US cable: China leaders ordered hacking on Google

December 5, 2010 14:04

BEIJING — Contacts told American diplomats that hacking attacks against Google were ordered by China's top ruling body and a senior leader demanded action after finding search results that were critical of him, leaked US government memos show.

One memo sent by the US Embassy in Beijing to Washington said a "well-placed contact" told diplomats the Chinese government coordinated the attacks late last year on Google Inc. under the direction of the Politburo Standing Committee, the apex of Communist Party power.

The details of the memos, known in diplomatic parlance as cables, could not be verified. Chinese government departments either refused to comment or could not be reached. If true, the cables show the political pressures that were facing Google when it decided to close its China-based search engine in March.

The cable about the hacking attacks against Google, which was classified as secret by Deputy Chief of Mission Robert Goldberg, was released by Wikileaks.

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