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  1. #1
    Filthy Apes! Kalach's Avatar
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    Default Google, Citing Attack, Threatens to Exit China

    Google, Citing Attack, Threatens to Exit China

    BEIJING — Google said Tuesday that it would stop cooperating with Chinese Internet censorship and consider shutting down its operations in the country altogether, citing assaults from hackers on its computer systems and China’s attempts to “limit free speech on the Web.”

    The move, if followed through, would be a highly unusual rebuke of China by one of the largest and most admired technology companies, which had for years coveted China’s 300 million Web users....



    So what's Google up too?

    Official Google Blog: A new approach to China

    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.



    The sky is falling? The tide is turning? Business as usual?
    Bellison uncorked a flood of horrible profanity, which, translated, meant, "This is extremely unusual."

    Boy meets Grr

  2. #2
    Was E.laur Laurie's Avatar
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    Apparently from what I've read it's very strange for a company to even rebuke China like this, even if they don't pull out of it.

  3. #3
    Artisan Conquerer Halla74's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elaur View Post
    Apparently from what I've read it's very strange for a company to even rebuke China like this, even if they don't pull out of it.
    You know what? If China did it, then they should be rebuked. Fuck them, they are not impervious to being named as hooligans if there is sufficient evidence to nail them. The Chinese government has been denying everything under the sun for decades, and too many entities have chosen not to speak out against them because they know that the Chinese government doesn't give a fuck what anybody thinks. I wish our government would take a clue from them, instead of being meely-peely politically corrected double talking sissy beauracrats.
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  4. #4
    Filthy Apes! Kalach's Avatar
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    Edited in some bits to emphasize how it wasn't just Google that was on the receiving end. Which is to say, there's two aspects to the story, the first being what's Google up to with this move, and the second being, what's China up to? The sensational part is, I suppose, Google making this threat.

    I get jittery with stories like these. Inside China there's a whole culture of watching what you type online because this or that or just about anything could see your site blocked, and then you're screwed because you can't use it anymore (unless you and everyone you're talking is hopped up on VPNs). Plus there's the fact that you can't talk to that many people about anything IRL because they have ready-made, aggressive replies all set to go. Sometimes it's hard to say anything much without automatically making yourself out-group.

    So, we're seeing Google finally displaying in public what it's like to be dealing with that kind of environment on a business scale?


    *quivers*
    Bellison uncorked a flood of horrible profanity, which, translated, meant, "This is extremely unusual."

    Boy meets Grr

  5. #5
    Artisan Conquerer Halla74's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kalach View Post
    Edited in some bits to emphasize how it wasn't just Google that was on the receiving end. Which is to say, there's two aspects to the story, the first being what's Google up to with this move, and the second being, what's China up to? The sensational part is, I suppose, Google making this threat.

    I get jittery with stories like these. Inside China there's a whole culture of watching what you type online because this or that or just about anything could see your site blocked, and then you're screwed because you can't use it anymore (unless you and everyone you're talking is hopped up on VPNs). Plus there's the fact that you can't talk to that many people about anything IRL because they have ready-made, aggressive replies all set to go. Sometimes it's hard to say anything much without automatically making yourself out-group.

    So, we're seeing Google finally displaying in public what it's like to be dealing with that kind of environment on a business scale?


    *quivers*
    I hear you, Bro, that's a pretty hardcore environment. I bet we could pay a horde of hackers from India and Russia to gang bang the fuck out of China's infrastructure. Then deny the whole thing, just like them. "Nooope. We didn't do anything." That would make a great reality show, actually. "Denial of Service" starring???
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  6. #6
    Filthy Apes! Kalach's Avatar
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    Received wisdom has it that:

    Chinese hackers aren't technically agents of the state. They're citzen commandos if you will, policing the internet for the good of the country. This particular attack was obviously organised, but that isn't to say it was State-organised. Received wisdom says the people who do this kind of thing are not paid by the state for their services.

