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Google – A New Approach to China

January 13th, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

Google issued a press release on their blog just a few hours ago pertaining to their operation in China. It is big news and will take some time to digest. I don’t want to comment, just get the story out. 

A new approach to China

1/12/2010 03:00:00 PM

Like many other well-known organizations, we face cyber attacks of varying degrees on a regular basis. In mid-December, we detected a highly sophisticated and targeted attack on our corporate infrastructure originating from China that resulted in the theft of intellectual property from Google. However, it soon became clear that what at first appeared to be solely a security incident–albeit a significant one–was something quite different.

First, this attack was not just on Google. As part of our investigation we have discovered that at least twenty other large companies from a wide range of businesses–including the Internet, finance, technology, media and chemical sectors–have been similarly targeted. We are currently in the process of notifying those companies, and we are also working with the relevant U.S. authorities.

Second, we have evidence to suggest that a primary goal of the attackers was accessing the Gmail accounts of Chinese human rights activists. Based on our investigation to date we believe their attack did not achieve that objective. Only two Gmail accounts appear to have been accessed, and that activity was limited to account information (such as the date the account was created) and subject line, rather than the content of emails themselves.

Third, as part of this investigation but independent of the attack on Google, we have discovered that the accounts of dozens of U.S.-, China- and Europe-based Gmail users who are advocates of human rights in China appear to have been routinely accessed by third parties. These accounts have not been accessed through any security breach at Google, but most likely via phishing scams or malware placed on the users’ computers.

We have already used information gained from this attack to make infrastructure and architectural improvements that enhance security for Google and for our users. In terms of individual users, we would advise people to deploy reputable anti-virus and anti-spyware programs on their computers, to install patches for their operating systems and to update their web browsers. Always be cautious when clicking on links appearing in instant messages and emails, or when asked to share personal information like passwords online. You can read more here about our cyber-security recommendations. People wanting to learn more about these kinds of attacks can read this U.S. government report (PDF), Nart Villeneuve’s blog and this presentation on the GhostNet spying incident.

We have taken the unusual step of sharing information about these attacks with a broad audience not just because of the security and human rights implications of what we have unearthed, but also because this information goes to the heart of a much bigger global debate about freedom of speech. In the last two decades, China’s economic reform programs and its citizens’ entrepreneurial flair have lifted hundreds of millions of Chinese people out of poverty. Indeed, this great nation is at the heart of much economic progress and development in the world today.

We launched Google.cn in January 2006 in the belief that the benefits of increased access to information for people in China and a more open Internet outweighed our discomfort in agreeing to censor some results. At the time we made clear that “we will carefully monitor conditions in China, including new laws and other restrictions on our services. If we determine that we are unable to achieve the objectives outlined we will not hesitate to reconsider our approach to China.”

These attacks and the surveillance they have uncovered–combined with the attempts over the past year to further limit free speech on the web–have led us to conclude that we should review the feasibility of our business operations in China. We have decided we are no longer willing to continue censoring our results on Google.cn, and so over the next few weeks we will be discussing with the Chinese government the basis on which we could operate 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.

The decision to review our business operations in China has been incredibly hard, and we know that it will have potentially far-reaching consequences. We want to make clear that this move was driven by our executives in the United States, without the knowledge or involvement of our employees in China who have worked incredibly hard to make Google.cn the success it is today. We are committed to working responsibly to resolve the very difficult issues raised.

Posted by David Drummond, SVP, Corporate Development and Chief Legal Officer

  1. tanjin
    January 24th, 2010 at 21:41 | #1

    Simply put, Google and its founders, in this case, appear as a “spoiled child” of its own commercial success.

    According to this report, German and South Korea have more restrictive internet policy than China

    http://news.xinhuanet.com/comments/2010-01/24/content_12861036.htm

    “A URL that otherwise would have appeared in response to your search,?was not displayed because that URL was reported as illegal by a German’ regulatory body .. ”

    “Google has received a legal complaint and submitted it here to the Chilling Effects database, as described in Google’s Digital Millennium Copyright Act policy. In response to the complaint, Google may have removed content from a search results page or hosted page ..”

  2. tanjin
    January 24th, 2010 at 23:03 | #2

    BBC NEWS:

    “Isn’t it true that even in the United States, the homeland of Google, certain government agencies are also reported of often entering a massive number of personal e-mail accounts with certain excuses?”

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/8478005.stm

    America’s internet strategy was “to exploit its advantages in internet funds, technology and marketing and export its politics, commerce and culture to other nations for political, commercial and cultural interests of the world’s only superpower”.

    It also described the US government as being hypocritical, saying the country’s “certain government agencies” had reportedly illegally checked a massive number of personal e-mail accounts.

