China's worried enough about the information going out on the U.S.-based Chinese language site Boxun.com that it apparently took the trouble to knock the site offline, so now we're going to add Boxun to our list of sites worth reading about the Bo Xilai scandal. Thanks for the confirmation, China! Boxun, which has reported extensively on the Bo scandal, went dark for a few hours on Friday in a denial of service attack, which it says came from China's security services. The site now live on a new server.
The flurry of rumor and speculation from which reporters have to decipher news in the absence of official communication can be baffling, one China correspondent told The Atlantic Wire via telephone last week. There's a lot of information out there, much of it wrong, and almost none of it ever confirmed by Chinese officials. Reporters have to to go on what they can learn by people inside the power structure, and those sources can be cagey. Remember when people weren't totally clear about whether there was a coup in China, or when Reuters mentioned a fax it had sent to police to try to confirm something? A fax!
Now, we can't confirm for sure that the Chinese government knocked Boxun offline, but that's what Boxun says, and as The Associated Press points out, "foreign governments and companies often complain of cyber-attacks from China, although proving their origins and who the culprits are is rarely possible. Beijing denies that it uses hackers to attack web sites or steal secrets online."