Chinese Paper Accuses Google Of “Malicious Retaliation”
Don’t be surprised if Google’s sites and services become inaccessible to people within China. The search giant has gotten in trouble with a newspaper called the People’s Daily, and said publication just happens to be the official newspaper of the Communist Party of China.
Not too long ago, the People’s Daily ran articles that were critical of the Google Books scanning project. They touched on some of the same issues other people have raised, alleging copyright infringement and the like. The trouble was that Google then stopped allowing searchers to access a portion of the newspaper’s website.
According to Liang Chen, searchers could just see a warning that stated, "This website may have malicious software, which might damage your computer."
The People’s Daily did not take kindly to this. Chen continued, "[T]he channel posted a news story at the top of its Web page Monday, quoting a person in charge of the channel as saying that ‘Google has maliciously blocked the channel in retaliation.’" A special, separate page was created, too.
Now, access has been restored, and Google’s chalked the malicious software warning up to an automated mistake on the part of StopBadware.org. Still, this episode could hurt Google’s reputation in China, and it’s not at all unimaginable that the government would take action and do a little (more) censorship of its own.