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25 January 2010, 10:07

Security specialist: USA made Google hack possible

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Bruce Schneier
Bruce Schneier speaking in 2009.
Backdoors in internet services such as email, social networks or the telephone network aren't just a counter-terrorism device for government agencies, they also open doors for cyber espionage and spamming attacks. This is the opinion of security expert Bruce Schneier expressed in a guest comment on the website of American TV broadcaster CNN.

Schneier says that, as an example, Chinese hackers reportedly used a backdoor in Google's Gmail service, created at the US government's request, to spy on political opponents. Such systems are almost an invitation to criminals to snoop on private internet communication and gain knowledge of information such as account or credit card details, said Schneier. The security expert lists further examples such as the intercepting of phone calls after the September 11 attacks and the mobile phone surveillance of members of the Greek government in 2004 and 2005.

The Chinese hacking attacks on Google have made the company reject any further censorship from Beijing and threaten to withdraw from China. In an address, Hillary Clinton, US Secretary of State, has asked the Chinese government for a public explanation of the hacking attacks on Google and advocated the freedom of opinion on the internet. The US President has backed Clinton's call for an explanation.

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