Privacy

How China exposed Google's hypocrisy

In the midst of our celebration for Google's suddenly principled stand on the matter of Chinese censorship and oppression of dissidents, we should not lose sight of Google's position on privacy elsewhere.

In the midst of our celebration for Google's suddenly principled stand on the matter of Chinese censorship and oppression of dissidents, we should not lose sight of Google's position on privacy elsewhere.


China's breach of Google email account security was, in Google's own words:

limited to account information (such as the date the account was created) and subject line, rather than the content of emails themselves.

Where Google's new stance on China's censorship and violation of dissidents' privacy seems at odds with CEO Eric Schmidt's recent statement that "If you have something that you don't want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place," an interesting implication of this statement about what information was compromised brings things back into expected focus. That sort of information is exactly the kind of thing that can legally be acquired by United States law enforcement agencies by way of a court order. This suggests that some part of the process of handing over private information to law enforcement personnel serving a court order has been automated, and that security crackers working for the Chinese government found a way to exploit that automated access.

Macworld reports on this disturbing implication in China: Google attack part of widespread spying effort. While the majority of the article focuses on the accusation of "corporate espionage" conducted by the Chinese government, it addresses the implication of poor security policy on the part of Google itself, with regard to its dealings with law enforcement. Speaking of the claim by Google that all the Chinese security crackers were able to access was some identifying account information and email subject lines, the Macworld article says:

That's because they apparently were able to access a system used to help Google comply with search warrants by providing data on Google users, said a source familiar with the situation, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak with the press.

"Right before Christmas, it was, 'Holy s*, this malware is accessing the internal intercept [systems],'" he said.

Even the most law-and-order leaning security expert should have alarm klaxons sounding in his head at the thought of this state of affairs. Such an automated access system for law enforcement, in effect, creates an entire framework for compromising the privacy of sensitive data, ready-made for use by malicious security crackers. As Julian Sanchez at Cato put it, in Surveillance, Security, and the Google Breach, building automated law enforcement access portals into one's network architecture is "breach-by-design" and constitutes "a serious security risk." Julian went on to say:

The problem of volume is front and center in a leaked recording released last month, in which Sprint's head of legal compliance revealed that their automated system had processed 8 million requests for GPS location data in the span of a year, noting that it would have been impossible to manually serve that level of law enforcement traffic. Less remarked on, though, was Taylor's speculation that someone who downloaded a phony warrant form and submitted it to a random telecom would have a good chance of getting a response—and one assumes he'd know if anyone would.

Julian Sanchez never quite gets around to making the same statement I have on numerous occasions -- that, to a significant degree, privacy is security. He does, however, bring up the problem of misguided efforts to provide greater "national security" by creating increased security risk:

The irony here is that, while we're accustomed to talking about the tension between privacy and security—to the point where it sometimes seems like people think greater invasion of privacy ipso facto yields greater security—one of the most serious and least discussed problems with built-in surveillance is the security risk it creates.

The irony that is much more specific and relevant to the case of the Google security breach is that, while Google strikes a pose for free speech and privacy, the ink is not even dry yet on CEO Schmidt's words to the effect that caring about privacy is something criminals do. Worse, it was in fact Google going so far as to create an automated system for violating individual privacy that created the opportunity for China's attack to succeed in the first place.

More to the point, one might find it ironic that Google takes such a hard-line public stand in favor of Chinese dissidents who wish to evade Chinese law enforcement, but regards potential U.S. dissidents who wish to evade U.S. law enforcement as rightly subject to arbitrary surveillance. This is exactly the sort of cognitive dissonance that one should expect from examining moral judgments made by corporations, though, and will not surprise many of us.

The ultimate result is that security and privacy subject to the inconstant whims of corporate policy cannot be trusted to be consistent or trustworthy. This is one more reason why there is no such thing as a trusted brand.

About

Chad Perrin is an IT consultant, developer, and freelance professional writer. He holds both Microsoft and CompTIA certifications and is a graduate of two IT industry trade schools.

