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China Spying Attempts On Gmail
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China Spying Attempts on Gmail

Google has release a statement saying that China has committed spying attempts on Gmail in the past months. The names, and the information that the hacks were aimed at were not revealed, but it was stated that the spying attempts on gmail were targeting Chinese human rights activists. China's officials have denied any involvement.

Since 2006 since Google was first involved in debates over internet censorship in China, the two's relationship has not been stable. Initially, a completely free google was introduce to China, but events like the Urumqi riots in 2009 spurred a more and more restrictive policy enforced by the Chinese government. It seems that a preventative stance has turned into a proactive one and China's government may have made spying attempts on gmail trying to gain sensitive information.

After China's spying attempts on gmail, they Google has made quite a few changes to the way they do things. First, they now use https encrypting which is what it used for credit card transactions and organization that wish to protect their information. This in turn has made Gmail more secure, but for users in China this also means slower connection. I can't remember the last time I was able to access my account without using the basic HTML version. Many other Google tools like Google Analytics, Google Keyword Tool, and Google blogs also have unreliable connections - being accessible one day and another not.

China's spying attempts on gmail have also prompted them to warn users who's accounts have been hacked. For a period of time, these users received bold red messages saying that their account might have been accessed by someone other than themselves.

Google has also recently moved it's servers to Hong Kong, and attempted to apply with standards set out by the Chinese government, perhaps trying to take hold of some of the Chinese market without giving up completely. China's government still blocks many of google search results, and in some cases may also engage in DNS poisoning, rendering firewall tunnelling devices like vpn's useless.

Google and China continue in the back and forth struggle of "Yes, you did.", "No, I didn't", and in the end China will block what in wants. For the time being, internet users who are most affected by the recent upgrades of China's Great Firewall and their spying attempts on Gmail are turning to vpn's to tunnel out. Furthermore, Chinese hackers are getting more audacious not just targeting individuals, but also larger companies and government organizations. Whether these hackers are government sponsored or individuals is still unknown

Vpn's create a secure connection with an IP address outside of the Firewall, and allow users in China to surf anonymously, inside The Great Firewall, as well as prevent any further China spying attempts on Gmail. A vpn in China is becoming an absolutely necessary tool especially for those doing business, blogging, and more so now that ever - keeping in touch with family and friends across the world.


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