back to article WikiLeaked US cables link China to Google hack

A Chinese contact told the American Embassy in Beijing that China's Politburo "directed" last December's hack on Google's internal systems, according to the confidential US diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks and various news organizations on Sunday. As reported by The New York Times, an unnamed source told the American …

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Anonymous Coward

Needs to end

This is just grandstanding now, and something needs to be done about it... Wikileaks does not have the right to tear up the very fabric of diplomacy which has formed over thousands of years. It's profoundly irresponsible and borderline criminal. They're playing with fire and meddling in areas that they couldn't possibly understand.

Wikileaks used to be a force for good, now it is simply a tool of ego which could bring about disastrous consequences, disrupted alliances, strife and the potential even for wars - all as a result of people who need to be able to speak freely no longer feeling they're able to.

Assange needs to be removed from the picture, and if they need to take the servers offline by force, they should, IMO.

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LPF

@JaitcH et al

I suppose you wont mind if someday someone posts your entire email history on the internet with all you private conversations then ?

I still trying to work out what curruption this is exposing? By supporting just the egenral release of all US information, thne you will have no problem if the US starts intercepting all your comunications and posting it all for the world to see.

Whats sauce for the goose and all that ;)

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of course

but it is fine to deny all knowledge, shoot down people who disagree and sabre rattle those who would say otherwise when this proved they not only knew about it all along but helped? At least keep quiet (ala the Israelis) and say nothing about events whether involved or not. But keeping quiet isnt the merkin way is it?

Although I did like the german leak that confirmed Merkal isnt a risk taker or has any personality, surely a shocker!

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Anonymous Coward

Means to an end.

"Areas they couldn't possibly understand", my arse.

We're not dealing with the force or quantum mechanics here: It's just diplomacy - powerful but sweaty little men doing powerful but nasty little deals to protect their own powerful but vested little interests. The King of Saudi's a dictator in all but name, the elected governments of the US (and the UK too for that matter) have a nasty habit of saying one thing in public and doing another in private (something I'm not bloody well comfortable with thanks very much), and the Chinese leadership are so far up their own backsides it's a wonder they can see any daylight at all.

This isn't grandstanding - WikiLeaks is doing what it was set up to do. Has it really taken you (almost) 4 years to realise?

The "potential even for wars" you refer to, btw: Would that be the King of Saudi Arabia lobbying the US to invade Iran?

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Anonymous Coward

Still,

I would imagine they would kill jfk again if they could so I'm not sure it's a good argument.

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@LPF

"you will have no problem if the US starts intercepting all your comunications"

I guess you have not heard about the warrentless wiretaps the USA has been using on its own citizens then?

Or indeed that it has done so on "foreign" citizens who, of course, do not get the protection (for what is left of it) that the US constitution is supposed to provide?

While I can see that diplomacy needs a large degree of privacy to be conducted effectively, I must say the actions of the US in recent years, both militarily (e.g. the invasion of Iraq on doubtful grounds) and legally, such as the odious and ill-named PATRIOT act, and their actions in pushing a US-centric bullying approach to copyright (e.g. the ACTA negotiations being held in secret, even from our elected representatives) result in little sympathy from me when this happens.

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Anonymous Coward

@JFK people

You're not seriously suggesting that the American government killed JFK are you?

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Anonymous Coward

@JFK people

You're not seriously suggesting that the American government killed JFK are you?

Of course they did! it's mentioned somewhere in the 251,287 cables, if you look hard enough.

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@Destructors: But why would they bother?

These leaks are so lame, Assange will be posting Sesame Street scripts next.

It suits the powers that be that we get excited about trivia.

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Anonymous Coward

@"JFK people" People

You're not seriously suggesting that Oswald did it alone are you?

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Anonymous Coward

@ @"JFK people" people

Err, yes. Like the vast majority of conspiracy theories, anything other than the official line, in this case "lone nut", doesn't stand up to anything more than cursory examination.

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Pint

Wikileaks underscores the fact You Cannot Trust Government, most ANY government

The Wikileaks release is a great service to the public: it illustrates that the U.S. is a government that cannot be trusted - it has already passed legislation that bypasses the provisions of the U.S. Constitution, so why should anyone have faith in any agreement or document it's seal is appended to?

This bastion of secrets is no better than a kitchen cullender - hell it's messages rated 'Secret' can be legally read by some 3-million people, ordinarily. Today the number is much greater!

Just post the rest, Wikileaks, forget about the redacting.

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secrets?

So, even best friends criticize each other in private,. Well, who'd a thunk it.

There's no news here, other than that some Swede with an overblown ego is still trying to make himself feel important.

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Welcome

No secrets all right.

It's just the Americans shitting all over themselves like babies and behaving badly.

But we knew that all along.

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Anonymous Coward

Swede?

He's Australian you moron.

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FAIL

@AC 09:03

Swedish is he? Well there's a turnip for the books.

