[FoRK] Google leaving China?

Stephen Williams sdw at lig.net
Tue Feb 2 10:27:54 PST 2010

Adam L Beberg wrote:
> Translation: The Chinese employees are stealing everything and giving 
> it to the competition (everyone said they would, who knew), and nobody 
> here pays for a damn thing, we're leaving. Needed a good cover story..
> http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/01/new-approach-to-china.html
> A new approach to China
> ...
Britain thought to warn (some) of their companies:
> Britain Warned Businesses of Threat of Chinese Spying
> Published: January 31, 2010
> LONDON — British business executives dealing with China were given a 
> formal warning more than a year ago by Britain’s security service, 
> MI5, that Chinese intelligence agencies were engaged in a wide-ranging 
> effort to hack into British companies’ computers and to blackmail 
> British businesspeople over sexual relationships and other 
> improprieties, according to people familiar with the MI5 document.
> The warning, in a 14-page document titled “The Threat from Chinese 
> Espionage,” was prepared in 2008 by MI5’s Center for the Protection of 
> National Infrastructure, and distributed in what security officials 
> described as a “restricted” form to hundreds of British banks and 
> other financial institutions and businesses. The document followed 
> public warnings from senior MI5 officials that China posed “one of the 
> most significant espionage threats” to Britain.
> Details of the document were confirmed Sunday by two people familiar 
> with its contents, who both spoke on an anonymous basis because of the 
> sensitivity of the subject. The document’s existence was first 
> reported in the British newspaper The Sunday Times.
> Last month, Google announced that it was considering ending its 
> operations in China after a “sophisticated and targeted” cyberattack 
> that it said aimed primarily to gain access to the e-mail accounts of 
> Chinese human rights activists. Google said it was no longer willing 
> to cooperate with China in what amounted to censorship of its search 
> engine, which Google had operated in a way that prevented millions of 
> Chinese from reaching Web sites deemed hostile by Beijing.
> Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has called on China to 
> investigate the cyberattacks, and said that companies like Google 
> should refuse to support “politically motivated censorship.” Without 
> acknowledging any government involvement in the attacks, China has 
> responded by saying that Internet companies like Google are welcome to 
> do business in China “according to the law.” A Foreign Ministry 
> spokesman said that “Chinese law proscribes any form of hacking activity.”
> But a starkly different picture emerges from the document circulated 
> by MI5, Britain’s domestic security service. The Sunday Times account, 
> quoting from the document, said that officers from the People’s 
> Liberation Army and the Ministry of Public Security had approached 
> British businesspeople at trade fairs and exhibitions with offers of 
> “gifts” that included cameras and computer memory sticks that were 
> found to contain bugs that provided the Chinese with remote access to 
> the recipients’ computers.
> “There have been cases where these ‘gifts’ have contained Trojan 
> devices and other types of malware,” the document said, according to 
> The Sunday Times. The accuracy of the paper’s citations from the 
> document was verified by the two people contacted by The New York 
> Times who said they had seen the document.
> The MI5 report described how China’s computer hacking campaign had 
> attacked British defense, energy, communications and manufacturing 
> companies, as well as public relations companies and international law 
> firms. The document explicitly warned British executives dealing with 
> China against so-called honey trap methods in which it said the 
> Chinese tried to cultivate personal relationships, “often using lavish 
> hospitality and flattery,” either within China or abroad.
> “Chinese intelligence services have also been known to exploit 
> vulnerabilities such as sexual relationships and illegal activities to 
> pressurize individuals to cooperate with them,” it warned. “Hotel 
> rooms in major Chinese cities such as Beijing and Shanghai which have 
> been frequented by foreigners are likely to be bugged. Hotel rooms 
> have been searched while the occupants are out of the room.”
> Britain’s powerful Joint Intelligence Committee, responsible for 
> analyzing and coordinating policy between MI5 and MI6, the Secret 
> Intelligence Service that is responsible for Britain’s foreign 
> intelligence activities, warned last year that China’s growing 
> sophistication in cyberespionage could enable it to shut down critical 
> services, including power, food and water supplies.


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