Google to pull out of China
Looks like Google’s patience has been tested enough. First, in the pursuit of money, Google overlooked its “see no evil, do no evil” policy. Now after being repeatedly getting hacked by the Chinese government and its army of hackers, Google seems to be realising that it was in bed with the devil by agreeing to the Chinese government’s demands of censoring content.
Its been just a matter of time when Google fell afoul of the Chinese authorities. When it comes to the Chinese, there are no friends or foes. Just like the Americans, everyone and everything is just a means to the end. Therefore am not surprised that inspite of Google agreeing to be censored, its servers and data were being hacked by the Chinese government.
Not that it affects the Chinese internet community anymore. They use Baidu, Sohu etc for their search, email and other services. Google was just another player in the market. As for Google, pulling out will mean that it can occupy the moral high ground. And also save its data and servers from getting hacked. For most of its businesses came from American companies and they wouldn’t have taken kindly to news that would imply that Google’s services were getting repeatedly hacked. That would have been bad publicity for Google.
First, this attack was not just on Google. As part of our investigation we have discovered that at least twenty other large companies from a wide range of businesses–including the Internet, finance, technology, media and chemical sectors–have been similarly targeted. We are currently in the process of notifying those companies, and we are also working with the relevant U.S. authorities.
Second, we have evidence to suggest that a primary goal of the attackers was accessing the Gmail accounts of Chinese human rights activists. Based on our investigation to date we believe their attack did not achieve that objective. Only two Gmail accounts appear to have been accessed, and that activity was limited to account information (such as the date the account was created) and subject line, rather than the content of emails themselves.
Third, as part of this investigation but independent of the attack on Google, we have discovered that the accounts of dozens of U.S.-, China- and Europe-based Gmail users who are advocates of human rights in China appear to have been routinely accessed by third parties. These accounts have not been accessed through any security breach at Google, but most likely via phishing scams or malware placed on the users’ computers.
These attacks and the surveillance they have uncovered–combined with the attempts over the past year to further limit free speech on the web–have led us to conclude that we should review the feasibility of our business operations in China. We have decided we are 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. We recognize that this may well mean having to shut down Google.cn, and potentially our offices in China.
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