Sunday, June 5, 2011

Google, Cyberwar, And China

Google first reported its gmail service was hacked by someone in a region of China where the Chinese military intelligence is headquartered. Later in the week, it was reported that Yahoo as well as Microsoft's Hotmail were also victims of similar hacks. Targeted were US government officials who use Gmail as their personal email service. Journalists, resumable those who cover China, and activists were also targeted by phishing schemes.

Since then there have been other developments in cyber security issues. The Communist party's official newspaper has warned that Google's charges were politically motivated and it's business in China could suffer as a result.

The fact that China had to first refute Google's claim and, now, threaten its business interests in China is both very interesting and scary.

So should the United States consider this an act of war? Granted Google is a private company and, yet, this is a blatant attack on not just a business enterprise but one that is used by hundreds of millions for freedom of speech and expression.

Last week, SecDef Robert Gates said the United States should consider cyber-attacks as an act of war. Perhaps Washington should actively and publicly pursue this latest in incident. Should the Obama Administration vigorously go forward with this, it would be something that would receive strong bipartisan support.

I am certain we will hear more about this. This is no longer an issue of Google pulling out of China and then negotiating a backdoor way back in with Beijing. Two other large Internet portals were also attacked. This is something that affects the free world in general.

On a more smaller scale, users need to do a double-take on protecting their passwords and be smarter and educate themselves more about the various Internet tools they use.

More at CNBC.

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