On January 12, 2010, Google announced that it is "no longer willing to continue censoring" results on Google.cn
, citing a breach of Gmail accounts of Chinese human rights activists. The company found that the hackers had breached into two Gmail accounts but was only able to access 'from' and 'to' information and subject headers of emails in these accounts The company's investigation into the attack showed that at least 20 other companies had been similarly targeted. Additionally, "dozens" of Gmail accounts in China, Europe, and the United States had been regularly accessed by third parties, due to phishing or malware on the users' computers rather than a security breach at Google. Although Google did not explicitly accuse the Chinese government of the breach, it said it was no longer willing to censor results on google.cn
, and that it will discuss over the next few weeks "the basis on which we could run an unfiltered search engine within the law, if at all. We recognize that this may well mean having to shut down Google.cn
, and potentially our offices in China."
On January 13, 2010, the news agency AHN reported that the U.S. Congress plans to investigate Google's allegations that the Chinese government used the company's service to spy on human rights activists.