The U.S. checks our email (in the U.S.) at will? What the big fuss about China wanting to do the same thing?
The fact that the breach "was limited to account information (such as the date the account was created) and subject line, rather than the content of emails themselves" is NOT trivial. All the Chinese security apparatus needs is the email header info, not the content of emails. They breached Google's security and got into the system for tracking dissidents' messages. So if they already know these messages are from or to dissidents, all they need is the header info (IP addresses, From: and To: email addresses, Subject:) and with that they can locate the home, business, Internet cafe, etc. and arrest the dissidents. A major part of intelligence gathering consists of discovering the network of contacts that the targeted person has. So China hit the jackpot by hacking into Google's "gold mine" of dissident emails.
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