Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Google in Politics?


Then in the first week of September, Brin [Google founder, Russian immigrant] found himself pulled into matters of foreign policy. He received several emails from users telling him that the Chinese government, worried about political dissent in the weeks before the 16th Chinese Party Congress, had shut down access to the site. "Our Chinese traffic was down by a factor of five," Brin says. "We were blocked."
Brin was no expert on international diplomacy. So he ordered a half-dozen books about Chinese history, business, and politics on and splurged on overnight shipping. He consulted with Schmidt, Page, and David Drummond, Google's general counsel and head of business development, then put in a call to tech industry doyenne Esther Dyson for advice and contacts. Google has no offices in China, so Brin enlisted go-betweens to get the message to Chinese authorities that Google would be very interested in working out a compromise to restore access. "We didn't want to do anything rash," Brin says. "The situation over there is more complex than I had imagined."

excerpt from: Google vs. Evil


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