  3. S.K. Cheung
    January 25th, 2010 at 00:36 | #3

    To 150:
    “you brought up “pornography” in context of discussing “freedom”, and making irrelevant inaccurate quotes, and “blue moon”. Why are they my “sideshows”?”

    I brought up “pornography” once to try to give context to a quote I wanted to use, and my fault for mistaking it with obscenity. However, I think to most people, the point had nothing to do with pornography, or any comparison of that with freedom. Unfortunately, you seem not to be “most people”.

    I brought up “blue moon” in response to your characterization that abundance = pornography. Again, I think most people would realize that the crux of the point did not lie in “blue moon”. Instead of saying, “you know what, you’re right, abundance does not equal pornography”, you give us a meteorological definition of “blue moon”.

    Do it once, and maybe every now and then you can’t see the forest for the trees. Happens to the best of them. But this isn’t the first, or the hundredth time for you, is it?

    If you don’t like “sideshows” or “silliness”, I’m happy to offer synonyms upon request.

  4. S.K. Cheung
    January 25th, 2010 at 00:52 | #4

    To Pugster #152:
    it is humorous indeed. But I don’t think censoring cuss words in a voice to text feature on a cell phone is on the same scale as what Google is talking about wrt China.

    To 153:
    if that is in fact the case, maybe Google will examine her business viability in Germany and South Korea too at some point. But it doesn’t really change the situation in China.

    To 154:
    does America exploiting her advantages for American benefit surprise anybody? In fact, I’d be surprised if she didn’t.

    It does seem unfounded to accuse the Chinese government of any involvement in the hack job, but neither Google nor Clinton said that in their statements. There are certainly lots of people jumping to conclusions, however.

  5. tanjin
    January 25th, 2010 at 01:11 | #5

    well, well, SKC dude, you are still not yet tired and sicked by your own childish and silly comment :-) LoL, LoL

  6. S.K. Cheung
    January 25th, 2010 at 03:11 | #6

    yo, how’s your twin doing?

    I responded to your posts. If 157 is the best you can do….well, I really shouldn’t have been expecting much more than that out of you (or your twin).

  7. tanjin
    January 25th, 2010 at 03:58 | #7

    LoL. My cousin won’t be bother to deal with little “banana” like you :-) LoL, LoL.

  8. S.K. Cheung
    January 25th, 2010 at 04:44 | #8

    Ahh, you are such a classy guy. Your twin was as well, as I recall. Wonder who we have to thank for that? Too bad they didn’t do better.

  9. alessandro
    January 25th, 2010 at 14:46 | #9

    I can see very little resemblance between RV’s and Tanjin’s comments….to say they are the “same” person seems a little like jumping to conclusions to me.
    And who this “they” in 160 should be please??

  10. Charles Liu
    January 25th, 2010 at 19:06 | #10

    161 Exactely. That’s why I don’t bother responding to these trollish behavior.

  11. tanjin
    January 25th, 2010 at 23:19 | #11

    Bill Gates: Obey countries’ laws has always been part of game for doing business there, China’s internet censorship has been “very limited”

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2010/jan/25/bill-gates-web-censorship-china

    “Less than two weeks after Google said it planned to uncensor its Chinese search engine in protest at attempts to break into the email accounts of human rights activists, Gates criticised his rival’s decision and insisted that agreeing to Beijing’s demands was just part of doing business in the country. “You’ve got to decide: do you want to obey the laws of the countries you’re in or not? If not, you may not end up doing business there,” he told ABC’s Good Morning America programme.

    He also brushed aside accusations that Microsoft has been complicit in helping filter the web by saying that it was not an issue because any censorship could be circumvented with technical knowledge. “Chinese efforts to censor the internet have been very limited,” he said. “It’s easy to go around it, so I think keeping the internet thriving there is very important.”

    Gates’s comments echo those last week by Microsoft chief executive, Steve Ballmer, who took a swipe at Google by suggesting that the company had over-reacted in China. “People are always trying to break into other people’s data,” he said on Friday. “There’s always somebody trying to break into Microsoft.”

  12. tanjin
    January 25th, 2010 at 23:45 | #12

    US Expert: Sino-US cyber war not likely

    After some US-based bloggers and commentators, later joined by some hotheads from India, publicly calling an “all out war” with China triggered by this google matter, US appears NOW softening its own stance on this issue through a well-known foreign policy expert.

    http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/world/2010-01/26/content_9374928.htm

    “To avoid any devastating consequences developing from the row, the two countries should restrain their cyber activities, which should not encompass espionage, said James Lewis, a senior fellow directing the Technology and Public Policy Program at the US based Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), in an interview with the Oriental Morning Post of Shanghai

    A cyber war is “unlikely to break out if the two countries stick to this bottom line,” Lewis said in the interview with the Shanghai based newspaper.

    His remarks came amid the escalating war of words resulting from the Google row, which analysts say has been politicalized by the involvement of the US government.

