Google, along with Yahoo and Microsoft, has taken a lot of heat lately for its complicity in suppressing free speech in China. What ever happened to “make money without doing evil”? But “things aren’t always as they appear”, as the saying goes. The smart folks at Internet Censorship Explorer have found a backdoor in Google.cn that allows users to get around the Great Firewall. Is it a feature or an oversight? We’ll let the conspiracy theorist in you sort that issue out.
From searchenginewatch.com‘s blogsite:
The blog Internet Censorship Explorer (ICE) ran an experiment using the site Human Rights Watch which does not appear in Google China search results. However, it was discovered that the URL filtering does not seem to apply to AdWords listings, as an AdWords ad with hrw.org as the display and destination URL of the ad showed up for keyword and site searches.
That said, the site hrw.org is still inaccessible within China. At best, people would know that the government is censoring. Still, that knowledge alone tilts the balance of power back towards the masses. However, we’d expect this “loophole” to be closed fairly soon now that it has received this much attention, so get your adwords up fast, while you still can!