227 comments
unhappyuser
unhappyuser

I guess some people just don't have the common sense to see just how bad this article is. There's no need for a rebuttal. Add a few more on the heap with LOCS. EMD

Swissbased
Swissbased

"China" did not expose anything. An autocratic regime's policy of vigorously censoring information, of stealing from and copying other's technology, has not brought any benefits to anyone, least of all its own people. The fact that western businesses are whoring around for profits and empowering the Chinese ruling class to censor, spy on, deny freedom of assembly, of expression, of religion and generally oppress its people does not make a China a superior model to follow.

unhappyuser
unhappyuser

This was a bad post. Inaccurate data and VERY biased opinions. You really need to get out more. EMD

david_horsman
david_horsman

It immediately occurred to me to ask what percentage of Sprint's 8M GPS locates were from the 911 centers? Another potential source of breach granted but one that servers a beneficial purpose.

ogregator
ogregator

A funny, and annoying, side effect of all this is now I'm having spooked Sy Ads and CEO asking whether our app is compatible with other browsers. :) To me, it's just a whole lot of Microsoft bashing.

jpalmer
jpalmer

Put it in your pocket. Then, if China tries to access it, you can slap him. And, if the US Government tries to access it, you can swallow it. So, make sure its small enough to exit without causing flesh wounds. What everyone seems to forget about in the big hype and move towards cloud computing and having an online presence is the benefit of physical security.

alan
alan

Early last year I noticed that my Gmail page had an advert banner with adverts related to the subject lines of my messages. Privacy downgraded. Somewhat later Google automatically offered to put reminders into my calendar of special short term offers from Netto, a supermarket chain. I noticed that this always happened when I received a marketing email from Netto, and it showed that Google had read the contents, not just the subject line. I was alarmed to see that most of the special offers were ignored, and Google focussed the reminders upon the few items which I buy each week from Tesco and which are recorded against my Tesco Loyalty/Bonus card. Obviously Google were sharing my information with their partners - I just had not realised that every-one with an advertising budget was one of their partners ! ! I get the impression that Google know that the Chinese victims were dissidents - HOW ? ? ? If a Chinese Dissident wants to organise a protest rally he would hardly state this on the subject line, and I suspect he would only discuss plans under heavy encryption, so how does Google know the affiliations of the hacked account victims ? Is it because Google hacked them first ? Alan

femtobeam
femtobeam

I agree, it's a bad article. It did not deserve much of a response and time is wasted on logical discussion with a vicious personal attacker who makes absolutely no sense at all, like Apotheon. I notice I cannot re-respond to his unbelievably illogical assumptions and responses at this time. It saved me the time and aggrivation of defending privacy WITH security and Google standing up FOR privacy by pointing out attacks BY China. Hypocracy indeed.

seanferd
seanferd

You have some sort of point? What are you even saying? Otherwise, I commend you on your excellent comment.

apotheon
apotheon

I wonder if you realize why nobody has bothered to offer a rebuttal to what you said.

femtobeam
femtobeam

Absolutely and completely correct in every way. Wonderfully written...concise, to the point and as true as any statement can get. Thanks! I would like to add to it that China is not only doing this to it's own people, it has crossed the lines, (as in borders of soveriegn countries via communications lines), and is now engaged in cyber attacks on our governments and our people, directly. These Cyber attacks are not just on pieces of equipment anymore. They are attacking living tissue now through embedded and implanted devices, ironically, using a loophole of Corporate advertising access to medical devices via commmunications "lines". This is totally unregulated and can now be accomplished on both ends anonymously. On the sending end through Corporate cover given recently by the Supreme Court, who also let Yoo off without even a slap on the wrist for making certain that torture to the point of organ death was possible. The senders exploit security, now called "sharing" of network systems and hardware, as well as computer software. On the receiving end, the victim/patient/experiment/target must have anonymity by law for the so-called "privacy" guidelines. They do not take into account any law enforcement or counter charges by network administrators. For example; If you are attacked by cell phone access, using your own heart pacemaker, which gives you a heart attack instead of keeping your heart beating normally, there is no record of it and no way for you to prove that it was not supposed to happen. These are sometimes called "electronic harassment". If there is no way for the US DoD to monitor events "under any circumstance", one of those circumstances might be a Chinese government cyber attack on an inventor or scientist. What is really happening in Cyberspace is an expansion into humans as peripherals of a worldwide broadband network. In other words, physical control of the brain and body through waveforms which affect nerves. Telemedicine under Chinese rule will be hell on earth and it is high time we get down to the level of system architectures and their abilities to destroy us all. I am amazed to find myself saying this, but the war against Communism, is now a war against collective alliances of dictatorships. We, the people, are now the products, not objects, and the weapons are communications technology, far more dangerous and faster than missiles. It won't be raining frogs, they will be microscopic interactive chips.

