China is promising to handle any hackers with swift, hard justice.
On the surface that sounds quite impressive. However, the context of the quote takes away enough of its bite to make us wonder if it is all bark. From Miao Wei, China’s vice minister of Industry and Information Technology, on state television:
“If Google has had evidence that the attacks came from China, the Chinese government will welcome them to provide the information and will severely punish the offenders according to the law. We never support hacking attacks because China also falls victim to hacking attacks”
Not to be antagonistic, but that is just not good enough. When the story broke, the only thought on everyone’s mind was whether the attacks had come from the Chinese government. The way that Google worded its announcement made it seem like it was possible.
Later information came out from Google that the hackers came from two Chinese schools. One of the schools has strong ties to the Chinese government and the Chinese military. This ties the Chinese government to the attacks, at least indirectly.
China states that Google has not yet filed a formal complaint, and therefore the country has yet to take any punitive actions. The schools are denying any involvement or wrongdoing. China is saying things in public that make it seem like they are willing to take some responsibility for the future of the situation, but will they? Even more so, by claiming to be anti-hacking, they are trying to sound like they identify with Google. If they can sell that in the public eye, any move by Google against the Chinese market will paint Google the antagonist, not the victim.
Read their pronouncement again: “If Google has…… welcome them to provide the information…” How proactive does that sound? Google, send them a document with everything you know. If they need more information, Google it and email it to Mr. Wei, he seems to not know what has been going on.