There's a lesson here somewhere. Perhaps get at least a passing knowledge of the facts before forming an opinion and venting it like so much hot gas.

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Unhappy

mea culpa

You're right, he's an Australian with an overblown ego (which is an impressive feat for an Australian), and only a wannabe-swede. My apologies to the Swedes, who didn't want him. I should get my morning coffee before posting to ElReg

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A Chinese contact told the American Embassy...

I met a man whose brother said he knew a man who knew the Chinese hacker.

Solid proof there, alright.

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FAIL

Where's the secrets?

Lessee....

* Diplomats spy on each other!

* Gadaffi has a blonde nurse!

* Iran makes neighbouring countries nervous!

* Member of Royal Family is rude while abroad!

This really is pisspoor. I thought Wikileaks role is to publish secrets that speak truth to power, not "stuff we already know". Either give us something decent or give up the ego trip Julian.

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Anonymous Coward

I fear you fail to understand the point of the leaking

We "know" diplomats do bad stuff, we "know" governments are made up of not nice people doing not nice stuff and we "know" they say one thing in public and then dozens of different things in private depending on who they are talking about and to whom.

But in this context "know" means we very strongly suspect it but have a tiny amount of doubt that allows us to carry on with our lives without having to worry aboutthe really terrible things our elected representatives are doing in our name. Kind of like the scenario of having one rifle loaded with a blank cartridge in a firing squad - each member can convince themselves they didn't kill anyone if they wish.

However, the publishing of the actual documents means we now know what goes on - no grey areas, no doubt, no happy convincing ourselves that the world is actually a nice place. I suppose it is the difference between being almost sure your wife is having an affair and actually catching her in bed shagging someone else.

as for: "I thought Wikileaks role is to publish secrets that speak truth to power, not "stuff we already know. Either give us something decent or give up the ego trip Julian"

I though teh point was for Wikileaks to publish the information and then let us deal with it - if the information is not to your taste then that is up to you - but the information is what it is. Personally I would be happiest if all we learned about our political masters is that they are petty and childish towards each other.

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@Lee

"However, the publishing of the actual documents means we now know what goes on"

No we flipping well don't, and that's the point. You're kidding yourself if you think we ever would from diplomatic cables.

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Pint

Peter Gabriel was right!

Politicians are people too, they are petty, vain and childish, just like the rest of us can be sometimes. The difference is that we hardly have any effect on the world, these people are paid shedloads to act like children.

All together now...."Games without frontiers, war without tears."

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Go

But surely...

.. just like when governments talk of reading everyone elses emails, If they have nothing to hide, they have nothing to fear!

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Pint

Delicious tears

If you're doing things that are legally and morally dubious, you can't take the moral high ground when you finally get caught.

Most of this stuff was common knowledge anyway, it's not like we hadn't all realised that the Saudi King was batshit insane..

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Troll

Hubris

Didn't somebody say "If you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear" ?

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Anonymous Coward

I think you miss the point...

I think you miss the point that this is diplomatic communication, by definition it's something to hide. Diplomats are required to be candid with their bosses back home in order that their thoughts and opinions are fully understood with no room for error. This often results in sending messages that will upset or offend others. Upset and offence is not illegal, or immoral, but can seriously harm relations with other countries.

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FAIL

Re: I think you miss the point...

WRONG! It the messages are secret, candid or confidential then you encrypt them - you don't just mark them as secret and dump them on a network that about three million people have legitimate access to.

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Anonymous Coward

Try to understand what has happened...

Encryption is useless if the endpoint is where the data is being leaked from.

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Anonymous Coward

He aint no Swede!

He aint no Swede!

He was even denied asylum in Sweden.

(He was born roughly as far from Sweden as is physically possible, in Queensland, Australia.)

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Black Helicopters

"...assistance in promoting democracy and open government."

Yeah, right. Where "democracy" means "a government acceptable to the US", irrespective of the citizens' real wishes. And "open" means "we want to know everything you say and do, even though the obverse does not hold".

When will the Americans ever learn that what's good for America is NOT necessarily good for the rest of the world? In fact - it is usually to the detriment of the rest of the world.

America must stop acting like a bully who intimidates everybody else to do what America wants and learn how to be a responsible government that respects the rights of other governments/countries to rule themselves.

The fact that a country may be abhorrent to the US still does not give them the inalienable right to march in there with force and (try) to institute a government that is US-friendly. In any case, as everyone except the US know, all those efforts have ended in misery and colossal use of face for the good ole US (Vietnam, Iran, Afghanistan, Iraq, Iraq (the second time round under Junior), Afghanistan again, Sudan, etc, etc.).

That is what diplomacy is for.

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Grenade

Sowing the wind

After Wikileaks had that video of the US helicopter gunning down unarmed civillians the Amerikans have been after them...

This latest leak might not be as much "pulic interest" as the murder video, but this is payback for the aggro.