apotheon
apotheon

I've been a bit too busy to monitor this for the last few days, so I didn't see this comment until now. The fact that western businesses are whoring around for profits and empowering the Chinese ruling class to censor, spy on, deny freedom of assembly, of expression, of religion and generally oppress its people does not make a China a superior model to follow. Who said it does? This was certainly not a point made by the article, nor (as far as I recall seeing) by any of the comments in this discussion. I think you've leapt to the conclusion that if one party is a bad guy, the other party cannot be exposed as a somewhat less egregious bad guy by the first party's actions. I don't really understand how people come to such conclusions.

apotheon
apotheon

This was a bad comment. Vague accusations and VERY biased opinions. You really need to work on your technique.

apotheon
apotheon

It immediately occurred to me to ask what percentage of Sprint's 8M GPS locates were from the 911 centers? Perhaps the point is that even Sprint likely couldn't tell you without doing some serious data mining. Sprint provided free access using an automated system, so that it has no way to differentiate between 911 dispatch calls and (for instance) forged NSL requests sent by botnets. Whether you think the 911 service requests should be served by Sprint is kind of beside the point as long as Sprint doesn't bother to differentiate between them and other requests.

apotheon
apotheon

How is cross-browser compatibility annoying?

JCitizen
JCitizen

they have found that communicating through bot nets, and not writing to the home drive at all, will cover your tracks very nicely! Thank you very much!

GreatZen
GreatZen

Certainly does provide some protection from China. It does not provide protection from having the device physically taken from you, particularly if the aggressors have no qualms about invading your home and killing you. I am not aware of any encryption scheme which is actually impossible to defeat, merely very cumbersome and time consuming. All told, if you are a Chinese dissident, I guess you calculate that men in polyester green uniforms physically accosting you is more likely than them being able to hack into Google and read your email.

Ocie3
Ocie3

the Google Privacy Policy and especially the the GMail Privacy Policy. With regard to Chinese dissidents, I would bet that web sites which have anything to do with encryption and decryption technology are on the blacklist of web sites to which access is to be blocked, and Google has been blocking access to them. However, according to an AP news story that I read last night, Google has now stopped blocking Internet access to any web sites from any IP addresses in the People's Democratic Republic of China.

GreatZen
GreatZen

They do now and ALWAYS HAVE scanned all of your emails, applied complicated algorithms to them, and used the results to target marketing at you and others. That's what they do. They were doing this even before they had even conceptualized Ad Words or really even had a functioning business model. Gmail accounts have ALWAYS had these strings attached. The assurance that Google gives is that all that awesome marketing data they harvest from you is only associated directly with you if its forced from them by the legal system. Also, these people were termed as dissidents by China, not by Google, even if Google refers to them as "dissidents" in press releases. Finally, I'm not sure why you thinking hiding "big dissident meeting at Wong's at 9:30" in the body would have been expected to provide some sort of protection from intrusion.

unhappyuser
unhappyuser

I was in a mood that day and needed to vent about people with LOCS disease.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

I don't meant take away from the points you mention but it's one of those things that always catchs me. Why do we have to specify "cyber attack" as if the "cyber" preface makes it all blinky-light cool. Why not simply "attacks"; China has been attacking foreign computer systems. I have the same issues with "cybercriminal" though. As if we need to differentiate between the medium criminals choose to work within or romanticize a specific form of crime because it's done over a hip and new medium. Fraud and breaking/entering is not special because it's done over a computer network. Not to be completely off topic but most nations are running covert ops over networks. Some have been surprised by the accusations against China but Europe, North America.. closed budget agencies do as closed agencies do. In terms of tracking chips being embedded and showered on the public, I'd like to see more information on that. RFID dust is coming to manufacturing to track materials, parts and final products. Dusting has been used by the US in south America though it was radio active material not computer chips. Last, criminal acts be they terror inducing or other are solved with good old fashion police work rather than street cameras and blinky light devices. Forgoing your privacy only benefits your politicians not your safety.

