On the January 17, 2010 episode of TVO’s Search Engine, Jesse Brown interviewed Watson Meng, editor of one of the oldest citizen journalism news sites to hold China’s feet to the fire, Boxun.us, and he cast an entirely different light on this story with some inside information from Boxun’s sources in the Chinese government. Search Engine reports that the writing was already on the wall – Google was being pressured to rank their search results in a manner favourable to the Chinese government, to fall in line with state search engine Baidu, and in the case of politically sensitive searches, to deliver “a pre-approved list of results provided by the propaganda department”. Furthermore, the attacks on Google EMail accounts are by no means new, but instead in this case serve as a pretext for Google to push back against the Chinese government and reframe the debate. Listen to the interview here or read along below…
Jesse Brown: If Google hasn’t been approached yet with these new demands, then why would Google shift their policy pre-emptively?
Watson Meng: From what we read in public, it is because of attack. Google receive attack the email box, they say you know dissident’s email box attacked. From my observations that type of attack has been you know happening all the time, to many people. I know many friends they lost their access to their Google email account so we don’t know technically how the hacker you know did that. Whether they access the server or they steal the password, we don’t know. This happens very very frequently. But Google this time they use this type of attack as a reason… my personal understanding is Google may know more than they tell the public.
Jesse Brown: Because of course as you suggest we’ve known for a long time that these attacks have been occurring. We’ve covered it on this program many times, attacks originating in China, they can never be directly traced to the Chinese government but it’s an open secret that it’s Chinese government affiliates that are launching these attacks.
In light of this, Google should come clean on the real reasons for their threat to leave China rather than throwing up this smokescreen. Why get all huffy about hacked email now? Does it have anything to do with Clinton’s recent barn burning speech about how America will ‘protect your freedoms’ online? Getting into bed with the NSA’s cybersecurity program sets a horrible precedent, assurances your searches will remain private notwithstanding. Read the last two paragraphs of this article.
Flashback: Police want backdoor to Web users’ private data |Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â China Google Hack Exploited Security Gaps Introduced By State Surveillance Provisions | China tells web companies to obey controls | Google Considers Leaving China If China Will Not Allow Uncensored Search | Cybersecurity Is Framework For Total Government Regulation & Control Of Our Lives | Obama Set to Create A Cybersecurity Czar With Broad Mandate | NSA Dominance of Cybersecurity Would Lead to ‘Grave Peril’, Ex-Cyber Chief Tells Congress
David Alexander, Reuters
February 4, 2010
Internet search firm Google is finalizing a deal that would let the U.S. National Security Agency help it investigate a corporate espionage attack that may have originated in China, the Washington Post reported on Thursday.
The aim of the investigation is to better defend Google, the world’s largest Internet search company, and its users from future attacks, the Post said, citing anonymous sources with knowledge of the arrangement.
The sources said Google’s alliance with the NSA, the world’s most powerful electronic surveillance organization, would be aimed at letting the two sides share critical information without violating Google’s policies or laws that protect the privacy of online communications.
Under the arrangement, the NSA would not be viewing user searches or e-mail accounts, the sources said. Google also would not be sharing proprietary data with the NSA, they said.