Google threatens to leave China & Gmail security

Google had announced that it detected a very sophisticated attack on its network. These attack originated from China and resulted in the theft to some data and Gmail accounts belonging to Chinese Humanitarian workers. Google also said that even though the accounts were compromised only information like email account creation date was leaked and that the actual contents on the mails were safe.

China has strict laws that censor anything that goes against the government, infact I feel they probably can access most of the stuff we enjoy. When Google started its offices in China in 2006, they had agreed to censor some information from their search engine as requested by  the Chinese Government.

The recent attack on its infrastructure sparked off the fire with Google announcing the whole story through their blog. Now they are considering to close offices in China and pull out if the Chines government will not allow an uncensored search results.

The Chinese government (as usual) tried their best to censor this news ! It quickly fell out of the headlines and faded away. This wakes us wonder, don’t the people have a right to know ? If the government keeps deciding what to see and what not too, wont China be left behind in the internet race ?

Google had made clear in their blog that the security loopholes used to attack their server have been fixed and is now protected from such attacks. To make the users feel more secure they made HTTPS default for Gmail. HTTPS is a secure connection between the user and the server but in the process it makes pages load slower. Google always had an option “Always use https”, but now this feature is active by default.

Users now have the option of going to settings and choosing “Don’t always use https” but Gmail will still use https on the login page regardless.

Today, China responded to Google’s threat with Chinese Foreign Ministry saying  “The Chinese government administers the Internet according to law and we have explicit stipulations over what content can be spread on the Internet.”. It also said “Effective guidance of public opinion on the Internet is an important way of protecting the security of online information.” Guidance of public opinion, doesnt that in simple words mean misguiding ?

Looks like Google’s days in China is coming to an end after all. With no other company in China that can replace Google, it would only stand to loose if Google quits.

Should Chinese government stop censoring information ? Leave a comment, tell us your thoughts !

Google threatens to leave China & Gmail security
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Alfred M :Alfred is a Pilot & Tech blogger from Bangalore, India. He has worked with DSL providers like AOL, SBC, Verizon & Covad as a tech specialist. Currently he is pursuing a career in aviation.