The #Wikileak #China – #Google Cables /via @TechCrunch @DebraUlrich #analogtweet

By Erick Schonfeld

A week ago when the first Wikileak cables started coming out, the New York Times reported that some of themshed some more light on the Chinese hacking attacks on Google which led to its withdrawal from operating in China proper. But the actual cables were not released until today. The NYT describes the cables at length in another article today. But the underlying cables are hard to find, so I’ve reproduced the four main ones below. I found three of them onWikileaks, and the other on on the New York Times’ own Wikileaks documents page.

It appears from the cables that Google’s troubles in China were going on for years, but it got into particular trouble in 2009 when its Chinese site,, wasn’t blocking pornographic sites to the level the Chinese government required. At that time, Google also had a link to its main site on, which the Chinese government didn’t like either. In particular, one Politburo member, identified by the New York Times as Li Changchun, “discovered that Google’s worldwide site is uncensored, and is capable of Chinese language searches and search results. XXXXXXXXXXXX allegedly entered his own name and found results critical of him. He also noticed the link from’s homepage to, which XXXXXXXXXXXX reportedly believes is an ‘illegal site.’” The Chinese government then told China’s three main telecom companies to stop doing business with Google.

The cables also describe denial of service attacks on Google’s sites in China, and concerns dating back to 2006 about Google Earth images of sensitive government facilities.


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