Google has brought a new global focus to Internet espionage being practiced in China. The government is operating in the name of national security, but they are strongly suspected of intrusion by sending spyware through email. Google brought the focus with a threat to pull its operations out of China.
… the attack on Google and other recent intrusions relied on hackers sending booby-trapped documents that were stored in Adobe’s Acrobat Reader format, which then infect victims’ computers. This method was seen in a recent wave of attacks on the Dalai Lama’s computers.
When Google first came to China in 2006, they agreed to some censorship that the government made a condition of operating here. Now Google believes the censorship and intrusions are too much to deal with.
Another note to the story, the White House is also challenging China’s Internet intrusion.
“The recent cyberintrusion that Google attributes to China is troubling, and the federal government is looking into it,” said a White House spokesman, Nicholas Shapiro. He said that the president had stated that Internet freedom was a central human rights issue on a recent China trip. He also said that the president had made Internet security a national priority.
That reminds me that the last administration gave the US government the right to spy on people’s Internet activity. Has that changed?
The attacks present a challenge for the Obama administration, which last year debated the role of a federal Internet security adviser. The administration is grappling on how to balance stricter security controls and the freedom of technology companies to innovate.
Debating the role, but rare–maybe impossible–for governments of any kind to give-up that kind of power.
Hopefully, Google’s efforts will at least lead to a reconsideration of China’s policies.
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