(with UPDATE below)

The terrible pet-poisoning nation of China is continuing their multi-billion dollar circumglobal tiff with Google. Lately they’ve been pushing their state-controlled media to badmouth the internet behemoth and criticize the company’s standing threat to offer an uncensored, unfiltered Google.cn. Some outlets going as far as to compare Google to the colonial British East Indian company which could “assume an overriding power over a sovereign state” if they were to ever offer the Chinese citizenry a window to such party-toppling content as Facebook, info on the Tienanmen Square massacre, and access to the many colors of the pornographic rainbow.

This little quarrel is unfortunate. Google and China have so much in common. First, Google is kinda like the China of the internet. They’re both incomprehensibly huge and still growing. They both know what you are doing and thinking at any given time. And they both employ a lot of Asians. Really, they should get along famously.

But unfortunately, Google is running into some commitment issues over a few little things. Namely that China has one of the most robust web espionage operations in the world (which has over the past few years set its sights on both government and corporate secrets). The Great Sino-Mountain View rift came to head when an organized hacking operation located in China found their way into the Gmail accounts of several prominent Chinese Human Rights advocates (not yet officially linked to the Chinese government—but, come on). And Google isn’t down with espionage. Google thinks  personal data of its customers should never be stolen via some consorted net-mugging operation, but rather that private information should be handed over by their own free will in return for access to futuristic web tools like Wave, even if said apps have no actual verifiable reason to exist. China is so digi-ghetto.

In all seriousness, Google needs to drop China like it’s very hot. And yes, Google will lose a large potential revenue source by quitting the world’s largest on-line market. But that is far better option than losing the rest of their international user-base out of a rightful fear of how far through the network those red molesterly tentacles can grope. As long as Google is physically in the motherland, there is no way to keep the servers secure, nor any reasonable assurance that some pimply set of keyboard pushers in a Beijing basement can’t rifle through my Gmail to find pictures of my naked junk my tax information. I want to continue to be able to criticize the awful Chinese government without fearing the wrath of some greasy Chinese gamer-boy who works at the whim of the Communist party in return for all the bootleg Scary Movie DVDs they can offer.

UPDATE: And as soon as I hit publish on this post, Google announces that it will, officially, offer an uncensored version of it’s site via a re-direct to the Hong Kong version of its site.