I don't suppose it will stop here.

I'm waiting to see what the story is on Prince Andrew... should be funny, haven't seen him stick his foot in it for a while :-)

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''open government''

Quote: ''The White House. "To be clear — such disclosures put at risk our diplomats, intelligence professionals, and people around the world who come to the United States for assistance in promoting democracy and open government."''

So open that when someone exposes their lies - they complain.

The last time that this happened, they claimed that many lives were going to be put at risk, and what happened ? What about the many thousands of people killed by the illegal activities of this government ?

If you aren't going to be proud of something that you are about to do: don't do it.

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Black Helicopters

Ummm...

"So open that when someone exposes their lies - they complain."

I'm not quite clear which lies you think were exposed. The U.S government gets brutally frank appraisals from its diplomatic staff. I don't find that surprising. There is stuff in the brutal appraisals that they would like to keep secret. That's not surprising either.

To be honest, I find most of the stuff in the leaks refreshingly forthright, but there's nothing very shocking in there that I've seen and the fact that the U.S wants to keep diplomatic communications under its hat isn't shocking either.

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Pint

@alain - thanks

you saved me having to put my thoughts into words

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Troving the cables

Just because a piece of information is found in the cables does not really mean that the information is really correct. In this case it's the 'an informant said' situation. Informants get paid when they say things.

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Troll

for all it worth..

.. there is a difference between leaking the emails of a normal person, and leaking the communication of an elected official. There is a lot of private stuff in the first, there isn't anything private in the latter.

any way, we are talking about the self proclaimed democracy who treats everyone in a fare manner. So their really shouldn't be anything to worry about in those documents. Those document are suppose to be archived after all!

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Title

So, the next leak would be chinese diplomatic cables and it will be all clear then, I hope?

Or is it just not going to happen cause chinese have designed their system better?

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Flame

Nope.

It won't happen because if he posts Chinese info, somebody will come along and make him dead. (small loss) The reason they leak this info is because they can, and the chance for personal harm is low.

I'll respect Assange when he leaks the same kind of info from Chinese, Iranian, Russian sources. Until then, I have the opinion that he's a garden variety pussy out there grandstanding for the publicity.

He's already proved he can dish it out but not take it with his rape allegations.

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Big Brother

"The New York Times said it did not obtain the cables from WikiLeaks"

Unapologetic War Enabler and all-around character assassination conduit of the Imperial Capital not a darling of the leakers?

Colour me surprised.

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WTF?

Irony?

So the White House is claiming that revealing secret government information puts "open government" at risk?

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Anonymous Coward

Eh?

Are there any other peoples or countries it would be acceptable to insult in this manner?

I'm getting sick of it.

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M.A
Go

well done wikileaks

all gov should be there for people to see YES ALL maybe that way we wont al be shafted by our respected representative so often. GO GET EM GUYS.

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wiki whacky

It was hilarious to see Adam Bolton interviewing Jimmy Wales yesterday, he obviously booked the wrong man. .Most of the questions were about Wikileaks and Assange, including why Wikipedia didn't sue Wikileaks for using the word wiki.

As for state cybercrime, I bet it's not the Chinese government who is blocking Wikileaks.org just now.

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Calm down, folks

I'm less astonished at the vitriol than at the ignorance of so many comments posted here. What has come out so far is routine embassy traffic; ambassadors and spooks reporting back to Washington what they have been told, what they guess, and what might be useful. Every country does this: the diplomatic traffic for the British or Chinese or Australian embassies back to their Governments would look much the same. So far I have seen no information about nefarious US plots, and very little information that was not already clear to anyone who reads the newspapers. (Surely we all knew that Sunni Arab countries are far more frightened of Shia Iran than of Israel, what ever they say in public. You didn't know that? - do try to keep up.)

The shocking thing, and the IT aspect, is that this torrent of unevaluated and mostly confidential stuff was freely available to millions of people who had no need to see it and no way of making use of it. After 9/11 the US security agencies were told they had to share information more. I don't think this was quite what was intended - but, as usual, with a badly-thought-out requirements definition you get an unbelievably useless system. Nobody was willing to sit down and develop a proper data architecture with sensible security controls, because they would have been blamed if a later attack might have been prevented with more information sharing. So the safe bureaucratic position was to share almost everything. Nobody will be blamed for this, even though sharing with Julian Assange would not have been part of any sensible specification.

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Anonymous Coward

The government is known...

...for not reading every memo that they get, or linking one piece of information with another.

Maybe someone could end up seeing something noone else noticed and stop the next 9/11

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What WikiLeaks do is important

What Wikileaks do is important.

Our elected officials -- and the officials we voted against but got limbered with anyway -- work for us; and as the people who pay their wages, we have a right to know *everything* they do while on the clock.

If they need a reminder every now and again, so be it.

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Anonymous Coward

Err...

Diplomats aren't elected...

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