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Google agrees to censor in China

SAN FRANCISCO -- Online search engine leader Google Inc. has agreed to censor its results in China, adhering to the country's speech restrictions to gain better access in the Internet's fastest growing market.

The Mountain View, Calif., firm planned to roll out a version of its search engine bearing China's Web suffix ''.cn," today. By creating an address for China, Google hopes to make its search tool more widely available and easier to use in the world's most populous country.

Because of government barriers set up to suppress information, Google's China users had been blocked from using the search engine or hit delays in response time. Although China has eased some controls, topics such as Taiwan's independence and the Tiananmen Square massacre remain forbidden subjects.

Google officials characterized the censorship concessions in China as an excruciating decision. Google made its decision at the same time it is battling the US government over a subpoena seeking a breakdown of one week's worth of search requests -- a list that would cover millions of terms.

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