Details about the U.S. State Department cables obtained by WikiLeaks are starting to come out. Although WikiLeaks itself may be under a denial of service attack, it provided several newspapers around the world access to the raw documents it is preparing to release later today. The New York Times just posted it’s first article summarizing the contents of the cables and highlighting the most newsworthy ones.
Among the 251,287 U.S. diplomatic cables leaked by WikiLeaks, there is one set which deals with the massive computer attack on Google and other companies which was first revealed last January. At that time, Google went public with its contention that the attacks came from China, and linked those attacks to government censorship in explaining why Google was pulling out of China proper. They returned in a more limited way last summer.
According to the NYT, some of the new leaked cables point directly at China’s Politburo for instigating the original attacks:
A global computer hacking effort: China’s Politburo directed the intrusion into Google’s computer systems in that country, a Chinese contact told the American Embassy in Beijing in January, one cable reported. The Google hacking was part of a coordinated campaign of computer sabotage carried out by government operatives, private security experts and Internet outlaws recruited by the Chinese government. They have broken into American government computers and those of Western allies, the Dalai Lama and American businesses since 2002, cables said.
The cables should shed some more light on why the White House and State Department backed Google so vociferously at the time.