howletrc
howletrc

Even though the Chinese government is acting cold warish, China has come a long way towards more freedoms, their are more catholics, jews, protestants, and other religions in China than they have ever had and hust becaus they have something against the Dalai Lama doesn't mean that the bhudists are being supressed. Give them time and their wall will come down (like Berlin).

femtobeam
femtobeam

apoltheon, In one of your posts, you said "dissidents" instead of human rights activists. The latter, and not just in China were the targets of this new sophisticated attack by the Chinese Government. The exploit was an IE Explorer venue and the command and control computers were, like the Conficker Botnet attack, in the US. They were in California, Texas and Illinois. This time, they also took over and administered the computers of 33 companies, including Northrup Grumman, and Big Oil companies. They attacked Google and obtained source code and email addresses. It was a serious attack and the consequences of it go way beyond Google and their own Chinese Google employees. As for me, I want my search records kept forever so I can find them again when I have to re-install over and over again. It will also be helpful to prove my identity and my IP and Trade Secrets, which is what China was after, according to the reports. Let's just hope that it does not allow them to arrest and organ harvest any more human rights activists in China and elsewhere as the Yahoo filtering for them did.

david_horsman
david_horsman

In the absence of openness and verifiable facts on the part of the corporations and governments involved what was left but to speculate? Notable that the poster could not add even a single specific sentence. Didn't seem to know who you were addressing either. Probably wrote the original draft in crayon. I think we should censor that post. ;) On the other hand, perhaps I should not be drawing this person out through provocation.

david_horsman
david_horsman

"Whether you think the 911 service requests should be served by Sprint is kind of beside the point as long as Sprint doesn't bother to differentiate between them and other requests." Yes and I was on a tangent there. I should clarify that I thought paramedic type 911 GPS responses were critical. I am not so sure about crime in progress "stuff" but violent crimes do come to mind. However that may be breach of civil rights and quite open to debate where legality is concerned. Sprint is a bit scary. Is anything known about other Tel Co's? That sounds way worse than the censorship issue surrounding Google. Thanks for your reply. DH.

LyleTaylor
LyleTaylor

If they really were cross-compatible, then it wouldn't be an issue. Not to respond for the other poster, but I can understand where they're coming from. From my experience and perspective from having to support various different browsers, it's mainly annoying, because they aren't really cross compatible, and that causes support headaches and increases development and support costs. From a philosophical perspective, it's great to let people choose the browser that best works for them. From an infrastructure and application support perspective, it's not so great...

GreatZen
GreatZen

"With regard to Chinese dissidents, I would bet that web sites which have anything to do with encryption and decryption technology are on the blacklist of web sites to which access is to be blocked, and Google has been blocking access to them." Google would be censoring results of searches on those topics; they do not actually BLOCK any of those sites.

JCitizen
JCitizen

Now that IS funny if Google is actually following through. THAT will get them thrown out of China! It was a joke anyway, as several organizations have figured a way around the silly blocking anyway, by simply using the same technique the bot nets do! No wonder the PRC wants to adopt Free BSD as an official national operating system. They hope desperately to stem the tide. HA!

femtobeam
femtobeam

In the 80's the same was true of HDTV. Everyone thought it was a bad term because it put all of the emphasis on the display. It became confusing to those involved in the "wars" over distribution standards and storage medium. The fact that "HDTV" equipment is the same thing as broadband internet was totally lost on most people and the first HDTV broadcasts were analog. When the digital industry began, the name still stuck, even though it started as an analog broadcasting system that never materialized. The name stuck and so did the confusion over systems architectures. Now those architectures are connected and are called cyber, cloud computing and electronic cinema, among other things. I will venture a description of where we are today as: "A global, terrestrial and space based, horizontally and vertically integrated, multi-point to multi-point, interactive, advanced broadband, digital optical network system with biological and robotic peripherals." I wasn't disagreeing with you about the use of Cyber. I see the whole thing happening all over again but now, the end result is an enhanced warfighter.

