Google defend decision to censor google.cn

Google has agreed to the Chinese government's demand to block politically sensitive terms.

Words such as Taiwanese independence, the Tiananmen Square massacre, and other issues with which the Chinese government are uncomfortable are likely to be inaccessible.

In an attempt to battle any censorship problems, the company has also announced that it will offer just four of its core services in China - website and image search, Google News and local search.

It will not be offering email, chat or blog facilities in an attempt to stop and control political comment or online protests.

The move however has bought criticism following the company stance on denying the US government access to its data especially from Reporters Without Borders.

Google Inc. co-founder Sergey Brin said his company's decision to self-censor its Chinese search system followed a change of heart over how best to foster the free flow of information according to an interview with Reuters the news agency.

"I didn't think I would come to this conclusion - but eventually I came to the conclusion that more information is better, even if it is not as full as we would like to see", Brin told Reuters in an interview in Switzerland.

"I know a lot of people are upset by our decision but it is something we have deliberated for a number of years", Brin said from the sidelines of the World Economic Forum conference.

"The practical matter is that over the last couple of years Google in China was censored - not by us but by the government, via the 'Great Firewall'", said Brin. "It's not something I enjoy but I think it was a reasonable decision."

"I totally understand that people are upset about it and I think that is a reasonable point of view to take", Brin said of Google's compromise in China.

Google's actions go further than many of its biggest rivals in China.