    Lewis pointed out that information stealing is common practice in cyber space, citing a US national defense official who said that “every day their computers are attacked nearly 300 million times, some banking systems are attacked over 7,000 times, and the websites of power companies are attacked 2,000 to 3,000 times.”

  13. Charles Liu
    January 26th, 2010 at 01:45 | #13

    tanjin @ 164, ” information stealing is common practice in cyber space”

    According to CNCERT, 2765 websites in gov.cn domain were hacked into last year, with US originating IP addres ranked #1. (I have posted the translated article in Letters section.)

  14. S.K. Cheung
    January 26th, 2010 at 05:31 | #14

    To 163:
    Bill Gates has a point. When in Rome, as they say. Of course, that doesn’t mean one needs to agree with how the Romans do things. Or that one can’t complain about how Romans do things while going along with it for a while. Whether it makes business sense to say that they’ve had enough of that, is really a decision for Google.

    However, I also can’t read Gates’ or Ballmer’s take on this without a chuckle. They’ve been playing second fiddle to Google for a while, and it’s no surprise that they would want to stick it to them when given the free shot. Besides, no Google might mean more for Bing, so playing kissy kissy at this point with the CCP also makes good business sense for Microsoft.

    It’s also interesting to note that, the title notwithstanding, the latter part of the article does not necessarily agree with Gates’ characterization of the current state of CHinese internet censorship.

  15. r v
    January 26th, 2010 at 23:05 | #15

    Some would choose to ignore Gate’s obvious by implied meaning: “If you don’t want to obey the local laws, don’t do business there.”

    Google went into China with eyes wide-open, and there is nothing in any international agreement that would give anyone a pass on local laws.

    Like I said, it’s not like Censorship or Hacking is anything new to Google (or anyone else for that matter).

    If Big businesses want to get into the business of making social/political changes? That would explain a great deal about why Washington DC has so many corporate lobby offices, spending billions to get favorable laws for the rich and corporations.

    Maybe US will accept lobby money or threats from foreign companies, China won’t play that. (Incidentally, US doesn’t either.)

  16. alessandro
    January 27th, 2010 at 01:34 | #16

    Yes…let’s see how self-righteous guys as SK Cheung would react if different companies should start to act contrary to US laws….When in America, do as americans do….Where’s written everybody likes what “americans” do?
    I think SK Cheung answer would be quite different…

  17. S.K. Cheung
    January 27th, 2010 at 02:28 | #17

    “Where’s written everybody likes what “americans” do?” — ummm, you seem to have completely, totally, and utterly missed the point of the “Romans” phrase. There’s no stipulation that, if you go to “America”, you WOULD like what Americans do; nonetheless, you SHOULD still do as they do, cuz you’re in their house. That would seem to be the thrust of China’s, and in this case, Gates’ argument…if Google is to play in China, she SHOULD do as the Chinese government wants her to do, whether Google likes it or not. Now, a visitor to the US who disapproves of how Americans do things can certainly complain about it; so too can Google in China. As for what such complaints achieve? Tough to say

    “let’s see how self-righteous guys as SK Cheung would react if different companies should start to act contrary to US laws” — that’s easy. I’d like to see US courts apply US laws. And yes, same goes in China. That should be pretty obvious.

  18. Steve
    January 27th, 2010 at 03:00 | #18

    Per r v’s comment in #168, The NY Times had this article in today’s paper about lobbying in China and a new policy from the government to try and get it under control.

  19. r v
    January 27th, 2010 at 04:38 | #19

    When I visited Beijing in year 1993, I stayed at one of these provincial “lobby houses.” (And it was the Xinjiang “lobby house”.)

    It is about time that the Central Government did something about these practices. These places were originally intended as hospitality organizations for provincial representatives who needed places to stay at while visiting Beijing, but these “lobbying” activities have gone too far.

    Then again, I live now in DC metro area, and there are lobbying offices for nearly every large corporation in the US.

    Intel, Microsoft, HP, Dell, all the major banks, not to mention the defense contractors, all spend $MILLIONS each year, lobbying in DC area.

    They lobby the Senators and the Congressmen, who in turn lobby on Capital Hill, to get favorable laws for corporations.

    Which is more corrupt? Some would say, at least in US, the lobbying is done with “private money.”

    I would say, the difference is, in China, there are corrupt officials, whereas in US, there are corrupt officials and corrupting individuals with deep pockets.

    *As I was saying before, in US, is it against the law for foreign companies to lobby in US, (meaning engage in political activities behalf of foreign principals), without specific registration as “foreign agents”, under the “Foreign Agent Registration Act”.

    And foreign principals does not have to be a foreign government, it can be a foreign individual or business.

    http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/22/usc_sup_01_22_10_11_20_II.html

    Politicians who accept lobbying activities or funds from foreign agents can be found guilty of various charges, including possibly treason.