seanferd
seanferd

and their incoherent, far-off-subject, sometimes mutually contradictory, unsupported ramblings. Are you yet another formerly intelligent person who went bat* insane, or were you always that way? (The preceding sentence here is, in fact, an attack, just to satisfy both your blatant paranoia and the accusation you've made. Now you're vindicated!)

apotheon
apotheon

No. He said: Neon Samarai: ?why are they "cyber" attacks? Why not just "attacks"? Are you unable to understand how English works? He asked why you don't just call them "attacks" when calling them "cyber-attacks" doesn't accomplish anything other than increasing the buzzword noise level of the conversation. I already explained this. Please go back and read the whole explanation. Do it two or three times so maybe something will click and you'll understand (finally). A discussion about cyber is known immediately. A discussion about descriptive parts and components of network systems requires entire sentences and paragraphs to accomplish the point. "A cyber-attack" could mean almost anything. To make it more meaningful, you'd have to say something like "a cyber-attack on Google's network". Now, consider that leaving out "cyber" doesn't hurt anything, and actually makes the statement more succinct: "an attack on Google's network". Your argument, like a sieve, holds no water. Who are you apologizing for? China? What have I said that could possibly give any reasonable human being the idea that I'm apologizing for China (or anyone, for that matter)? Are you developmentally disabled? If so, I'll apologize for thinking you're being intentionally obtuse. What could you possibly mean by the following comment: Apotheon: ?how anything Google did to set up this situation in the first place was right.?? Read the article. Actually read it without looking for excuses to accuse people of things. It's pretty clear. Wrong again! The words were in response to: Neon Samarai: ?Some have been surprised by the accusations against China?? That's a statement about China, and not about Google. Where you get the idea that this means China did nothing wrong, or that it's an attack on Google, is beyond me. You really seem to see hidden agendas in every shadow, imagining slights and surreptitious attacks from every quarter, the way you just magic up something to claim Neon Samurai was trying to say when the much simpler and more direct interpretation of what he said was right there, obviously displayed in his words. I had a good laugh at the following attempt by you to rewrite centuries of US law, as an Eastern philosopher, posing as an IT specialist? What the hell are you talking about? That doesn't even make any sense. totally wrong. If I wanted to say copyright or registered trademark I would have. Intellectual Property rights are protected by US Law as are Trade Secrets, without patents, and in fact have much longer protection than patents do. This in no way makes a case for the term "intellectual property" being anything more than a term of propaganda. Show me where there's any basis for "intellectual property" in the Constitution, please, if you wish to disprove my statement. Apotheon: ?makes two unsupported assumptions: Femtobeam: These are your assumptions, not mine and are irrelevant: That you cannot recognize the premises on which your own arguments are predicated would be shocking if I thought you were able to reason your way out of a wet paper bag, but you've pretty well proven you do not have that capacity. Femtobeam: Disks, flash drives, paperwork etc? are physical property and carry copyright anyway. A flash drive is not a copyrightable work. Please try to avoid confusing two separate concepts. Apotheon: This raises two problems: Femtobeam: Problems? For whom? That should be blatantly obvious if you actually read the description of the problems in question. Femtobeam: What? First, there is no ?argument? between Neon Samarai and I, although you are trying very hard to make that seem so. You clearly do not understand the formal meaning of the word "argument", either. 