Chinese politician behind Google hacking: WikiLeaks

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Beijing, Dec 5 (ANI): Secret cables released by the whistleblower website 'WikiLeaks' have revealed that the hacking of Google, which forced the search engine out of China, was masterminded by one of the politicians of the country.

The Telegraph quoted the secret cables sent to the State Department in Washington as saying that the Chinese politician became agitated when he searched his own name in Google and found articles criticising him.

This apparently prompted an assault on the search engine, forcing it to "walk away from a potential market of 400 million internet users" in January this year, amid a highly publicised row about internet censorship, the paper said.

Earlier a cable from the US embassy in Beijing, marked as secret, had said that attempts to break into the accounts of dissidents who used Google's Gmail system had been co-ordinated "with the oversight of" the two politburo members.

A high-level Chinese source had described the cyber assault on the US as "100 percent political in nature" and having "nothing to do with removing Google... as a competitor to Chinese search engines".

Last December Google had said that it was hit by a "highly sophisticated and targeted attack on our corporate infrastructure," and part of it was aimed at the Gmail accounts of "Chinese human rights activists," the paper added. Shortly after the attack, Google withdrew from mainland China, and relocated to Hong Kong, where it was able to run an uncensored version of its website in English and Chinese.

The cable also stated that both Google and the US had suspected that leading Chinese politicians were behind the hacking, but none of them said expressed their views at that time. It also said that diplomats at the time discussed whether China's most powerful man, Hu Jintao, the president, or his Prime Minister, Wen Jiabao, were "aware of these actions". (ANI)

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