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Wikileaks: China’s propaganda chief named as Google hack mastermind

Warwick Ashford

China's propaganda chief was named by US diplomats as the alleged orchestrator of hacker attacks on Google in late 2009, according to cables published by Wikileaks.

Li Changchun was named at the weekend by the New York Times, quoting the same documents from the WikiLeaks website as the Guardian and Observer.

Last week, the NYT said only that the Chinese government ordered the Google hack.

However, the US diplomatic cables published on WikiLeaks said China was unhappy with Google's refusal to remove a link from its censored Google.cn Chinese site to the uncensored Google.com, according to the Guardian.

It was reported by US embassy staff in May 2009 that Li Changchun had used the Google.com search, and that he allegedly found articles personally critical of him.

Google then came under pressure to drop the link to Google.com, culminating in the hacker attack in December, which was revealed by Google in January.

In March, Google relocated its search operation to Hong Kong, where it is uncensored, under the Google.com.hk address.

Google has declined to comment further on the allegations, but the company was long aware US officials had information that suggested it had come under attack from near the top of the Chinese political establishment, the Guardian said.


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