To no one’s surprise but his own Google co-founder Sergey Brin is finally admitting that doing business with a brutally repressive and corrupt government wasn’t such a good idea.
"We felt that perhaps we could compromise our principles but provide ultimately more information for the Chinese and be a more effective service and perhaps make more of a difference," Brin told reporters. After all, what are principles for if not to compromise them at the drop of a buck? Brin also said “Google is trying to improve its censored search service, Google.cn, before deciding whether to reverse course. He said virtually all the company's customers in China use the non-censored service.” (One would love to know how he knows this, one would.)
Or at least they try to. Quoth ZDNet: “Google is just one of the Web sites recently affected by access problems. Internet users have reported problems accessing e-mail accounts and online chat servers linked to servers overseas, including Google's Gmail and MSN Hotmail accounts.”
In what is almost certainly a coincidental development, yesterday the Chinese Foreign Ministry reiterated it’s stand that China takes “a positive attitude toward working with companies such as Google, but any cooperation must exist
‘within a framework of law,’ and that Beijing hoped firms would abide by China's regulations.”
Just FYI, this is the actual message displayed when GMail is down: “Gmail is temporarily unavailable. Cross your fingers and try again in a few minutes. We're sorry for the inconvenience.”
I understand crossing your fingers also plays a prominent role in the Chinese legal system.