The US government is to stay well out of Google’s ongoing spat with China after the company reported a massive cyber attack on its Chinese operation last week.
The initial response from the White House came from spokesman Robert Gibbs, who said that, “The president and this administration have beliefs about the freedom of the internet… The right to a free internet is what many of you heard the president talk about in China.” Now though, it seems as though there’s been a bit of a backtrack, and the US government doesn’t want too much to do with the whole kafuffle.
Instead, according to TomsHardware, the US ambassador to China, Jon Hunstman, has said that the government will be steering clear of any conflicts arising between Google and China. Hunstman is quoted as having described the the incident as, “an issue that impinges upon probably one of the most important of all the issues that we stand for as a country and that is freedom of expression, freedoms of speech and internet freedom.”
In that respect, it seems curious not to get involved, but Huntsman goes on to say that, “This is an issue that will play out for some time between Google and Google’s partners here in China and the Chinese government, and they will make whatever decisions Google feels is appropriate. That won’t be influenced by the United States government.”
Still, it’s not as though Google is at all short on support for its anti-censorship stance, though it could well see it pushed out of the lucrative Chinese market. It’s worth remembering though that, while Yahoo has been openly supportive of Google’s position, Microsoft downplayed the whole thing, with Steve Ballmer saying that,
“Every large institution is being hacked… I don’t think it’s a fundamental change in the security environment on the internet.”