    Foreign agents who do not register can be fined, imprisoned, or deported.
    Registered foreign agents are required to submit additional disclosures about activities, financial transactions, as well as submit to political “inquiries”. (Or face fines, imprisonment, or deportation for refusal to cooperate.)

    Now, if Google is a Chinese company, and it comes to publicly talk about US politics and US laws in DC, it would be classified as a “foreign agent.”

  20. alessandro
    January 27th, 2010 at 15:01 | #20

    @169…it is not obvious at all, cause ur words say that u don’t want the same for China.
    As for the “make as the romans”…please, I actually am a roman, so I’m quite familiar with that saying, and I’ve quite understood what u meant…cause u wrote it quite plainly. Google all of a sudden decided for this PR campaing making it appear as a stance on some moral issue..it criticized..and its critics have been noted (and in fact they’re talking with the government)..But also in the US there’s no guarantee that ur criticism will be accepted and things changed accordingly..is there? So what’s the difference SK? Often in the US (as elsewhere) u’d be just answered “this is the way things work here…if u like it stay, if u don’t, that’s the door”…so, again SK, what’s the difference?
    If u rightly would like the US courts to uphold US laws, then u should also like that ur country’d stop meddling and messing with other countries internal affairs (and i’m not talking only China here)…Is it so into u to play the self-righteous guy is it?

  21. Steve
    January 27th, 2010 at 18:25 | #21

    @ alessandro #168 & 172: You can reply to SKC’s points without calling him names. BTW, he’s not American.

    Note~ The story behind the ‘When in Rome’ saying: When St. Augustine arrived in Milan in 387 A.D., he observed that the Church did not fast on Saturday as did the Church at Rome. He consulted St. Ambrose, bishop of Milan, who replied: “When I am at Rome, I fast on a Saturday; when I am at Milan, I do not. Follow the custom of the Church where you are.” The comment was changed to “When they are at Rome, they do there as they see done” by Robert Burton in his Anatomy of Melancholy. Eventually it became “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” A more elaborate explanation is here.

  22. alessandro
    January 28th, 2010 at 02:02 | #22

    Ahem Steve…..where did I call him names? It’s a behaviour I didn’t even use during elementary school, but u’re welcome to show it to me where I did, thank u. Is his nickname S.K. Cheung or not? So I see….ur calling him SKC is normal, my calling him SK (for the same reason u call him SKC…which is BREVITY) is “calling him names”….wow, talking about “double standards”, mm….
    As for him being american or not (it’s not exactly written in his nick, now, is it?)….how does it matter? Many here are from US, the US example was exactly that, an example from a reality many here know.

    Thank u.

  23. Steve
    January 28th, 2010 at 05:52 | #23

    @ alessandro: “self righteous”. I thought it was pretty obvious. Attack the argument, not the person. I’ve collapsed SKC in the past for the same reason. Ad hominum attacks are the sign of a weak argument.

    You wrote, “If u rightly would like the US courts to uphold US laws, then u should also like that ur country’d stop meddling and messing with other countries internal affairs (and i’m not talking only China here)…”

    “ur country”? Sounds like you made that assumption, huh? BTW, this isn’t Twitter. Normal spelling would make your comments much easier to read.

    You might want to re-read your own comments before responding.

  24. Charles Liu
    January 28th, 2010 at 06:11 | #24

    alessandro @ 174, worse things than “self righteous” have been uttered in FM, yet “Steve the style police” hasn’t really piped up. Since Steve is not responding as a moderator (there’s no style police in FM), he can say what he wants, and you are free to do what you please.

    BTW, SKC is North American.

  25. Steve
    January 28th, 2010 at 06:46 | #25

    @ Charles: Interesting comment coming from a guy who complains more than anyone else on this blog about this same sort of comment, many of which I’ve collapsed or deleted, btw. I guess when you agree with a comment, then it’s OK for it to be disparaging. But if you disagree with it, then you get impatient if it isn’t deleted within two minutes of its being posted. That’s when you beg for the “style police”. Funny, I’ve never seen you complain when I’ve collapsed SKC’s remarks. Your objectivity leaves much to be desired.

    You might want to re-read the blog rules before you advise others. Alessandro, Charles is not a moderator nor an editor. Your comment wasn’t collapsed and it wasn’t deleted. I just made a suggestion and we do eventually collapse ad hominum attacks if they continue to be repeated. Again, it’s fine to attack the message but best to avoid attacking the messenger.

