China-Google Settlement Hopes Fade, Denies Attacks

Dennis Faas's picture

China has flat-out denied any involvement in recent hacking attacks on Google. China also said its regulation of Internet access and content is justifiable and fair.

Google's Gmail email servers recently came under attack. It's speculated that hackers sent email to targets containing links to websites which contained a specially-crafted exploit in order to bypass Operating System security.

Chinese Deny Google Attack

There's no evidence to indicate who carried out the attacks. However, because the victims are believed to have included political activists, suspicion fell upon the Chinese government, which has been accused of similar behavior before.

The accusations have been comprehensively rejected by a spokesman for the country's information technology department, stating: "the accusation that the Chinese government participated in [any] cyber attack, either in an explicit or inexplicit way, is groundless. We [are] firmly opposed to that." (Source:

Web Controls Do Not Restrict Freedom, China Says

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for another Chinese government department, the State Council Information Office (which oversees both government communication with the public and regulation of the Internet) says its controls of online content are in-line with national laws.

The spokesperson argued that the restrictions are not limitations on freedom, but exist solely to stop harmful material such as that designed "to subvert state power and wreck national unity, to incite ethnic hatred and division, to promote cults and to distribute content that is [illicit], salacious, violent or terrorist." (Source:

Party Attacks US Role on Censorship

The ruling Communist party has also attacked the United States' role in the censorship debate. The party's official newspaper, the People's Daily, said the U.S. was hypocritical, as it too had online controls such as bans on illicit child photographs.

The newspaper also accused the U.S. of being behind campaigns on Twitter and YouTube designed to cause unrest in Iran -- specifically to websites being used by political opponents protesting after recent disputed elections in the country.

The various comments lower the chances of a smooth resolution to the stalemate caused by Google's announcement that it will soon cease complying with Chinese requirements to filter "unsuitable" websites from its results pages in the country. Ironically, it appears the U.S. government's public support for that decision may have led Chinese authorities to take a more hard-line approach on the issue to save political face rather than try to negotiate a settlement.

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