China has now put forth an official stance on the Google hacking situation: they took no part in it. To say otherwise is more than unfair, it is damaging to Chinese government’s reputation.
This marks the first official denial from China over the rumors that they were behind the attacks. Many news sources, including this blog, have speculated that the Chinese government were the aggressors that struck Google. In Google’s initial statement, it seemed that there were veiled insinuations to that effect.
Given the Chinese government’s long and storied history with censorship and human rights violations, putting them behind the hacking of human rights activists was hardly a stretch. Especially without a single word of denial before today.
The twin interviews, where the statement was recorded, were run on theXinhua. The Chinese government said: “accusation that the Chinese government participated in [any] cyberattack, either in an explicit or inexplicit way, is groundless and aims to denigrate China.”
For now, without a direct note from Google that they have pinpointed the hackers who launched the attacks, we cannot make any headway as to who is to blame. If Google were to release data absolving the Chinese government, it would be a coup for the repressive regime. For now, all that is possible is further speculation.
Google CEO Eric Shcmidt recently said that “We continue to follow their laws, we continue to offer censored results. But in a reasonably short time from now we will be making some changes there.” There is a coming showdown, in which either Google will knuckle back under Chinese rules without naming their attacker, or they will break the censorship and shout who broke their security.
For the sake of the open internet we hope that they do the latter. Via AFP.