    Personally, I don’t think it’s productive for S.O.S Clinton or the US Government to get on China’s case about censorship. If the US has a complaint, they can address it through the proper channels, which in this case would be the WTO. If not, they ought to stay out of it. I think the US Government lectures others too much and doesn’t spend enough time cleaning up its own house. I think SKC’s point is that we can all criticize the US Government on this board without penalty while if we lived in China, our ability to politically express ourselves on the net in a critical way towards the Chinese government is limited. That’s a fair point, which has nothing to do with the actions of the US Government.

    If Google wants to stay in China, it’ll be per the rules they work out with the Chinese government. If they can’t abide by those rules, they are free to leave. End of story. Speculating on ulterior motives is just that, speculation. There’s nothing the matter with speculation as long as you label it as such.

  26. S.K. Cheung
    January 28th, 2010 at 08:07 | #26

    To 172:
    “please, I actually am a roman, so I’m quite familiar with that saying, and I’ve quite understood what u meant…cause u wrote it quite plainly.” — well, I would never assume an Italian to be able to fully grasp English phrases. But if you say you did, then I’m quite confused about how you misconstrued “do as the Romans do” with ““Where’s written everybody likes what “americans” do?”” (your #168).

    Yes, Google is apparently negotiating with the Chinese government. And yes, this occurred after she complained. But this is a business decision by the Chinese government as well. Not nearly the same thing as the Chinese government responding to the complaints and criticisms made by her own people.

    “But also in the US there’s no guarantee that ur criticism will be accepted and things changed accordingly..is there?” — besides death, taxes, and maybe the sun rising from the east, there aren’t too many “guarantees” in life. So i would agree that both China and the US are similarly lacking in a guarantee of responding to citizen complaints. But I think there are systems in place that vastly increase the likelihood of a response to citizen complaints in the US, as opposed to China. You’re welcome to speculate about what those mechanisms might be.

    ““this is the way things work here…if u like it stay, if u don’t, that’s the door”…so, again SK, what’s the difference?” — the difference is that I’m not talking about a system that would respond to one person complaining. I don’t think anybody is talking about wanting a system that responds to individual squeaky wheels. But if there are enough squeaky wheels, then hey, maybe that would be something worth having a system with which to address them.

    “then u should also like that ur country’d stop meddling and messing with other countries internal affairs” — actually, I’d want my country to do what’s best for my country. Unfortunately in some ways, it’s a country-system world in which we live.

  27. my mother
    January 28th, 2010 at 22:25 | #27

    alessandro,

    To elaborate more on Charles’ comment (176), SKC is a Canuck like my great grandfather. I read through tons of his comments, and I really don’t know if he knows anything about China. But he does know a lot about Canada though.

  28. r v
    January 28th, 2010 at 23:11 | #28

    Steve,

    “we can all criticize the US Government on this board without penalty while if we lived in China, our ability to politically express ourselves on the net in a critical way towards the Chinese government is limited.”

    That would depend on your definition of “political expression”. I would hardly say that “criticism” in US (or Canada) of US (or Canadian) government are “political expressions.”

    A lot of useless gripes that don’t get anywhere are not “political expressions.”

    They may sound “political,” but they rarely advocate anything actionable.

    Anything actionable may get too close to “revolution,” “unrest,” or even “terrorism.”

    You want to try something really “political” in US? Try donating money to a group with suspected ties to “terrorists,” or merely solicit money on behalf of those groups. (Then find out how much trouble mere suspicions from the government will get you into.)

    Problem is, you are not expressing a hot button issue in US or Canada. The People/voters squabble over little issues and call it “political expression.”

  29. Charles Liu
    January 28th, 2010 at 23:37 | #29

    r v @ 180, former UN weapons inspector Scotter Ritter is a good example – he criticized the Iraq war, and was accused of pedophilia and silenced.

    And who says the Chinese don’t BS on forums like we do on FM? Chinese citizens criticize their government as much as we do. Here are some choice words from page 1 of above search:

    “中国政府傻X”
    “stupid $%^# Chinese government”

    “绝对傻X的政府”
    “absolutely stupid $%^# government”

    “通州市委、市政府、建委的傻X都该去死”
    “Tongzhou city coucil, government, development coucil stupid $%^# all go to hell”

    “为什么会出现这么傻X的政府”
    “why do we have $%^# stupid government”

    “政府那些狗娘养的傻X随便放个p”
    “Those b!tch raised government $%^# fart where they go”

    “中国政府这个大傻X还在增买美国长期国债”
    Chinese government stupid $%^# keep buying US debt”

    While violating FARA (Chi Mak), Foreign campaign contribution (John Huang) will get you jail in America – any action the Chinese government takes is limiting freedom (proscuting Liu Xiaobo for subversion; the guy advocated abolition of China’s constitution while taking US$650,000 from the US government via NED grants).

    If we can say citizen’s political asperation isn’t genuine if it’s foreign sponsored, why can’t China? This is a difference I can not reconcile.

