US media reported on Tuesday that search engine Google was rumored to have lifted restrictions on its Chinese search engine at www.google.cn.
“Web sites dealing with subjects such as the Tiananmen Square democracy protests, Tibet and regional independence movements” could be searched and accessed through Google.cn, the Epoch Times newspaper quoted MSNBC as saying.
NBC said that while search results were “erratic” and access to certain Web sites was occasionally denied, the improvement from just six months ago was nevertheless significant.
Performing searches using keywords such as the Tiananmen Square Massacre, the Times said that some photos and related material were accessible.
A search for “Falun Gong” — the spiritual group with ties to the Times — resulted in one image of anti-torture exhibits held by Falun Gong adherents, the Times said. While official Falun Gong Web sites did not show up in search results, a link to Tian Ti Books, which sells Falun Gong books, showed up at the top of the search results, the paper said.
Most of the keywords were in Chinese, the Times said.
Searches conducted by the Taipei Times last night revealed that English searches for Falun Gong returned results for Tian Ti Books, the English Wikipedia page on the organization, various videos and the Web page of the Falun Dafa in Singapore. Searches using Chinese keywords were not as successful, while searches for the Tiananmen Square Massacre or “Incident” in Chinese and English appeared to be censored again.
Searches for key student leaders during the Massacre, including Wang Dan (王丹), provided some results, including a picture of him standing in front of a board reading “Taiwan Foundation for Democracy.” Searches for Taiwanese independence, using both Chinese and English keywords, yielded several results, including blogs.