Home Was the Hack into Google an Inside Job? The Rumor Mill Keeps Churning

Was the Hack into Google an Inside Job? The Rumor Mill Keeps Churning

The whirlwind of news and rumors surrounding Google and its dealings in China seems to grow faster, more disjointed and more chaotic by the day. Today, Reuters reports that, in addition to looking at the Chinese government, Google is looking at the possibility that help came from within its own ranks in the recent hacking successes.

According to Reuters, some employees in Google’s China offices have either been denied access to parts of the company’s internal network, transferred to other locations or put on leave. Google, however, remains tight-lipped, saying that it will not comment on “rumor and speculation”. The company also denies reports that the company shut down its offices in China last week.

It seems lately that much of the news about Google’s security situation in China consists of little more than rumor and speculation. Immediately after Google’s threat to include previously censored results in China, reports started coming in that the search engine had begun showing results that the Chinese government would consider sensitive. Google, however, remained firm on the fact that search results on Google.cn remained censored.

According to one source in China that we contacted on Friday, search results for such hot-button terms as “Falungong”, “Taiwan Independence” and “Tibet” included a number of previously censored sites, when searching in English. Today, however, searches for “Falungong” and “Dalai Lama” in both Chinese and English carried a disclaimer saying that according to Chinese laws, some results were not being shown.

This news comes alongside reports from the New York Times that “at least two foreign journalists living in Beijing have had their Google e-mail accounts hacked”. The hacked accounts, in much the same manner as other accounts, were forwarded to other accounts, where outside parties presumably intercepted the emails.

As for the accusations that these security breaches could have come from within Google itself, there is one notable difference – the company is not denying the claim outright, as it has with other “rumors and speculations”.

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