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    » 02/04/2013, 00.00

    CHINA

    Google calls China the world's most dangerous hacker



    In a new book, Google chief Eric Schmidt describes China's Communist regime as the worst threat to Internet freedom. In the past ten years, Beijing has come under intense criticism for its censorship. Chinese media respond by accusing the US of nationalism.

    Beijing (AsiaNews) - China is the most dangerous hacker in the world, the worst threat to Internet freedom. Its government backs cybercrimes for economic and political advantages, this according to Eric Schmidt. Not any ordinary dissident, Google Chairman brands China in his upcoming book, The New Digital Age, as "the world's most active and enthusiastic filterer of information" and "the most sophisticated and prolific" hacker of foreign companies. Despite the mounting evidence, China's Communist authorities reject the charges.

    China is widely believed to be the source of major cyber attacks that occurred between 2006 and 2011 against 72 organisations, including the International Olympic Committee, the United Nations and security firms, the Google chief alleges.

    In 2011, Google said hackers based in Jinan province compromised personal and mail accounts of hundreds of top US officials, military personnel and journalists.

    South Korea blamed Chinese hackers for stealing data from 35 million accounts on a popular social network in July last year.

    The latest charges involve attacks against major US newspapers, including the New York Times and the Washington Post, after they published articles on the wealth of Chinese leaders, like the next president, Xi Jinping, as well as outgoing premier, Wen Jiabao. The latter is accused of using his position to enrich his family.

    Schmidt's attack has prompted a quick response. "America keeps labelling China as hackers, simply playing up the rhetoric of the 'China threat' in cyberspace, providing new justification for America's strategy of containing China," the People's Daily wrote. Yet, "Even those with little understanding of the internet know that hacking attacks are transnational and concealable,"

    In the book however, set for release in April, Schmidt is quoted as saying, "The disparity between American and Chinese firms and their tactics will put both the government and the companies of the United States at a distinct disadvantage." In fact, Washington "will not take the same path of digital corporate espionage, as its laws are much stricter (and better enforced)".

    The book goes further, suggesting that Western governments do more to follow China's lead and develop stronger relationships between the state and technology companies.

    This is a veiled reference to Huawei, China's giant telecommunications equipment maker, which is thought to work closely with Chinese authorities.

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    See also

    16/09/2015 CHINA – UNITED STATES
    Cyberattacks, expansionism and economic crisis on Xi’s and Obama’s dinner menu
    White House announces state dinner for China’s president hosted by his US counterpart. It will be "an opportunity to expand US-China co-operation", and to "address areas of disagreement constructively" like bilateral trade and industrial espionage.

    11/03/2013 CHINA - UNITED STATES
    China accuses US of online piracy
    Xinhua cites study by China's top internet security agency, claims that 2,196 control servers in the United States "controlled" 1.29 million host computers in China. The battle for control of the Internet continues.

    28/08/2007 UNITED STATES - CHINA
    Yahoo! charged with helping Beijing suppress human rights
    The World Organisation for Human Rights has appeared before a San Francisco court on behalf of two Chinese Journalists, arrested for having sent via internet articles critical of the government. Beijing was able tot race them thanks to the help of the information technology giant, which has admitted its guilt.

    02/02/2006 CHINA – UNITED STATES
    US Congress warns IT firms against China censorship
    Lawmakers slam companies for putting profits before freedom. A code of conduct is under discussion. Anger is high in the Chinese blogger community.

    20/02/2006 CHINA – UNITED STATES
    US draft bill to target companies that help China censor the internet
    If approved the bill would impose fines up to US$ 2 million and five years in jail for companies that help the governments of China, Cuba, Iran, Libya and Myanmar enforce censorship.



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