June 5, 2011

China Blames US For Global ‘Internet War’

China accused the United States on Friday of launching a global "Internet war" with intentions of toppling Arab and other governments, redirecting the spotlight away from allegations of online attacks originating in China.

The Chinese military accusations followed allegations this week that computer hackers in China had compromised the personal Gmail accounts of several hundred people, including government officials, military personnel and political activists.

Google said it traced the origin of the attacks to the city of Jinan, home to a military vocational school in China, whose computers were linked to a more sophisticated assault on Google's systems nearly 18 months ago. China has denied responsibility for both sets of attacks.

US State Department spokesman Mark Toner said the US had raised its concerns with China over the latest allegations, stating they were serious but made no comment on reports of China's involvement.

Writing in the Communist Party-run China Youth Daily newspaper, the Chinese military scholars didn't mention Google's claims, but said recent computer attacks and incidents employing the Internet to promote regime change in Arab nations appeared to have originated in the US government.

"Of late, an Internet tornado has swept across the world ... massively impacting and shocking the globe. Behind all this lies the shadow of America," said the article, signed by Ye Zheng and Zhao Baoxian, identified as scholars with the Academy of Military Sciences.

"Faced with this warm-up for an Internet war, every nation and military can't be passive but is making preparations to fight the Internet war," it said.

China needs to "express to the world its principled stance of maintaining an 'Internet border' and protecting its 'Internet sovereignty,' unite all advanced forces to dive into the raging torrent of the age of peaceful use of the Internet, and return to the Internet world a healthy, orderly environment," the article said.

A number of foreign governments say they have been targeted by hacking attacks originating from China, although Beijing routinely denies any involvement with cyber attacks and says it too is a victim.

Secretary of State Hilary Rodham Clinton told The Associated Press attacks such as the one alleged by Google were a primary reason why the State Department had for the first time created a cyber-security coordinator.

The FBI said it was investigating Google's allegations, but no official government email accounts have been compromised. Google said all victims have been notified and their accounts have been secured.


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