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Citizen Lab's latest news and announcements.

Obama the fightback kid

Whoever is responsible for cyber attacks on American industry and defence, the brouhaha has given the US President an opportunity to stand up to China. John Garnaut reports. For all the international pillorying of Barack Obama for allowing himself to be outmanoeuvred in his visit in November to newly assertive China, one deceptively gentle message… Read more »

Can Google Beat China?

When Google made the surprising announcement on Tuesday that it would no longer censor search results in China, it was applauded by human rights advocates around the world. Since China isn’t likely to allow unfiltered results, which would bring up banned topics, Google would have to quit operating google.cn, its Chinese search engine.

Google threat to leave points up China-linked cyber attacks

Google’s announcement Tuesday that it might pull out of the Chinese market has cast a sharp focus on long-standing accusations about the shadowy world of Chinese hackers. Since at least 2002, human rights activists have accused the Chinese government and military of infiltrating their computers as well as those maintained by private companies and nongovernmental… Read more »

Chinese hackers force US showdown

Google’s fight with Chinese censors risks escalating into a fullblown US-China showdown over cyber warfare, as claims emerge about the unprecedented scale of Chinese attacks on US commercial and defence systems. The Chinese-originated attack on Gmail accounts of human rights activists, which Google said had partly prompted its threat to leave China, was “probably insignificant”… Read more »

Google, China and a wake-up call to protect the Net

Google’s announcement that it had been hit by cyberattacks from China and that it’s reconsidering its services in that country has smacked the world like a thunderclap: Why the drastic move? How will China respond? Will other companies with interests in China, such as Microsoft and Yahoo, follow suit? What does it mean for the future of cyberspace? Ron Deibert and Rafal Rohozinski write a piece in Friday’s Globe and Mail.

Citizen Lab research covered in Globe and Mail editorial

By refusing to accept China’s censorship for its Internet search engine, Google has sent a message to the authoritarian state and its 300 million Internet users. The hidden cost of doing business may be to sell out the values on which the business depends. It took courage for Google to refuse to pay that price and take on China so publicly, by threatening to pull out if limits on the search engine persist.

Google’s China Decision Could Have Far-Reaching Implications

Although Google’s decision is commendable, it is unlikely to have any major implications on China’s extensive filtering practices. Although Green Dam demonstrated that China is somewhat receptive to criticism, the implications of filtering search results are not the same as filtering sites: A user searching on Google.cn may be able to see a site in… Read more »

In Rebuke of China, Focus Falls on Cybersecurity

The decision by Google to draw a line and threaten to end its business operations in China brought attention to reports of Chinese high-technology espionage stretching back at least a decade. But despite Google’s suggestion that the hacking came from within China, it remained unclear who was responsible. Nevertheless, it presented the Obama administration with… Read more »