Securityfocus reported yesterday that a “search hacker” had exposed the true age of China’s olympic competitors He Kexin and Jiang Yuyuan. After doubts about their age surfaced, Mike Walker was quickly able to uncover documents describing their real ages. While google hacking is nothing new, the result of his actions are more surprising:
Soon after Walker, who blogs under the name Stryder Hax, found each document, the evidence quickly disappeared. The lesson, he said, is that — while it is difficult to delete documents from the Internet — an entity with the power and reach of China seems to be able to make information about He Kexin disappear quickly.
We all know about Google’s relationship with the Chinese government, so I assume the Chines have the power to just call Google (and I have no doubts that other search engines offer the same “service”!) and make information disappear. Scary stuff! Now if only someone would backup a daily copy of Google’s entire database 😉
For those that want to read more, check out Walker’s blog. One more quote from him to finish that might keep you awake at night:
Google’s cached copy of the spreadsheet does not contain Kexin’s age record, and Baidu’s does. This does not necessarily imply that Google allowed its data to be rewritten by Chinese censors, but the possibility does present itself.