Tensions Between Google and China Complicate U.S. Diplomacy
Ellen Nakashima and Ariana Eunjung Cha write in The Washington Post:
Google's threat to pull out of China after revelations by the search-engine giant that hackers in China stole valuable corporate secrets from its computer systems comes as the United States is making a concerted push for closer ties with the Asian giant.More here.
A pullout could complicate a delicate diplomatic dance: The Obama administration would like China to make progress on human rights but also needs it to help press Iran and North Korea on nuclear issues and to restructure its economy so its people buy more and export less.
Still, some analysts said, Google's bombshell announcement Tuesday -- which included the news that it would stop filtering Internet searches on its site in China -- could also give the administration an opening to raise sensitive issues, such as human rights and cyber-espionage, without seeming like the aggressor. The broad, sophisticated nature of the attack on Google and at least 33 other firms, including Juniper Networks, Adobe, Yahoo, Symantec, Dow and Northrop Grumman, may move the issue of cyberattacks up on the diplomatic agenda, experts said.
On Thursday, the tech firm McAfee announced that it had isolated the malicious software used to target Google and other companies, exploiting an unknown vulnerability in Microsoft Internet Explorer that allowed the attackers to secretly commandeer the victims' systems.