It was not unheard of for American media correspondents to pass information to the US military during WWII. Perhaps the Chinese had that in mind when they accused Google (GOOG) of spying for the U.S. government.
China’s People’s Daily wrote “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.”
The “espionage” position is an easy one to take, but is unsupported by facts, at least so far as the Chinese press will report. The claim may, however, convince some Chinese that Google was forced to leave the mainland largely because of its own actions, actions that were encouraged by the central government.
China may bring up the search engine company’s privacy policies which have been criticized in the past outside the world’s most populous nation. Google was accused of keeping data on its users for months at a time to more easily target advertising to them. Privacy groups have assailed this as Google using its huge databases to act as a sort of “Big Brother.”
China will almost certainly not present any facts to support its allegations. If it had information in its favor, it would have made it public already. But, the Chinese government is willy, particularly in manipulating public opinion within its own borders, and that is at work in it accusations. If only a modest number of Chinese buy the story, it has worked.
Douglas A. McIntyre