  30. Steve
    January 29th, 2010 at 01:21 | #30

    Gentlemen, your examples have proven that the American justice system and freedom of the press is decidedly inferior to the Chinese one. Thanks for clearing that up.

  31. r v
    January 29th, 2010 at 03:02 | #31

    Steve,

    That might be your conclusion. I didn’t say anything about either system being “inferior.”

    But people don’t listen.

    If the People listened, they wouldn’t need Fox News (which apparently recently was voted the most “trusted” in US).

    If the Press listened, perhaps the People would trust them more (than say Fox News).

    For that matter, if the Western Justice system actually listened to the People, we wouldn’t need lawyers to do all the talking.

    The infection of “not listening” is indeed great now in Westernized societies.

    And “self-righteousness”, and consequently “religious extremism” run rampant.

    *like I said, I await the time when the enlightened people of the West actually learn to listen to each other and others, as easily as they fight for their own pet causes.

  32. Chops
    January 29th, 2010 at 03:27 | #32

    Is Google backtracking?

    http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/print/9149924/Clock_may_be_ticking_for_Google_to_act_on_China

    “Google outlined its position in a very public and explicit way, At some point soon, people are going to start wondering if Google is going to back up its words with actions. If Google fails to follow through, it’s going to look like they violated their principles for money. Their reputation will take a pretty big hit if that happens.”

  33. r v
    January 29th, 2010 at 03:53 | #33

    It is rather unusual for Google to be shooting its mouth off in such high profile, especially considering that Google is usually very quiet about everything it does.

    I wonder if Google is having an internal power struggle that is showing up in odd public statements.

  34. r v
  35. r v
    January 29th, 2010 at 04:51 | #35

    http://news.cnet.com/8301-27080_3-10441824-245.html

    “IT and security executives across the world show great ambivalence toward the United States,” the report said. “It is the nation most often cited as a model in dealing with cybersecurity. At the same time, executives from many nations, including many U.S. allies, rank the United States as the country ‘of greatest concern’ in the context of foreign cyberattacks, just ahead of China.”

  36. S.K. Cheung
    January 29th, 2010 at 06:40 | #36

    To Steve #182:
    that’s a good one. Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately), the sarcasm was lost on some.

    To 181:
    “That would depend on your definition of “political expression”.” — indeed. And arguing about the definition is unlikely to be a rewarding exercise.

    But let’s say we use your definition. How far does one get in China with “political expression” as you have defined? Probably not very far either. So the conclusion of your argument is that, when defined in a certain way, the status of “political expression” in China and the US may be quite similar. And that might be useful if we were (constantly) comparing the US and China. But it still wouldn’t change the status of “political expression” in China, and China happens to be the topic of this entire blog.

    Of course, if we define “political expression” as something other than “resulting in revolution”, the CCP probably doesn’t come out looking as rosy, on its own, or in comparison to others.

    To 183:
    your example doesn’t go to show that people don’t listen; it only goes to show that they don’t necessarily choose to listen to what you would want them to listen to. And that’s the choice that people over here get to make…and the concept might also serve as good fodder for a comparison with China, if comparing is what you would like to do.

  37. r v
    January 29th, 2010 at 12:41 | #37

    Hearing what was never said, is rather a delusional version of “hearing”.

    I didn’t say anything about “inferior”.

    If someone “hears” that, they better get their hearing checked.

    If you can “choose” to hear something that wasn’t there, that’s called lying to one’s self.

  38. r v
    January 29th, 2010 at 12:54 | #38

    “they don’t necessarily choose to listen to what you would want them to listen to.”

    Gee, if only some people can choose to listen to their own words, they might realize that they just made themselves fodder for comparison.

    Ironic. And stating the obvious and the irrelevant.

    Obviously, People in China can choose not to listen, to the CCP, or to some schmuck from the West, or to Google.

    If someone thinks the People of China don’t have that choice, they are out of touch with reality, again serve as their own fodder as examples of the worst tendencies of self-righteous behavior in Western Democracy.

  39. S.K. Cheung
    January 30th, 2010 at 01:30 | #39

    To 189:
    “I didn’t say anything about “inferior”.” — that’s nice. If you read #188, you would also notice (well, maybe you wouldn’t) that “inferior” does not appear within it.

    In the past, you’ve been…ummm… shall we say rather “selective” in what you respond to. Now you’re accusing me of making a point that I never made. So you don’t respond to stuff when you’re left with no reasonable response, and you “respond” to things there were never said. Wow, those are certainly the ingredients for a “creative” debate…logical? Not so much. Useful? Unlikely. But certainly “creative”.

