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Cyber attacks in China on rights activists' accounts lead Google to review China operations - says it will no longer censor search results, may shut down Google.cn

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Author: Reuters

Google dijo que está considerando salir de China porque ya no está dispuesta a aceptar la censura en los resultados de búsqueda y después de que unos hackers coordinaran un ataque contra las cuentas de correo de activistas de derechos humanos que usan su servicio Gmail...Google indicó que los hackers...sólo lograron ingresar a dos cuentas, que no fueron identificadas....Google dijo que ahora está informando a las otras corporaciones afectadas...'Decidimos que ya no queremos seguir censurando nuestros resultados en Google.cn...', dijo Google.

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Author: Numerama [France]

Depuis le lancement de Google.cn en 2006, le géant américain du web a régulièrement essuyé de virulentes critiques, les activistes autres opposants au régime chinois reprochant à la firme américaine de faire le jeu du pouvoir central, en acceptant censure et filtrage des contenus... Dans un billet publié hier..., David Drummond...a expliqué..."Nous avons des preuves pour supposer que la mission principale des attaquants était d'accéder aux comptes Gmail des militants chinois des droits de l'Homme"... Entre ces nouvelles attaques, combinées avec les tentatives chinoises de limiter la liberté d'expression sur le web, Google a décidé "de reconsidérer la faisabilité de nos affaires en Chine". En conséquence, l'entreprise a annoncé son intention de ne plus filtrer les résultats de recherche sur Google.cn... "Nous savons que cela pourrait très bien conduire à fermer Google.cn, ainsi que nos bureaux en Chine" souligne l'entreprise. Il faut bien le dire, la décision de Google de réévaluer sa présence en Chine est courageuse. Il serait par ailleurs intéressant que d'autres sociétés du même acabit, comme Microsoft ou Yahoo, suivent le mouvement initié par [Google]...

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Article
12 January 2010

A new approach to China

Author: David Drummond, Senior Vice-President, Corporate Development and Chief Legal Officer, Google

In mid-December, we detected a highly sophisticated and targeted attack on our corporate infrastructure originating from China... we have evidence to suggest that a primary goal of the attackers was accessing the Gmail accounts of Chinese human rights activists. Based on our investigation to date we believe their attack did not achieve that objective... [As] part of this investigation..., we have discovered that the accounts of dozens of U.S.-, China- and Europe-based Gmail users who are advocates of human rights in China appear to have been routinely accessed by third parties...[although] not...through any security breach at Google... 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 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. We recognize that this may well mean having to shut down Google.cn, and potentially our offices in China.

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Article
12 January 2010

China: Google Challenges Censorship - Other Companies Should Follow Suit

Author: Human Rights Watch

Google's unprecedented announcement today that it will not accept censorship of its search engine in China is an important step to protect human rights online, Human Rights Watch said today... "A transnational attack on privacy is chilling, and Google's response sets a great example," said Arvind Ganesan, director of Human Rights Watch's corporations and human rights program. "At the same time, this incident underscores the need for governments and companies to develop policies that safeguard rights."... To date, Google and other companies have acquiesced to Chinese government demands to censor information. Human Rights Watch said Google's resolve to avoid complicity with such flagrant violations of freedom of expression and association deserves praise.

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Article
12 January 2010

Google, Citing Attack, Threatens to Exit China

Author: Andrew Jacobs & Miguel Helft, New York Times

Google said Tuesday that it would stop cooperating with Chinese Internet censorship and consider shutting down its operations in the country altogether, citing assaults from hackers on its computer systems and China’s attempts to “limit free speech on the Web.” The move, if followed through, would be a highly unusual rebuke of China... Since arriving here in 2006 under an arrangement with the government that purged its Chinese search results of banned topics, Google has come under fire for abetting a system that increasingly restricts what citizens can read online. Google linked its decision to sophisticated cyberattacks on its computer systems that it suspected originated in China and that were aimed, at least in part, at the Gmail user accounts of Chinese human rights activists... [Google's statement is] likely to enrage the Chinese authorities, who deny that they censor the Internet... The company said it would try to negotiate a new arrangement to provide uncensored results on its search site, google.cn. But that is a highly unlikely prospect... Google’s announcement Tuesday drew praise from free speech and human rights advocates, many of whom had criticized the company in the past over its decision to enter the Chinese market despite censorship requirements.

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