Google’s Chief Executive, Eric Schmidt has said that China’s Internet population is growing too fast for Beijing to successfully monitor and control all activity.
Schmidt, speaking at the Council on Foreign Relations, CEO Speaker Series, said that the expansion of China’s internet population, especially with the growth in mobile internet use was likely to leave China’s censors struggling to keep up.
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The Chinese government seeks to control the flow of information available to Internet users in the country and to prevent access to certain sites, considered to be inappropriate for Chinese users by forcing all traffic through the “Great Fire Wall” or GFW.
This is not the first time Google has been critical of China’s censorship regime. Early in 2010, Google risked the loss of its licence to operate in mainland China by announcing that it was no longer willing to self-censor search results as required by the Chinese Government. That impasse was resolved by Google redirecting all Chinese search traffic to its Hong Kong servers.
Chinese users have several methods of breaching the Great Fire Wall from simple anonymising proxy servers that pop up on the web daily as others are blocked to full blown VPN access and even through loopholes such as Amazon’s Kindle 3