Google Under the Gun

For access to China, the Web giant agreed to censor itself. Why the company made a hard bargain

When web surfers from the city of Shenzhen, in southern China, visit a government website, they are greeted by two adorable cartoon figures, a tiny policeman and policewoman with friendly smiles, no noses (for some reason) and huge melting blue anime eyes. These little rascals' names are Jingjing and Chacha (jingcha is Mandarin for police), and they are there to remind Web surfers to behave themselves because the Internet cops are always watching.

Westerners tend to think of the Web the way we think of the moon: it looks the same everywhere, and when you're on it you can pretty much...

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