The well-publicized spat between the Chinese government and search giant Google over an apparent hacking attack on the company’s servers may soon be a thing of the past, Google CEO Eric Schmidt said today at a press conference.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Schmidt said that his company was in “active negotiations” with the Chinese government, but that Google had decided not to publicize a more precise status of the progress of negotiations.
The two parties have been at loggerheads since January, when a well-orchestrated hacking attack appearing to originate from Chinese computers targeted the Google-hosted email accounts of known Chinese dissidents living in both the U.S. and abroad. While other companies were also attacked, Google’s response – a threatened refusal to cooperate with government censorship regulations – drew the lion’s share of the media attention.
Experts say that, regardless of the outcome of the negotiations, the incident has helped to bring a higher public profile to internet security issues, so much so that the U.S. State Department has weighed in on the issue.