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Old 2010-01-31, 20:00   Link #5880
AS Oji-kun
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Hokkaido
Age: 69
World Leaders Remain Mum on Chinese Attacks on Google

Jan. 30 (Bloomberg) -- Google Inc.’s opposition to censorship in China was the one topic left off the table in Davos -- at China’s request.

“China didn’t want to discuss Google,” Josef Ackermann, chief executive officer of Deutsche Bank AG and a co-chairman of this year’s World Economic Forum, said in an interview. China’s Vice Premier Li Keqiang made that clear, he said. “Google has backed off a little bit.”

Even Google CEO Eric Schmidt didn’t bring up China, a market that will account for $600 million of Google’s sales this year, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co. Google said this month that it had faced a “highly sophisticated” attack on its systems and that human-rights activists were targeted.

At Davos, participants such as financier George Soros, economist Joseph Stiglitz and French President Nicolas Sarkozy debated technology topics such as social networking and 3-D features used in the motion picture “Avatar.” The discussion didn’t include the conflict between China and Google, even in panels such as “The Rise of Asia” or “Redesigning the Global Dimensions of China’s Growth.”
I only wish I could have been there for the panel where Soros and Sarkozy discussed 3-D movie technologies!

What makes this silence more profound are these other two stories that appeared just today:

China bugs and burgles Britain

The security service MI5 has accused China of bugging and burgling UK business executives and setting up “honeytraps” in a bid to blackmail them into betraying sensitive commercial secrets.

A leaked MI5 document says that undercover intelligence officers from the People’s Liberation Army and the Ministry of Public Security have also approached UK businessmen at trade fairs and exhibitions with the offer of “gifts” and “lavish hospitality”.

The gifts — cameras and memory sticks — have been found to contain electronic Trojan bugs which provide the Chinese with remote access to users’ computers.
More traditional methods like seduction were also employed. An aide to Gordon Brown had his Blackberry stolen after being picked up by a woman in Shanghai.

International Federation of Journalists Report on Increased Censorship in China

From the IFJ report:
It has been a tough year for press freedom in China, as the fading international spotlight on the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing emboldened central and provincial authorities to revert to clamping down on journalists and media that seek to present a diversity of news reports and points of view about events in China and beyond. The loosening of controls on both local and foreign media in the period leading up to the Olympics, and then the much welcome announcement that the less restrictive regulations for foreign media would remain in force past October 2008, generated some hope for positive change on the press freedom front. But this optimism was quickly challenged very early in 2009, as authorities sought to re-exert control on the media and information – focusing in particular on the rising power of the internet as a means for social expression and organising.
Complete report [PDF]

What especially bothers me about the Google/China story is the lack of reporting about the other thirty or more companies that Google believes also have been compromised. Nor should any of this have been a big surprise to anyone paying attention. A report [PDF] from defense contractor Northrup Grumman detailed Chinese cyber-espionage efforts last October.
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