Editoria: China: Internet censorship and cyber heists
Posted in: Censorship at 15/02/2010 18:03
When Google threatened to quit China, most of the focus was on human rights and the country's extensive system of internet censorship, the Great Firewall. China rebuffed such criticism. Countries that censor political speech on the internet are quick to point out that western nations also have laws governing content online, some of it political. Germany bans neo-Nazi symbols on German internet sites. The state of South Australia recently attempted to ban anonymous political speech online in the lead-up to elections.
China said it was its sovereign right to set limits on internet activities. However, less attention was paid to Google's claims that hackers had also stolen corporate secrets in addition to targeting human rights activists.
This highlighted a little discussed problem. While China calls on other countries to respect its laws, it must do more to curtail internet attacks focused on foreign companies that do business there. The Chinese government denied involvement in the attempts to gain access to the Gmail accounts of human rights activists or attempts to steal Google's corporate secrets. It is almost impossible to link attacks online to a single player, much less link the shadowy hackers to a government.