By Gregg Keizer
January 12, 2010
Google today said that a "highly sophisticated and targeted" attack
against its network last month originated in China, and tried to access
the Gmail accounts of Chinese human rights activists.
In a blog post Tuesday, David Drummond, Google's chief legal officer,
said that attacks have forced the company to "review the feasibility of
our business operations in China." Google, continued Drummond, is "no
longer willing to continue censoring our results on Google.cn, and so
over the next few weeks we will be discussing with the Chinese
government the basis on which we could operate an unfiltered search
engine within the law, if at all."
The end result of those discussions, said Drummond, may be that Google
shuts down its search engine and close its offices in the People's
Republic of China.
"This is a bold and a very difficult move on [Google's] part," said
Leslie Harris, the president and CEO of the Center for Democracy &
Technology (CDT), a Washington, D.C.-based civil liberties group. "But
with the revelations that there have been major cyber attacks aimed at
human rights activists, both in China and in the West, it's hard to see
how Google could have remained silent."
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