when we are comfortable that we can provide them in a way that protects the privacy and security of users’ information.
Next Steps: Voluntary Industry Action
Google supports the idea of Internet industry action to define common principles to guide the practices of technology firms in countries that restrict access to information. Together with colleagues at other leading Internet companies, we are actively exploring the potential for guidelines that would apply for all countries in which Internet content is subjected to governmental restrictions. Such guidelines might encompass, for example, disclosure to users, protections for user data, and periodic reporting about governmental restrictions and the measures taken in response to them.
Next Steps: U.S. Government Action
The United States government has a role to play in contributing to the global expansion of free expression. For example. the U.S. Departments of State and commerce and the office of the U.S. Trade Representative should continue to make censorship a central element of our bilateral and multilateral agendas.
Moreover, the U.S. government should seek to bolster the global reach and impact of our Internet information industry by placing obstacles to its growth at the top of our trade agenda. At the risk of oversimplification, the U.S. should treat censorship as a barrier to trade, and raise that issue in the appropriate fora.