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बुधवार, जनवरी 13, 2010

Google may pull out of China after Web attacks

Google said China-based cyber spies struck the Internet giant and at least 20 other firms to track activities of activists around the world.

Google said it will no longer filter Internet search engine results in China and the online espionage has it reconsidering its business operations there.

"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," Google chief legal officer David Drummond said in a blog post.

"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."

Drummond said Google realizes that defying Chinese government demands regarding filtering Internet search engine results may mean having to shut down its operations in China. 

Google said it detected a highly sophisticated and targeted attack on its corporate infrastructure in mid-December that resulted in the theft of intellectual property. Drummond said the attack originated in China.

Evidence indicated that the attackers were trying to get access to Gmail accounts of Chinese human rights activists, according to Drummond.

Google believes the attack was mostly blocked and that only minor information, like creation dates and subject lines, were stolen from two accounts.

At least 20 other large companies including finance, Internet, media, technology, and chemical businesses were similarly attacked, according to Google.

"We are currently in the process of notifying those companies, and we are also working with the relevant US authorities," Drummond said.

Google said its investigation revealed that accounts of dozens of China human rights activists that use Gmail in Europe, China, or the United States have been "routinely accessed" using malware sneaked onto their computers.  

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