Chinese Gov't Ordered Widespread Hacking

The latest batch of diplomatic cables from WikiLeaks portrays Chinese government officials vacillating between paranoia about the powers of the Internet and pride for their perceived ability to control it. Cables from the U.S. Embassy to Washington show that China's pressure on Google to censor its Internet searches began when the country's top propaganda minister Googled himself and found "critical results." The hacking attempt that targeted Google in early 2010 was more widespread than previously known: It also targeted U.S. military computers, including those of diplomats discussing climate change with China. But despite the cables' picture of Chinese officials frightened of the Internet, certain cables show that leaders still believe they can suppress information. "Through the Google incident and other increased controls and surveillance, like real-name registration, they reached a conclusion: The Web is fundamentally controllable,” one person quoted in the cables said.