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Reflections (4)

One thing you need when entering China is you need to immediately get to a major China Mobile Office to obtain a temporary SIM card for your smart phone. There is no such thing as disposable phones you can purchase. You need identification to purchase SIM card and start communicating with others in China or internet. The temporary SIM card cost less then $5 for 2 months normal usage, but it is a must. I noticed that even with the temporary SIM card there is limitations. I attempted to use WiFi in a Starbuck coffee shop with my I-Pad and unable to sign on because Starbuck sent you a code to verify your identity, and the temporary number will not do. Once I used my relative’s phone number I immediately received the code and able to surf the net. Of course you can use WiFi in any hotel with their code. The implication on reflection was obvious. You are responsible for your communications on phone and internet. It would be impossible to spread rumors on line or influence elections like Russia did in U.S. without alerting security apparatus. There are constant reports of punishments of 5-15 days detentions for spreading unfounded rumors or disturbing social harmony.
I remember reading from news that CIA searches for a mole that resulting dozens of agents disappearing in China a few years ago. They surveilled a suspected former agent for years without getting any evidence, and finally decide to arrest him for keeping secret from previous employment as a scapegoat. I suspect they could charge any former agent with that but he satisfy the criteria of being a Chinese-American, as were many false arrests by FBI of Chines-American scientists doing normal scientific exchanges. I suddenly have an epiphany that instead of spending millions of dollars searching for a mole, I could have give them a plausible answer. Remember China started to build supercomputers a few years ago as did U.S. IBM used it to demolish chess grandmasters and Google used it to defeat world champions in Go. Meanwhile China was probably perfecting the AI for large data and cloud computing to search abnormalities any spy will generate no matter how careful they pretended. China built the “Great Firewall” that allow some hackers to claim success in penetrating with VPNs, not realizing it was intentional and they can crack down any time they wish. I guess the joke is on us.

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