Foreign journalists in China say e-mail inboxes were hacked

Associated Press
Tuesday, January 19, 2010

BEIJING -- International journalists in China said on Monday that their Google e-mail accounts have been hacked in attacks like the ones against human rights activists, which last week led the search giant to consider pulling out of the country.

In announcing a possible exit from China, Google did not specify how the accounts with its Gmail service were hacked or by whom. Information since then has trickled out.

The Foreign Correspondents' Club of China sent an e-mail to its members on Monday warning that reporters in at least two news bureaus in Beijing said their Gmail accounts had been broken into, with their e-mails surreptitiously forwarded to unfamiliar accounts.

Although the warning did not name the organizations, one of the accounts belonged to an Associated Press journalist.

John Daniszewski, senior managing editor for international news at the news cooperative in New York, denounced the breach and said the AP would investigate to determine if any vital information was compromised.

The tactics used against the journalists are similar to those described by one human rights activist, Beijing law professor and human-rights lawyer Teng Biao.

© 2010 The Washington Post Company