White House Backs Google, Seeks China Explanation

The White House has spoken up in support of Google’s effort to defy Chinese censorship, Reuters reports:

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs told reporters that President Barack Obama had strong beliefs about the universal rights of men and women worldwide that would not be “carved out” for certain countries.

China has defended its extensive censorship after the U.S. Internet search giant threatened to leave the country following a spate of cyber attacks last month.

The senior Washington-based U.S. diplomat for China met with a Chinese diplomat on Thursday to seek an explanation about the cyber attacks and censorship, State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley told reporters.

See also “Tensions between Google and China complicate U.S. diplomacy” from the Washington Post. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is slated to give a major address on Internet freedom on January 21.

The Guardian has posted a timeline of censorship in China over the past year. Shanghaiist (via Information is Beautiful) has posted a visualization of banned keywords and blocked websites, though as Shanghaiist points out, the list would be more telling in Chinese:


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