CCP Politburo Committee Directed Google Hacking: WikiLeaks

In a United States embassy cable from 2010—recently released by WikiLeaks—the Chinese ambassador at the time, Jon Huntsman, writes that an informant told the U.S. Embassy in Beijing that the Politburo Standing Committee directed “Recent intrusions into Google’s systems.” The Politburo Committee is the highest level of leadership within the Chinese regime.

Google says those early 2010 attacks had accessed email accounts of dozens of Chinese human rights activists. The attacks originated in China. Google responded in March 2010 by stopping self-censorship on their Chinese website and re-directing traffic to their uncensored Hong Kong site.

The cable alleges that the CCP and Chinese search engine Baidu were working together against Google. Yet, it seems that the publicity over censorship made Google more attractive to Chinese web users, especially when compared with Baidu.

In the cable, Huntsman writes that his informant told him, “Baidu looked like a boring state-owned enterprise while Google seems very attractive, like the forbidden fruit.”

The informant told Huntsman Chinese people assumed that Google and the U.S. government were also working together to undermine the Chinese regime’s censorship of the Internet.

This claim, although un-substantiated, was heavily reported across China’s state-run media, with the People’s Daily accusing the U.S. of so-called “cultural hegemony.”

Google’s Chinese site was never re-opened and the company continues to re-direct Mainland users to its Hong Kong page.

 

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