Schools accused in Google hacking case ask "why us?"

Tue Mar 16, 2010 8:50am EDT
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Melanie Lee

JINAN, China (Reuters) - With Google expected to decide soon whether to close its Chinese search engine, students at one of the schools cited by some reports for being behind hacking attacks on the Internet giant are decidedly ambivalent.

On the surface, Lanxiang Vocational School in Jinan, capital of eastern Shandong province, would hardly appear to be the kind of place from which sophisticated attacks capable of sparking Google's threat to quit China could emanate.

Barricaded inside the strictly guarded campus, scruffy-looking students train to become everything from chefs to car mechanics. Many say they have never even heard of Google, preferring domestic search engine Baidu.

It therefore came as a surprise to many here when the New York Times reported last month that investigators believed there was evidence suggesting a link between it and the hacking attacks on Google and over 20 other firms.

Beijing has said it opposes hacking, and the school denied the report.

"We had a good laugh about it," said Mr Zhang, a teacher at Lanxiang who declined to give his full name.

"They really put our school on a pedestal," Zhang said, emphasizing that Lanxiang was only a vocational school, not a university. "If the (students) had better prospects they won't be studying here."

Still, some current and former students said they would not be surprised if there was a link to the hacking.   Continued...