Google has finally been provoked into confronting the Chinese government. There have been hacking attacks on Chinese human rights activists’ email accounts:
Second, we have evidence to suggest that a primary goal of the attackers was accessing the Gmail accounts of Chinese human rights activists. Based on our investigation to date we believe their attack did not achieve that objective. Only two Gmail accounts appear to have been accessed, and that activity was limited to account information (such as the date the account was created) and subject line, rather than the content of emails themselves.
Third, as part of this investigation but independent of the attack on Google, we have discovered that the accounts of dozens of U.S.-, China- and Europe-based Gmail users who are advocates of human rights in China appear to have been routinely accessed by third parties. These accounts have not been accessed through any security breach at Google, but most likely via phishing scams or malware placed on the users’ computers.
Google says they are retaliating by ending its agreement with China to provide a search engine with filtered results so the government can control the information flow in and out of the country. They say they are aware that this may end their operations entirely in China, and they are willing to accept that. Bravo Google, for finally doing the right thing.