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Monday, January 25, 2010

China Rebukes U.S. Calls to Investigate Hacking

China delivered a bristling response to the United States’ demand that it investigate recent attacks on American computers from Chinese soil, saying that any suggestion that it conducted or condoned hackers’ intrusions was “groundless and aims to denigrate China.”

A brace of interviews and news articles placed in major state newspapers and on many prominent Web sites underscored the chill in public exchanges between the two governments since Jan. 12, when Google threatened to leave China unless Beijing stopped censoring its search results.

Google issued the ultimatum after discovering efforts by still-unidentified Chinese hackers to steal valuable corporate software codes and break into the Google mailboxes of Chinese human-rights activists. Dozens of other American computers were also targets of the attack, Google has said.

The Chinese government’s comments come atop months of increasingly stringent limits on what ordinary Chinese citizens can access on the Internet, and increasingly strict programs to monitor those who try to view unapproved content.

The sharpest language, however, came from the Communist Party-backed Global Times, which frequently criticizes American policy. The newspaper quoted a Chinese analyst as calling Google’s complaint “a U.S. government-initiated strategy with covert political intentions.”

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