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Whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks exposed more than 250,000 U.S. diplomatic documents over the weekend, shedding light on America’s engagement with the rest of the world. Some of those documents reveal the Chinese regime directed the highly publicized cyber-attacks on Google, and on U.S. government computers.
The Chinese regime was behind the attacks on Google’s computer systems in China last year, according to documents exposed by WikiLeaks. The leaked U.S. diplomatic cables also suggest Chinese regime operatives have been breaking into computers in the West since 2002.
The cables say the hacking was part of a coordinated computer sabotage campaign. It was carried out by Chinese regime operatives, private security experts and internet outlaws recruited by the regime. The cables say these people have broken into U.S. government computers, those of its Western allies, the Dalai Lama and American businesses since 2002.
A professor at Peking University says the Chinese regime will probably deny those claims.
[Wang Dong, Professor Peking University School of International Studies]:
"I think the Chinese government will take a very serious attitude towards this. I expect the Chinese government will strongly deny involvement in such a thing."
Google highly publicized the cyber-attack in January this year. At that time, the search engine giant said the attacks came from China, but stopped short of accusing the regime. The attacks targeted Gmail accounts belonging to Chinese dissidents and human rights activists. Google eventually announced it would stop complying with the regime’s censorship laws and later stopped servicing the Chinese market altogether.
The United States government has condemned WikiLeaks for releasing these cables, saying it compromises diplomatic relations and endangers those who are serving the country.