Home > 计算机与 Internet > 谷歌考虑关闭中国运营及网站 | A new approach to China

谷歌考虑关闭中国运营及网站 | A new approach to China


Like many other well-known organizations, we face cyber attacks of
varying degrees on a regular basis. In mid-December, we detected a
highly sophisticated and targeted attack on our corporate
infrastructure originating from China that resulted in the theft of
intellectual property from Google
. However, it soon became clear that
what at first appeared to be solely a security incident–albeit a
significant one–was something quite different.

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.

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. These accounts
have not been accessed through any security breach at Google, but most
likely via phishing scams or malware placed on the users’ computers.

have already used information gained from this attack to make
infrastructure and architectural improvements that enhance security for
Google and for our users. In terms of individual users, we would advise
people to deploy reputable anti-virus and anti-spyware programs on
their computers, to install patches for their operating systems and to
update their web browsers. Always be cautious when clicking on links
appearing in instant messages and emails, or when asked to share
personal information like passwords online. You can read more here
about our cyber-security recommendations. People wanting to learn more
about these kinds of attacks can read this U.S. government report (PDF), Nart Villeneuve’s blog and this presentation on the GhostNet spying incident.

have taken the unusual step of sharing information about these attacks
with a broad audience not just because of the security and human rights
implications of what we have unearthed, but also because this
information goes to the heart of a much bigger global debate about
freedom of speech. In the last two decades, China’s economic reform
programs and its citizens’ entrepreneurial flair have lifted hundreds
of millions of Chinese people out of poverty. Indeed, this great nation
is at the heart of much economic progress and development in the world

We launched Google.cn in January 2006 in the belief that
the benefits of increased access to information for people in China and
a more open Internet outweighed our discomfort in agreeing to censor
some results. At the time we made clear
that "we will carefully monitor conditions in China, including new laws
and other restrictions on our services. If we determine that we are
unable to achieve the objectives outlined we will not hesitate to
reconsider our approach to China."

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. 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. We are committed to working responsibly to resolve the very
difficult issues raised.

Posted by David Drummond, SVP, Corporate Development and Chief Legal Officer

Categories: 计算机与 Internet
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