Magazine article Information Today

Google Taking Leave of China

Magazine article Information Today

Google Taking Leave of China

Article excerpt

Last December, Google's Chinese infrastructure was targeted by a series of sophisticated cyberattacks that reportedly originated within the country. While intrusion attempts directed at large internet companies are nothing new, the sophistication of the attacks coupled with a series of subsequent government disputes is leading Google to revise long-standing censorship policies and re-evaluate its position in China's growing economy.

Google announced the attacks through a post on its official blog authored by David Drummond, senior vice president of corporate development and the company's chief legal officer. Drummond described the incident as "a highly sophisticated and targeted attack" that resulted in the theft of the company's intellectual property. Several other companies were also targeted by the same attacks, including Adobe Systems, Rackspace Hosting, and Juniper Networks.

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According to Google, the primary goal of the attacks was to gain access to the Gmail accounts of Chinese human rights activists. While many in the media and computer security industry suggested that the Chinese government--or organizations affiliated with it--could be responsible, Google did not identify a specific culprit in its announcement. …

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