Tonight, David Drummond, Google’s chief legal officer and senior vice-president of corporate development, announced on Google’s blog that it would end its policy of censoring certain search results on Google.cn to comply with Chinese internet censorship laws. The reasons given for the move were that an attack on Google’s architecture from within China was aimed at compromising the Gmail acconts of several human rights activists. Although Google did not say they suspected the Chinese government was behind the attack, but the message was clear that they considered it to be a violation of one of the key principles they based the Chinese operations around.
The policy was controversial among free-speech advocates who believed that censoring any search results hampered access to information in Japan, but Google maintained that a censored search engine was better than none at all. Google now concedes that if not censoring their results earns them a ban in China, they will have to close the Chinese branch of their service.
edited for typo error