Google GC David Drummond said the company will “review the feasibility of our business operations in China” after a cyber attack that resulted in the theft of its IP. What’s more, 20 other companies may have been targeted. The hackers also targeted Gmail accounts of civil rights activists, leading many to believe the Chinese government is behind them.
“In mid-December, we detected a highly sophisticated and targeted attack on our corporate infrastructure originating from China that resulted in the theft of intellectual property from Google,” Drummond wrote on Google’s blog. Google launched in China in 2006, agreeing to censor some search results. In the post, Drummond added that "We have decided we are no longer willing to continue censoring our results on Google.cn."
The Electronic Frontier Foundation in San Francisco applauded the move, and hoped it would give other companies the courage to take another look at their policies in China.
“I hope one thing lawyers will do is checking in with their clients and saying, ‘Are you sure you haven’t been compromised?’” said Cindy Cohn, legal director at the EFF.
“People who do any kind of Chinese democracy work should also be thinking about who is their ISP, and are they vulnerable.”
After the Iranian government cracked down on information flowing through Twitter and Facebook from unrest there last year, the EFF launched a tool called the Surveillance Self-Defense International, which provides technologies people can use to protect themselves from cyber attacks, including encryption.
— Amanda Royal
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