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Some accounts were forwarding emails to unknown addresses

When it comes to freedoms here in America, one that we take for granted is the freedom to get information on anything that can be found online. In other countries such as China, the same freedoms are not permitted. China is most known for filtering access to the internet and pursuing or imprisoning anyone who speaks out against the government.

The biggest confrontation between China and the outside world was precipitated by the attacks on Google that resulted in the theft of data owned by Google and the hacking of Gmail email accounts of journalists and activists using the free email service. Google made good on its threats against China this month when the company shuttered its Chinese search engine and redirected all searches to its Hong Kong site.

Apparently, hackers have turned their attention to another search giant operating in the Chinese market -- Yahoo. Yahoo has announced that some of its email accounts used by journalists and activists working in China were compromised in an attack that was discovered this week.

Reuters reports that several journalists who work in China were unable to access their email accounts on Yahoo. Accounts known to be compromised include those of a freelance journalist in Beijing named Kathleen McLaughlin and accounts held by the World Uyghur Congress (WUC).

WUC spokesman Dilxat Raxit told Reuters, "I suspect a lot of information in my Yahoo account was downloaded." He noted that the account has been inaccessible for a month. He continued saying, "A lot of people I used to contact in Lanzhou, Xi'an and elsewhere have not been reachable by phone for the past few weeks." Many contacts were only reachable by email according to the man.

Other journalists are reporting that their accounts had been accessed and set to forward emails to accounts that were unknown to them. One of the journalists whose emails were being forwarded is Andrew Jacobs of the New York Times stationed in Beijing. Yahoo has not yet made any official statements on the attacks. The search firms only comment was "Yahoo! condemns all cyber attacks regardless of origin or purpose."





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