The row over Chinese hackers illegally accessing the emails of human rights activists has escalated to global proportions with high profile officials exchanging a war of words. “Declaring that an attack on one nation’s computer networks ‘can be an attack on all,’ Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton issued a warning on Thursday that the United States would defend itself from cyberattacks, though she left unclear the means of response. In a sweeping, pointed address that dealt with the Internet as a force for both liberation and repression, Mrs. Clinton said: ‘Those who disrupt the free flow of information in our society or any other pose a threat to our economy, our government and our civil society. Countries or individuals that engage in cyber-attacks should face consequences and international condemnation.’ In response, the Chinese Foreign Ministry issued a curt, cautionary statement on its Web site on Friday: ‘We urge the U.S. side to respect facts and stop using the so-called freedom of the Internet to make unjustified accusations against China.’”