Group Issues Two Reports on Chinese Government's Censorship of Internet Search Engines

March 30, 2005

The OpenNet Initiative, a partnership of the Citizen Lab at the Munk Centre for International Studies, University of Toronto, the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School, and the Advanced Network Research Group at the Centre for Security in International Society (Cambridge Security Programme), University of Cambridge, has issued two reports discussing how the Chinese government restricts Chinese citizens' access to information via Internet search engines. The first report, "Probing Chinese Search Engine Filtering" found that the Yisou and Baidu search engines are actively filtering keyword search requests, and concludes that, considering both Yahoo!'s and Google's investment relationships with these companies, it is certainly legitimate to raise questions of corporate responsibility and adherence to human rights . ONI's second report, "Google Search and Cache Filtering Behind China's Great Firewall", concludes that Chinese Internet users' access to Google is filtered for specific keywords, and this filtering disrupts Google searches as well as access to the Google cache, and that the pattern of filtering suggest that the Chinese government knows how access to Google's cache can be used as an ad hoc form of censorship circumvention and has taken steps to limit it accordingly.