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Google considers withdrawing from China over cyberattacks

Betwa Sharma/PTI  |  New York 

I / New York January 13, 2010, 10:38 IST

Google today threatened to shut down its operations in China after uncovering hacking attempts into email accounts of Chinese human rights activists, terming it as "highly sophisticated".

"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," David Drummond, senior vice president of corporate development and chief legal officer, 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," he said. Drummond said the company realises that this may well mean having to shut down Google.

Cn, and potentially its offices in China. He said that Google detected in December "a highly sophisticated and targeted attack on our corporate infrastructure originating from China that resulted in the theft of intellectual property from Google." Evidence indicated that the attackers were trying to get access to Gmail accounts of Chinese human rights activists, according to Drummond. At least 20 other large including finance, Internet, media and technology were similarly attacked, according to Google.

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First Published: Wed, January 13 2010. 10:38 IST
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