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WikiLeaks: China Behind Google Hack

A security guard stands outside the Google China headquarters in Beijing Tuesday, March 23, 2010. Google Inc. stopped censoring the Internet for China by shifting its search engine off the mainland Monday but said it will maintain other operations in the country. The maneuver attempts to balance Google's disdain for China's Internet rules with the company's desire to profit from an explosively growing market. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
AP Photo/Andy Wong

China was behind an electronic bust-in of Google's computer network, according to U.S. government documents published over the weekend by WikiLeaks.

A security guard stands outside the Google China headquarters in Beijing Tuesday, March 23, 2010.
AP Photo/Andy Wong

Since the electronic intrusion was revealed in January, the affair has been shrouded in mystery. China has maintained it had no connection with the cyber caper, but the WikiLeaks document dump includes a message sent to Washington from the U.S. Embassy in Beijing reporting the existence of a "Chinese contact" who knew about knowledge of government involvement.

The electronic intrusion was "part of a coordinated campaign of computer sabotage carried out by government operatives, private security experts and internet outlaws recruited by the Chinese government," according to the New York Times, which reviewed one of the cables obtained by WikiLeaks discussing China's involvement.

Google told that it would have no comment but the disclosure provides another irritant in an increasingly tense relationship between the company and the regime. In January, Google disclosed  that someone was able to gain access to the accounts of Gmail users who were human rights activists.

That prompted Google to reexamine its Chinese operations and led to a subsequent showdown over censorship with Chinese government authorities. Google wasn't the only company targeted by the attack, which focused on 20 large companies.

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