1. A course of reasoning aimed at demonstrating truth or falsehood: presented a careful argument for extraterrestrial life. 2. A fact or statement put forth as proof or evidence; a reason: The current low mortgage rates are an argument for buying a house now. 3. A set of statements in which one follows logically as a conclusion from the others. That's from the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language. Feel free to check out the Wikipedia article as well. There is an argument between you and I. Actually, what exists between us is a debate and disagreement -- though, based on your inability to actually employ any kind of logical reasoning with any consistency at all, I'm hesitant to call it anything so ordered and meaningful as "debate". Validity or invalidity of IP rights I said nothing about the "validity" or "invalidity" of "IP rights". I did, however, say something about the ridiculous invalidity of your supposed arguments (which you seem incapable of recognizing as such, due to ignorance of basic terms of English and how they are properly used). Real world ethics is another matter entirely and your premises are not true. Unless you can enumerate my supposedly untrue premises and dispute them effectively using evidence and/or logic, I'll be happy to just pretend you have no clue what you're talking about. This is because they are your words, not mine. That's because they were implied by your words -- not explicitly stated. Is that so difficult to grasp? If you really think you have some other set of premises on which your statements can be reasonably predicated, please tell me about them. I suspect you don't even know how to identify a premise effectively, though. No. Read the reports for yourself if you have clearances, which you do not. Ahh, the old "I am privy to secret knowledge and you must trust me in order to understand the secret truth and, thus, learn to trust me" routine. Yeah. Um. My answer to that line of BS is "no". No, I will not just blindly trust whatever nonsense comes out of your pie hole just because you claim to have access to deep and vast secrets. Or just watch the ?data? about anonymous victims of ATM theft, brought about by those who have access to Government systems as foreign subcontractors and have compiled information, for example; on all the Businesses and their bank account numbers in California. I find it ironic that you can refer to the way government creates one-stop shopping for criminals by violating individual privacy as "proof" of some very poorly defined point of yours about how anonymity creates victims. Did it not occur to you while you were writing this drivel that you were providing a strong piece of evidence for how letting government invade individual privacy created those data stores that were then improperly accessed by others was an enabling factor in and of itself? Anonymity is not a guarantee of Privacy, only a guarantee of anonymity. True. On the other hand, disallowing anonymity is a guarantee that privacy will be violated -- because a desire for anonymity is a desire for privacy. Expressing dissent is a Constitutionally protected right in the US. Yes, this is true. It does not, however, mean that government agencies and representatives are incapable of interfering with, or directly violating, that right. Further, a lot of Constitutional guarantees are rapidly approaching the point of not even being worth the paper on which they're written, and all three branches of US government erode our rights steadily. This statement above clearly shows your anti-US Government sentiment Oh, so now you're just trying to paint me as a "terrist" or as "unpatriotic" as if insinuating that I am such a thing proves anything. The most loyal patriot is the man or woman who tries to fix what's wrong with the country, rather than supporting it when it's in the wrong. Data kept about a person has to be kept private by law, but is not so for law enforcement, who can have access to data in order to solve crimes, also the law. There are some clear misunderstandings here. You seem to have completely missed the fact that representatives and agents of the government are specifically disallowed from accessing such data without just cause sufficient for a warrant. You might want to start your education with the Bill of Rights, which is not meant to protect people from themselves, but rather to protect them from the excesses of tyrannical forces in government. The Constitution was written the way it was because of the Constitution's framers's profound distrust of government, and anyone who tries to claim that the Constitution of the United States exempts government from the Constitution's protections of the individual is either severely misguided or a thoroughly reprehensible liar of the first order. If anything, our elected officials? ability to solve the issues are hampered by false information about privacy issues versus security issues. That's interesting, coming from someone who clearly doesn't really understand the first thing about security. I have been in Information Technology, HDTV technology, Networks, etc? probably longer than you have been alive. I know way more than you incorrectly assume I do. What you said proves nothing about your grasp of information theory. Also . . . I