    To 190:
    “Ironic. And stating the obvious and the irrelevant.” — those are big concepts. Now, how about you try to explain how my words that you quoted are “ironic”, “irrelevant”, and a “stating of the obvious”. Based on what you wrote in 183 (“If the People listened, they wouldn’t need Fox News”), the concept seemed anything but obvious, at least to you. Since my response directly addressed the concept you were trying to sell, seems to me to be fairly relevant to what you wrote. As for irony, you’ve lost me on that one. So by all means, explain away.

    “Obviously, People in China can choose not to listen, to the CCP” — from a literal standpoint, sure. And I’m realizing that that is your forte. I’m sure they are physically capable of turning off the radio, changing the channel, or clicking to a different website, or tossing the newspaper. But listen or not, they still have to do what the CCP says, without much in the way of recourse. But admittedly, and thankfully, your reality and mine are most definitely not proximate things. And it’s probably best that they remain that way.

  40. r v
    January 30th, 2010 at 01:33 | #40

    To #191:

    Not precise, is you. You were commenting on Steve’s “sarcasm” in #182 and my reply to him in #183.

    Steve wrote in #182: “Gentlemen, your examples have proven that the American justice system and freedom of the press is decidedly inferior to the Chinese one.”

    HEAR the word “inferior” in his comments!

    Like I said, you have no ears.

    Well, obviously, you are not going to grow ears in this life time.

    Obviously, I’m not “holding my breath”.

  41. r v
    January 30th, 2010 at 01:39 | #41

    “But listen or not, they still have to do what the CCP says, without much in the way of recourse.”

    Don’t change the subject.

    I choose not to listen to your irrelevant tangent.

  42. S.K. Cheung
    January 30th, 2010 at 02:11 | #42

    “HEAR the word “inferior” in his comments!” — nope. But I did see it. Now, your use of “inferior” was in line 1 of your #183. My response to your 183 was directed at your line 3. This I know for sure…your capacity for sight is nowhere to be seen. And by extension, your capacity for reading is also consequently severely handicapped.

    “Don’t change the subject.” — what is the subject? When debating someone with your “debating” style (and I’m using that word loosely), the subject does get obscured in the funny English, fuzzy logic, and constant desire to ape other peoples’ phrases.

    BTW, you probably think you’re pretty clever by taking “I’m all ears” to accusing me of having no ears. Do you know why people call it aping?

  43. r v
    January 30th, 2010 at 02:25 | #43

    If you want to be “selective” about what you want to respond to my post, you need to be specific.

    So you are the “selective” one, afterall.

    I rest my case.

    “BTW, you probably think you’re pretty clever by taking “I’m all ears” to accusing me of having no ears.”

    Nope, just being consistent to the words you used.

    “what is the subject? When debating someone with your “debating” style (and I’m using that word loosely), the subject does get obscured in the funny English, fuzzy logic, and constant desire to ape other peoples’ phrases.”

    if you don’t know the subject, don’t inject your irrelevant mis-characterization of other people’s comments. You are just doing plain personal attacks.

    Obviously, you have no idea what was being discussed.

    I choose not to listen to your “sideshow.”

  44. S.K. Cheung
    January 30th, 2010 at 06:35 | #44

    “If you want to be “selective” about what you want to respond to my post, you need to be specific.” — ok, you tell me, do you think a paragraph that starts with “your example doesn’t go to show that people don’t listen” is addressing this (“I didn’t say anything about either system being “inferior”) or this (“If the People listened, they wouldn’t need Fox News “)? If you can’t figure that out…well, I guess I’m not surprised. Here’s a hint: it’s the latter.

    “Nope, just being consistent to the words you used.” — aping 101. You’re all over it. Kinda like the “sideshow” reference that comes up later.

    “if you don’t know the subject” — I know what I’m talking about. Who knows what you’re talking about. And the whining…will it never stop?

    “you have no idea what was being discussed.” — I certainly have no idea what you’re “discussing”. The more salient question is, do you?

  45. January 30th, 2010 at 19:51 | #45

    @RV, SKC,

    I think you should stop the back and forth. When others read (skim) your comments, I don’t think people are keeping scores. Make a point and if the other is not responding, then let it be. It will save you some time, and save people skimming the comments for things to learn from some time also.

    It may also cut down bandwidth usage of the internet – which saves energy – which is good for the planet.

    Thanks.

    Allen

  46. Steve
    January 30th, 2010 at 20:52 | #46

    I’ve been traveling so just saw the last stream. I completely agree with Allen. Make the point once and score your point. Repeat the same point multiple times or make no points at all and it’s annoying… hence, the collapsing.

