Google Battles the Great Firewall of China

Last month, Google accused China of hacking into the email accounts of human rights activists. Google has admitted to previously restricting politically sensitive data, such as the search term "Tiananmen Square," in accordance with the Chinese government's wishes. However, Google felt that China went too far with its email hacking, which could cause Google to lose credibility among customers.

China currently uses a communist software filter, which has been humorously referred to as the "Great Firewall." Indeed, this restriction on outside influences from the Internet is in keeping with China's history of restricting outside influences through fortification, closed seaports and restricted trade. China claims that it is not restricting internet use but merely practicing "internet management."

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton delivered a pro-Google response on behalf of the U.S. government, stating that: "countries that restrict free access to information or violate the basic rights of Internet users risk walling themselves off from the progress of the next century." China responded with a warning that criticising its Internet policies could damage U.S.-China relations.

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