rather suspect you have *not* been working in such fields as long as I've been alive, or even involved in information technology fields of study and work longer than I have. Do you think I'm only twenty years of age? Considering you have an online profile that announces your involvement in information and broadcast technologies for roughly three decades, and I wrote my first computer program close to three decades ago, you seem to be overconfident in your ability to out-experience me. Micro-profiling is prohibited by the US government and this is the reason for the PII laws, outlined in NIST reports. With the right level of clearances, for the right reasons, Government agents can find out what the name is behind the number. This is all done for the purpose of protecting privacy and it works very, very well. It's weird how you can so easily claim secret knowledge of the world of information security, espionage, et cetera, and at the same time display such reeking ignorance of the failures of such prohibitions and systems of protection that infest the news -- including the NSA wiretapping scandal of the Bush administration. It is you who are ?willfully? ignorant when you find it convenient, such as pretending that you are not aware of the disinformation ?campaign? against the citizens and the government by China. I never pretended such a thing. I never claimed Chinese government disinformation campaigns don't exist. You are lying about what I've said, as if I do not remember my own words. I don't know if you are mind-bogglingly stupid or a pathological liar, but whichever it is, you really take the cake when it comes to being incapable of carrying on a reasoned discussion while claiming Ultimate Knowledge. You are part of the disinformation campaign, repeating ?privacy? over and over again as though that is the issue. Your inability to recognize the value of privacy is clearly never going to crack. Affect and benefit. Gee, it seems like 3rd Grade. Why? Did you have difficulty differentiating "affect" and "benefit" in third grade, too? Benefit implies a strictly positive relationship. Affect does not. Neon Samurai probably believes, as I do, that violation of privacy provides a net negative effect on safety and security -- which means that he, as I do, believes that relinquishment of privacy does affect privacy. Your statement that he believes the opposite is pretty certainly either misunderstanding or misrepresentation on your part. You made my point and the correct English is ?general sense?, not case. Both are correct, depending on the intended meaning. One is a reference to the "sense" (or meaning) of the term or description, and the other is a reference to the abstraction of a set of circumstances to which the term or description applies. China has compromised our safety greatly by invading our privacy. China has invaded many people's privacy. I do not know that it has invaded my own. If you have specific knowledge of China having invaded my privacy in particular, I'd like to know about it. Law enforcement needs a number and a name. Your IP address is a number, that is all that is needed to hurt you. Thanks for making one of my points for me. Too bad you didn't realize that was the point I was making -- that some malefactor within government (any government) can hurt someone without even getting access to that person's name when that government is engaged in collecting informatoin about that person. For example, those engaged in child pornography and rape scenes are always the most concerned about Privacy issues. Please prove that these people are always the most concerned about privacy issues. Please prove that, for instance, Chinese protesters against Chinese governmental policy, or North Korean protesters against North Korean governmental policy, are not at least as concerned about privacy, for fear that they'll be "disappeared" by their respective governments. Otherwise, please stop making such broad, sweeping, and insulting comments about how anyone with a strong interest in privacy must be a child molestor. If I was not such a strong supporter of free speech, I'd be advocating for someone to shut you up right about now. Until there is a clear understanding of the dangers involved in anonymity for criminals as opposed to the rights of privacy, which are not related What kind of bizarro world do you call home, that you can so throughly fail to grasp how keeping one's identity while speaking truth to power private is not a matter of privacy? I am de-friending you on TechRepublic. Good. I wouldn't want anyone seeing you listed in the list of my "friends" on TR and thinking I endorse any of the cockamamie BS you peddle.

