NYT – “A government official’s X-rated photos appear on the Internet and immediately go viral. Online traffic spikes as Web users hunt for the images with gleeful schadenfreude. When Representative Anthony D. Weiner’s anatomy dominated headlines in the United States this summer, the curious headed to search engines like Google or Bing to see more than usual of a U.S. politician. But when screen shots from a Web cam, showing a bureaucrat from the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou in a state of undress, hit the Web in late June, the majority of those who wanted to catch a glimpse of his naked body turned to Baidu, China’s most popular Internet search engine.”
Reuters – “Baidu Inc was sued on Wednesday by eight New York residents who accused China’s biggest search engine of conspiring with the country’s government to censor pro-democracy speech.
The lawsuit claims violations of the U.S. Constitution and according to the plaintiffs’ lawyer is the first of its type.
It was filed more than a year after Google Inc declared it would no longer censor search results in China, and rerouted Internet users to its Hong Kong website.”
AP – “Baidu Inc., which operates China’s leading search engine, said Wednesday it has removed 2.8 million items from an online library after authors complained it was distributing their work without permission.
The company apologized last weekend to Chinese authors and said it would screen material on Baidu Library and remove unauthorized work.”
WSJ – “Days after a judge shot down rival Google’s plans to create a digital library of the world’s books over copyright concerns, Chinese search giant Baidu has come under fire for its own library project. Chinese authors have slammed Baidu over its document sharing website, Baidu Wenke (called “Baidu Library” in English), saying the company rejected their demands to be compensated for downloads of unlicensed copies of their works. Baidu has since promised to remove unlicensed content from the website and apologized “to any of the authors or publishers whose feelings may have been hurt by the presence of infringing content on Baidu,” but that hasn’t stopped the onslaught of complaints.”
Reuters – “Yahoo email accounts of some journalists and activists whose work relates to China were compromised in an attack discovered this week, days after Google announced it would move its Chinese-language search services out of China due to censorship concerns. Several journalists in China and Taiwan found they were unable to access their accounts beginning March 25, among them Kathleen McLaughlin, a freelance journalist in Beijing. Her access was restored on Wednesday, she told Reuters.”
USA Today – “The professor sounds upset, the tour guide says she doesn’t care, and the taxi driver swears it’s a coverup. Google’s decision this week to close its self-censored Internet search service in mainland China was provoking diverse reactions here Thursday.”
Bloomberg – “Google Inc. said it’s still providing censored search services for some partners in China, after announcing this week it would begin offering unfiltered results in the country. The company needs to fulfill “existing contractual obligations as we believe it’s the responsible thing to do,” Jessica Powell, a Tokyo-based spokeswoman, said in an e-mail today. Google will phase out censored services for partners “over time,” she said.
Reuters – “Google Inc moved its China Internet search service to Hong Kong in a bid to resolve its dispute with Beijing over censored search results while keeping a foot in the world’s largest Internet market.”
Reuters – “China’s state-run Xinhua news agency launched a new broadside against Google Inc on Monday, saying in an angry commentary that the company had reneged on promises to abide by Chinese law. Speculation is swirling that Google will soon announce a decision to pull out of China, or at least shut down its Chinese search engine.”
Bloomberg – “Google Inc.’s partners in China said they have received no information from the company since it announced it may exit the country, putting their businesses at risk.”