    In this instance, it appears they sought, among other things, stuff to steal, like Google source code.

    Malicious unfounded meanie gossip would say that "intellectual property" will make its way to Baidu, the bigger-than-Google.cn search engine in China.

    And all the other stuff from the other companies... who knows? I don't. It'll get used by somebody though, probably.

    And Google is throwing in the towel? They're saying, sure, China will see explosive growth in internet usage over the next ten years but what the hell, you guys don't do e-commerce that much so we've had it with the compromises and the delays and the deals and not making that much money and still having to manage you guys as our managers?

    Who hurts out of this? What does it all mean? Why are Mommy and Daddy shouting again?


    *quivers again*



    I don't know what Chinese use the internet for. A very small percentage would use it for finding alternative points of view on stuff like Tiananmen Square. A lot would use it for killing time and chatting. By far the most obvious use of the internet in China is instant messaging. What does everyone else use it for?

    Blogging aside, probably nothing much. I am aware of such singular projects as having a net bar in a small town for farmers to turn up and get seed, crop and weather info. Everyone else is looking up Japanese porn, I guess.
    Bellison uncorked a flood of horrible profanity, which, translated, meant, "This is extremely unusual."

    Boy meets Grr

  7. #7

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    Why are there such mixed feelings and trepidation about this? It's actually one of the only displays of corporate ethics I've ever seen. It's sad to say, but Google is displaying more balls than our government. Good for them, and fuck China.
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  8. #8
    Filthy Apes! Kalach's Avatar
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    ^ Nationalism is the flavour of China at the moment, and has been for some time. It is in some large part fomented by the government, but in a number of cases it has demonstrated itself to have a life of it's own. For example, the ordinary citizen's reaction when stuff in Tibet started happening near the Olympics came before government spin was in place. That's all well and good I suppose, but Chinese nationalism is, I think it's fair to say, really not connected to other systems of thought at all. They understand all external disagreement as assault and all non-supportive opinion as insult. This Google thing will go down as yet another thing to add to the long list of grievous, anti-Chinese, mean things the outside did to China as a whole. It will demonstrate convincingly to whole sections of the community that yet again bias and ill-will exist.

    This is to some degree real. Common people believe it, and rally to the cry of the wounded nation. It is also to some degree gamer bullshit, a way of re-framing every discussion so that China rises and others fall. Nonetheless, it holds. People don't sit around in tea houses chuckling to each other about how they pulled the wool over the westerners eyes yet again. Instead they sit around their rice bowls and worry about invaders and their hurting hearts.

    If there were some key to negotiating this bullshit that didn't end immediately at one of only two extremes--the kowtow or the demonisation--, that'd be a great thing to find. I'm not really convinced such a fnd is possible currently, nor for some time yet.

    So it's interesting that Google's stepped up to the plate, for whatever reason or other. Will there be dialogue or further fortification of the walls? Given that they've been killing people recently, I'm not betting dialogue. There might however be some nuances to add to China's international identity out of it, though. Enough with the "Economic powerhouse" hooplah already.
    Bellison uncorked a flood of horrible profanity, which, translated, meant, "This is extremely unusual."

    Boy meets Grr

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kalach View Post
    ^ Nationalism is the flavour of China at the moment, and has been for some time.
    Yeah I'd say since the Boxer Rebellion(1900s) at the very least, or could even go earlier to the Taiping Rebellion of the mid-19th century.

  10. #10
    Feelin' FiNe speculative's Avatar
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    If Google left China, that might be fortuitous for the U.S. It would give other countries, including the U.S., a huge leg up against China, as Google is a giant economic engine. Directly related enterprise, such as SEO/Adwords companies and services in America alone, are a huge industry, not to mention everything else that feeds off of Google.

    On the other hand, if China does not do well, they might call some of the debt the U.S. is currently getting us all into, which would not be good!
    "How can I be, all I want to be,
    When all I want to do is strip away these stilled constraints
    And crush this charade, shred this sad, masquerade"
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