In a pretty strongly worded blog post today. Google announced it would be considering pulling out of China. Google says that mid-December it received a high level attack that was specifically targeted at gmail users. In digging a little further it seems it was not just gmail users in general it was specifically Chinese human rights workers. Google does all but call out the Chinese government for executing this attack itself. They believe the hacked emails were phished and also say it was happening on other providers as well. So some serious finger pointing going on from Google.
I think this has a really big impact that people may not realize. If you look in the papers you see a lot of talk of the wars on the ground or the war on drugs or the war on terrorism….not many people cover the cyber wars but it is happening. And like many other things the longer we don’t focus on fixing it it will become more sophisticated and even more sensitive information will fall into the hands of people we don’t want it too.
There are quite a few countries that basically have government subsidized spam and phishing operations. Internet scams, hacks and attacks are becoming a huge international market and it effects us all. Today Google took a very public and direct stand against that and for that they should be commended.
They also mention in the blog post how their employees in China are completely unaware of the decision to be made and it will be made primarily by US executives as to try to ease any pressure that thier china based employees may incur.
It will be interesting to see how it all shakes out when Google makes their final decision about operating in China either way what Google did today is BIG and important to all of us.