Google muses withdrawal from China

Google has announced it is considering ending its operations in China after hackers targeted the e-mail accounts of Chinese human rights activists.


The Internet giant says it has found a “sophisticated and targeted attack on our corporate infrastructure originating from China” and is no longer willing to censor its Chinese site’s results, as the government requires. The company adds the decision may mean it has to shut the site, set up in 2006.

Google’s senior vice-president of corporate development and chief legal officer, David Drummond, says: “A primary goal of the attackers was accessing the Gmail accounts of Chinese human rights activists.”

He adds: “We have taken the unusual step of sharing information about these attacks with a broad audience not just because of the security and human rights implications of what we have unearthed, but also because this information goes to the heart of a much bigger global debate about freedom of speech.”

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