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Google’s Eric Schmidt hits out at China hacking tactics

04 Feb 2013
Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt

Google's executive chairman Eric Schmidt has hit out at China and its relentless hacking activity on western firms and government organisations in a new book to be released later this year.

The a copy of the book, co-written with Jared Cohen who runs Google's think tank Google Ideas, has been obtained by The Wall Street Journal.

In key excerpts Cohen and Schmidt are heavily critical of China for its role as "the most sophisticated and prolific" hacker of foreign companies.

In particular he cites the willingness of the Chinese government to authorise and even lead hacks on foreign corporations as a worrying issue.

"The disparity between American and Chinese firms and their tactics will put both the government and the companies of the United States as a distinct disadvantage," it says.

"The United States will not take the same path of digital corporate espionage, as its laws are much stricter (and better enforced) and because illicit competition violates the American sense of fair play. This is a difference in values as much as a legal one."

The book goes on to warn, though, that the transformational power of technology and its increasing pervasiveness in China could destabilise the countries ruling elite.

"This mix of active citizens armed with technological devices and tight government control is exceptionally volatile," the book adds.

The comments come after a week of high-profile hacks were revealed on both The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, both believed to have been from Chinese hackers.

Twitter also revealed it was hit recently with a quarter of a million users accounts affected.

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Dan Worth

Dan Worth is the news editor for V3 having first joined the site as a reporter in November 2009. He specialises in a raft of areas including fixed and mobile telecoms, data protection, social media and government IT. Before joining V3 Dan covered communications technology, data handling and resilience in the emergency services sector on the BAPCO Journal

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