China vs Google – the Cyber Attacks

As predicted by this blog the China vs Google issue has escalated dramatically and  the Chinese government is rejecting any suggestions that it was behind the concerted set of cyber attacks against Google and at least 20 other US firms and agencies:

”Any accusation that the Chinese government participated in cyber attacks, either in an explicit or indirect way, is groundless and aims to discredit China,” an unidentified ministry spokesman said. ”We are firmly opposed to that.”

But more ominous was the refusal of the Chinese to do any thorough and transparent investigation of the cyber attacks and whether they originated in China. Now according to Foreign Policy magazine there are solid  reasons for this accusation. The Chinese have been complicit in at least 10 cyber blitz  attacks in the past five years on major  US government agencies and companies. So it should not be a surprise that  the Chinese unleashed a PR blitz upon the US Information hegemony, blasted any need for its government to investigate the Cyber attacks in the transparent manner suggested by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and finally said stay out of accusing the Chinese government of censorship and clandestine tracking of its Web users. Instead they cited the US for its huge National Security screen of emails and telephone calls.

Clearly the Chinese have upped the ante but have left “a way out” for the US. Clearly the Chinese want this tamped down to a just a business dispute between it and Google despite the “cat” of broad Chinese cyberattacks having slipped out of the bag. So the Chinese  tack is to have Google come to them and show the Chinese authorities what evidence they have of cyber attacks[read this as how did you detect our most subtle cyber attacks?].  Clearly this is a case of high stakes international economic and political poker – watch now what a frazzled White House does given the apparent domestic funk it is in and the power position of Chinese control of $2.4 trillion of US debt.

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