  47. alessandro
    January 31st, 2010 at 01:33 | #47

    @Charles 176…Don’t worry, I hardly listen to Steve’s “double standardized style police”, it’s only funny to point out his double standard and self-righteous teachings every now and then (as for the “twitter” part, I think if he doesn’t want to read is his prerogative, as writing with the style I see fit is mine. Period)…Thank u

  48. Charles Liu
    February 3rd, 2010 at 22:19 | #48

    Joseph @ 106, it appears the “Chinese code” evidence cited by NYT is not reliable. The code fingered by security expert Joe Stewart turned out to be a very common code in the embedded world:

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/01/26/aurora_attack_origins/

  49. pug_ster
    February 4th, 2010 at 12:32 | #49

    http://news.cnet.com/8301-1009_3-10447279-83.html?tag=newsLatestHeadlinesArea.0

    Report: Google, NSA talk defense partnership

    I guess there’s little doubt that Google sleeps with the US government.

  50. Chops
    February 5th, 2010 at 02:40 | #50

    Google facing many risks in China standoff
    Excerpt from http://mobile.reuters.com/mobile/m/FullArticle/CINT/ninternetNews_uUSTRE61408520100205

    Many analysts believe the Chinese government would have no qualms shutting down an uncensored search engine. But experts on Chinese law warn that Google employees in China could also face prosecution for breaking the law.

    “If they have a lot of personnel in China and they suddenly decide to change what they’re doing in a way that was not permitted by the Chinese government, then that could lead to problems,” said Donald Clarke, a professor of Chinese law at George Washington University Law School, noting Google staff could be at risk of everything from arrest to harassment.

    STATE SECRETS: A CATCH-ALL

    Websites in China are prohibited from publishing content that jeopardizes the security of the nation, divulges state secrets and disturbs the social order.

    “It would be normal for anybody running a high-profile, politically controversial operation in China to anticipate worst-case scenarios, and to do everything possible to guard against them,” said Rebecca MacKinnon, a fellow at the Open Society Institute who has written extensively about Internet censorship in China.

    Google is therefore more likely to voluntarily shut down its search operation if it is unable to reach a compromise with China, rather than unilaterally lift censorship, she said.

  51. tanjin
    February 6th, 2010 at 01:42 | #51

    Google right now is like a dog with tail between its legs, LoL !

    http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9152978/After_China_pull_out_bluster_will_Google_backtrack_

    “Perhaps more significant, Schmidt seemed to pull back on Google’s original certainty that the hack attacks had originated in China. He described the attacks as “probably emanating from China with the origin details unknown” and added that the matter was “still under investigation.”

    Google, he said, would make “some changes there” in a “reasonably short time,” without being more specific.

    That was more than two weeks ago.

    In the meantime, Google spokespeople have been very tight-lipped about the China issue, in sharp contrast with the bold attitude displayed on Jan. 12. Many things aren’t clear. For example, even if it pulls out of the China search engine market, will Google still pursue other Chinese markets, such as mobile or other future opportunities, say, in enterprise software? Will Google exit China for good or will it leave the door open to some business there?

    With each day that passes without Google acting on its promise, the possibility grows that it has decided not to walk the talk. If that’s where this is heading, Google would do well to clarify the matter sooner rather than later. The expectations it set a few weeks ago are pretty big — as is the claim it staked on the moral high ground.”

  52. pug_ster
    February 8th, 2010 at 06:36 | #52

    http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2010-02/08/content_9440667.htm

    Meanwhile, China did came down hard on hackers. Too bad that the US don’t care about it.

  53. pug_ster
    February 8th, 2010 at 16:43 | #53

    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/China/LB09Ad01.html

    Interesting article about China increasing its cyber-warfare capability.

  54. Steve
    February 11th, 2010 at 06:01 | #54

    FYI, I ran across this today:

    Kaspersky Lab, a leading developer of Internet threat management solutions that protect against all forms of malicious software including viruses, spyware, hackers and spam, has revealed that Chinese cybercriminals were the most prolific source of digital pollution on the Internet in January 2010.

    Kaspersky Lab continually monitors the IT threat landscape around the clock and each month publishes its malware statistics. In January 2010 China topped the list with a 36.2% share of malware infecting the Internet. The nearest specific originator of malware was Russia at 5.8%, with then UK only attributing 2.4% of the global total.

    The results were as follows:

    China – 36.2%
    Russia – 5.8%
    USA – 4.4%
    India – 3.9%
    Germany – 3.9%
    Egypt – 3.2%
    Mexico – 2.9%
    UK – 2.4%
    France – 2.3%
    Turkey – 2.2%
    Other – 32.8%

    David Emm a member of the Global Research and Analysis Team at Kaspersky Lab comments: “The results may be surprising for some as traditionally there has been an assumption that a lot of malware and digital pollution came from Russia and east European countries. Our figures suggest the largest share comes from China – which at 36.2% is much bigger than any of the other single countries on the list. Another myth it dispels is that digital pollution only emanates from poorer economies – eminent world economic giants such as the USA and China, as well as the leading EU members Germany, UK and France are all featured in the list. ”

    To find out more about computer threats visit: http://www.kaspersky.co.uk/threats

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