Google publicly calls out China over hacking of human rights advocates’ accounts

On the Google Blog, Google’s chief legal counsel David Drummond reveals that a “highly sophisticated and targeted” attack on its corporate infrastructure was traced back to China. The objective, Google believes, was to compromise the GMail accounts of Chinese human-rights activists (two were accessed, Google believes, with no actual content revealed).

This attack has apparently put a bug in Google’s conscience; Drummond writes that they are no longer willing to self-censor

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, 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, and potentially our offices in China.

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