This is flashing around the Internet faster than hot nudie pics of Megan Fox but it appears that Google has drawn a line in the sand with China. In a post that just went up on the official Google blog David Drummond, the company’s Chief Legal Officer, has reported that Google recently experienced a cyber attack that originated from China.
During the investigation of the attack Google engineers have also discovered some rather serious facts that has led them to the unprecedented action of sharing the information with government agencies and other businesses.
First, this attack was not just on Google. As part of our investigation we have discovered that at least twenty other large companies from a wide range of businesses–including the Internet, finance, technology, media and chemical sectors–have been similarly targeted. We are currently in the process of notifying those companies, and we are also working with the relevant U.S. authorities.
Second, 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. Only two Gmail accounts appear to have been accessed, and that activity was limited to account information (such as the date the account was created) and subject line, rather than the content of emails themselves.
Third, as part of this investigation but independent of the attack on Google, 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.
In light of this it appears that Google is seriously reconsidering its position in China as well. Initially Drummond states that Google will stop censoring filter search results within the country. However given China’s stance on censorship Google realizes that they will not be able to run an unfiltered search engine within the country.
This situation apparently has Google seriously reconsidering its business within China and whether they may actually pull out of the country.
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.
The decision to review our business operations in China has been incredibly hard, and we know that it will have potentially far-reaching consequences. We want to make clear that this move was driven by our executives in the United States, without the knowledge or involvement of our employees in China who have worked incredibly hard to make Google.cn the success it is today.
I am sure that there will be much more to come out of this news and The Inquisitr will do its best to keep you informed with any news as it develops as well as opinions over the next little while.