I was not a fan of Google's decision to provide censored search in China. I felt like it was obviously doing evil, in conflict with their avowed principles. I was willing to give them the teeniest benefit of the doubt that they honestly thought it was the better of the two optons on a doing-evil front, but it didn't seem to me at all plausible in reality.
Now Google has decided to stop providing censored search in China. But the thing is if you read what they're actually saying, they don't seem to think that providing censored search is necessarily bad; they seem to be stopping censored search in retaliation for other activities of the Chinese government. This can be spun as "the Chinese government is fucking with us in other areas, so fuck them" or "the Chinese government is trying to do evil things to human rights advocates who happen to be using Google resources, so fuck them". Guess what, the Chinese government was doing evil things to human rights advocates all along and everybody knew it. I.e. most likely these other things have made them not want to work with the Chinese government anymore, so they might as well stop doing the censored-search thing that they had been holding their nose over all along and were only doing because it gave them an in with China.
The one thing they're not doing is stopping censored search because they've now decided it's evil. The most compatible scenarios (described above) are that they either knew it was evil ("incompatible with their avowed principles") all along, or still don't believe it's evil ("incompatible with their avowed principles") -- because nothing about censored search and its usage has changed.
So yay for principled decision-making, if that's what it is, but <Gob>come on</Gob>.