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26march20105Dharamshala: Since Google’s announcement on March 22nd that they will no longer censor their search services on google.cn, those in support and opposition of a free Tibet have been quick to offer their opinions on the matter.

Stephanie Brigden, the director of the Free Tibet campaign, praised Google’s decision. She is quoted as calling the move a “victory against censorship,” adding, “We hope that it [Google’s decision] will encourage Internet users throughout China and Tibet to demand” an end to “China’s ‘great firewall’.” Brigden said that China would ultimately benefit from increased freedom of expression among its people, because “Freedom of expression and access to information are cornerstones of any developed nation and economy.”

In the past, the Chinese response to Tibetans using the Internet to inform the outside world of circumstances within their country has been harsh. Most notably, in November 2008, two Tibetans were served substantial jail time (a life sentence in one case and five years in the other) for sending accounts of Chinese human rights violations to people outside of Tibet.

An article published earlier today in state controlled news agency "China Daily", or the government- sanctioned Chinese news agency, claimed that Google’s move to shut down their mainland servers in China was motivated in part by the United States and Obama’s political agenda. “The incident has from the beginning been implicated in Washington’s political games with China,” stated the article.

The article goes on to say that Google’s exit to Hong Kong citing the reasons of “internet censorship” and “hacker attacks” is a “deliberate plot” to antagonize the Western public towards the Chinese government. “Google’s case is in essence part of the US’ Internet intrusive strategy worldwide under the excuse that it advocates a free Internet,” reported the article. 

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E-mail: editor@thetibetpost.com