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China's Draconian Instructions For Reporting On Google Revealed

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The Washington Post (via the China Digital Times) has obtained a copy of the Chinese government's instructions, issued to domestic news sites, for reporting on the Google/China story.

Earlier this week, Google announced that it would stop censoring search results in China--effectively shutting down its search service there--and began redirecting users to Google's uncensored Hong Kong search engine. The move, which runs afoul of Chinese law, has been strongly criticized by Chinese government officials, and the state has moved to block users access to Google's Hong Kong portal.

A few highlights from the government's media guidelines include:

It is not permitted to hold discussions or investigations on the Google topic.

Online programs with experts and scholars on this matter must apply for permission ahead of time. This type of self-initiated program production is strictly forbidden.

All websites please clean up text, images and sound and videos which support Google, dedicate flowers to Google, ask Google to stay, cheer for Google and others have a different tune from government policy.

Do not participate in and report Google's information/press releases.

Only use Central Government main media (website) content; do not use content from other sources.

Read the full list of guidelines here.

As is to be expected, Chinese media outlets have thus far been largely critical of Google's decision to stop censoring search results.

The New York Times reports that a front-page article in the PRC's China Daily newspaper lashed out at Google, questioning whether the company's move was just the beginning of a larger cyberwar.

The New York Times explains the content of the article:

For Chinese people, Google is not god, and even if it puts on a full-on show about politics and values, it is still not god,'' said a front-page commentary piece. ''In fact, Google is not a virgin when it comes to values. Its cooperation and collusion with the U.S. intelligence and security agencies is well-known."

As for Google's move, the newspaper said: ''All this makes one wonder. Thinking about the United States' big efforts in recent years to engage in Internet war, perhaps this could be an exploratory pre-dawn battle."

A bulletin from China's state-run news outlet Xinhua blasted Google in a post titled 'China says Google breaks promise, totally wrong to stop censoring.'

CCTV ran another piece that accused Google of 'groundlessly accusing the Chinese government of supporting hacker attack [sic]' and warned Google that it 'should not continue to politicalize itself.'

Read about the seven parties that stand to lose the most from Google's China exit, then check out the major consequences of Google's pullout. Get breaking news updates on the Google China standoff here.

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