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HindustanTimes Thu,28 Aug 2014

World

Vietnam rejects Google hacking accusation
AFP
Hanoi, April 05, 2010
First Published: 17:24 IST(5/4/2010)
Last Updated: 17:25 IST(5/4/2010)

Vietnam has rejected accusations by Internet giant Google that Vietnamese computer users have been spied on and political blogs hacked into.

The US-based firm last week said infected machines had been used both to spy on their owners as well as to attack blogs containing messages of political dissent.

"These are groundless opinions," Nguyen Phuong Nga, spokeswoman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

Vietnam has "specific regulations against computer viruses, harmful software and for ensuring information security and secrecy," she said in comments received over the weekend.

Google said the malicious software infected computers of users who downloaded Vietnamese language software, and possibly other legitimate software, that was altered to infect the machines.

Leading Internet security firm McAfee said perpetrators of the Vietnamese attacks "may have political motivations and may have some allegiance to the government of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam".

Google announced last month it was redirecting mainland Chinese users to an uncensored site in Hong Kong, making good on an earlier pledge not to go along with the Communist Party government's censorship rules.

Its decision to defy Beijing was based on what it called concerns over censorship and cyberattacks it said originated from China.

Analysts, rights groups and diplomats say the human rights situation in Vietnam has been worsening.

The country's restrictions on news media and Internet sites such as Facebook threatened Vietnam's rapid economic progress, Western donors said in December.


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