Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Google may pull out of China

Google Inc said it may pull out of China because it is no longer willing to accept censorship of search results and after hackers coordinated a sophisticated attack on email accounts of human rights activists using its Gmail service.

Google's surprise announcement on Tuesday came shortly after an adviser to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said she will announce a technology policy next week to help citizens in other countries to gain access to an uncensored Internet.

More than 20 other companies were also attacked by the China-based hackers, Google said. Google said the hackers had tried to access the Gmail email accounts of Chinese human rights activists but only managed to access two unidentified accounts, and then only headlines and other data such as when the account was created.

It did not say what information the hackers tried to access from the other corporations, nor which they were. Google said it was now notifying the other affected corporations, adding that it was working with the US authorities.

"These attacks and the surveillance they have uncovered -- combined with attempts over the past year to limit free speech on the Web -- have led us to conclude that we should review the feasibility of our business operations in China," Google said in a statement.