State Department confronts China about alleged attack on Google's networks

The State Department has lodged a verbal complaint with Chinese officials over the alleged cyber attacks and censorship of Google's network.

State Department Spokesman Philip Crowley said today in a press conference, "We have had multiple conversations with Chinese officials on this issue. And that included a direct conversation between Secretary Clinton and Foreign Minister Yang in London, you know, late last month."

"So I think we have satisfied ourselves that the Chinese understand the importance with which we view this issue," Crowley continued. "We have called on the Chinese to conduct a thorough review of cyber-intrusions that -- and they are obviously in the best position to evaluate what -- what has and continues to occur within their -- within their borders. A demarche can be a written statement, it can be a verbal statement. The secretary directly engaged Foreign Minister Yang on this issue. So if you want to call that a demarche, I -- I think -- you know, we have done what we set out to do, which is to directly express our concerns at high levels about this activity and to encourage China to investigate it thoroughly."

Google threatened to pull out of China after detecting widespread cyber attacks on its infrastructure. Although Google still operates in the country, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton supported Google's decision and declared Internet freedom a diplomatic priority for the Obama administration. Lawmakers and White House officials have called on other technology companies to follow Google's lead and refuse to cooperate with China's regime of censorship.

Crowley stopped short of saying the U.S. government demanded concrete answers from China regarding the alleged attack, instead merely "encouraging" China to investigate the situation. Chinese officials have maintained that companies operating within the country's borders must abide by its communications law, which censor certain religious and political speech.