femtobeam
femtobeam

Apotheon: I find these arguments of yours unsatisfying. Femtobeam: The difference between Cyber Attacks, Cybercrimes and other crimes . . . Apotheon: ?You say all that as if you think Neon Samurai doesn't understand what people mean when they say things like "cyber-attack". He knows what they mean. That seems quite obvious from what he said in his preceding comment, in fact. Femtobeam: No. He said: Neon Samarai: ?why are they "cyber" attacks? Why not just "attacks"? Anyway, Neon Samarai can speak for himself. Why do you feel the need to respond to my comments to him for him? What he's questioning is not what "cyber-attack" means, but why anyone feels a need to say "cyber-attack". As seanferd, the colloquial use of terms with "cyber" prefixed is more often than not inaccurate at best, and its purpose appears to be entirely for purposes of ratcheting up the buzzword factor rather than actually adding anything meaningful to a discussion. Femtobeam: A discussion about cyber is known immediately. A discussion about descriptive parts and components of network systems requires entire sentences and paragraphs to accomplish the point. Femtobeam: I disagree that Google did anything wrong. Apotheon: After saying this, you went on to explain the "real" problem with what happened, then continued to explain how others did things wrong, but never actually provided an argument for how anything Google did to set up this situation in the first place was right. Femtobeam: Who are you apologizing for? China? Google provided software and an internet connection in China. They were hacked into along with thousands of other ?locations? by China, who obtained critical source code of Google. What could you possibly mean by the following comment: Apotheon: ?how anything Google did to set up this situation in the first place was right.?? Apotheon: Further, you said this in response to Neon Samurai, who did not actually say anything about Google, which makes your statement that Google did nothing wrong come off like a weird non sequitur. Femtobeam: Wrong again! The words were in response to: Neon Samarai: ?Some have been surprised by the accusations against China?? Femtobeam: ?Which was about Google and the article itself is about how Google did something wrong, exposed by China, which I disagree with. There is no fault with Google at all in this situation. NONE! Femtobeam: It really boils down to where people stand on intellectual property rights. If people do not have the rights to their own ideas and information, especially if stolen, there is no way to redress grievances and protect personal property in a communications age. Femtobeam: I had a good laugh at the following attempt by you to rewrite centuries of US law, as an Eastern philosopher, posing as an IT specialist? so I will spend some time unraveling your ramble of English propaganda: Apotheon: This start?(Femtobeam: and finish) to your explanation? (Femtobeam: opinion to Neon Samarai) of your feelings?(feelings are emotions not opinions) on copyright (not "intellectual property", which is a term of propaganda)?(totally wrong. If I wanted to say copyright or registered trademark I would have. Intellectual Property rights are protected by US Law as are Trade Secrets, without patents, and in fact have much longer protection than patents do. They are denoted by saying or writing or submitting anything which the owner denotes as confidential. Mr. ?Axis of Evil?, President GW Bush himself was the one who made sure that the IP rights of entrepreneurs and inventors are to be upheld.) Copyright law is another subject.? Apotheon: ?makes two unsupported assumptions: Femtobeam: These are your assumptions, not mine and are irrelevant: Apotheon: 1. Copyrightable expressions of ideas are analogous to physical property. 2. A copy of a copyrightable expression of an idea shares identity, in principle, with another copy of it -- rather than just being a copy, as is the case with a piece of physical property. Femtobeam: Disks, flash drives, paperwork etc? are physical property and carry copyright anyway. Apotheon: This raises two problems: Femtobeam: Problems? For whom? 1. People who do not agree with your premises do not care about your argument based on those premises, except insofar as they care that the argument muddies the waters, because the validity or invalidity of the argument is utterly irrelevant to real-world ethics if the premises are not true. Femtobeam: What? First, there is no ?argument? between Neon Samarai and I, although you are trying very hard to make that seem so. There is an argument between you and I. The argument is based on false premises of your own fabrication and using terms like ?muddies the waters? is more descriptive of this nonsense you have written than my responses to Neon Samarai. Validity or invalidity of IP rights, which refers to the statement I made, is decided in the courts and by law enforcement after investigation. Real world ethics is another matter entirely and your premises are not true. Apotheon: 2. The two assumptions you have implied, (Femtobeam: These are your assumptions and they were never ?implied? by my words.)?that I have cataloged above, are mutually contradictory. Femtobeam: This is because they are your words, not mine. Femtobeam: The following description is also yours and as intended, I am offended by your attempts to ?censor? my comments and opinions which were not even in response to you in the first place: Apotheon: The rest of that paragraph of yours quickly spins off-topic by way of leaps from one tangent to another. Anonymity will leave us in a world of Cyber Warfare as anonymous victims of mass theft and mass murder Apotheon: Please cite your source for this, or provide a valid argument based on reasonable premises. Femtobeam: No. Read the reports for yourself if you have clearances, which you do not. Or just watch the ?data? about anonymous victims of ATM theft, brought about by those who have access to Government systems as foreign subcontractors and have compiled information, for example; on all the Businesses and their bank account numbers in California. Apotheon: While you are at it, you may want to also consider the fact that a lack of anonymity in expressing dissent may lead to state-sanctioned mass theft and murder, as amply demonstrated by 20th century examples such as the Soviet Union. Femtobeam: Anonymity is not a guarantee of Privacy, only a guarantee of anonymity. Expressing dissent is a Constitutionally protected right in the US. It is called Freedom of Speech. I can?t speak to the subject of the Soviet Union as it is not my area of expertise. I did notice the State Department records however, showing that the former Soviet Union tried to warn President Kennedy about China prior to the Bay of Pigs invasion. I do not see how anything I said has anything to do with "foregoing privacy". Apotheon: Your blindness to this association between what you said and "foregoing privacy" appears to be related to the fact that, for some reason, you do not seem to consider government agencies capable of violating privacy. Judging by what you have said, you seem to think that if a government agency catalogs and correlates every single possible datum about a person -- perhaps nominally for the purpose of "protecting" people -- even in cases where physical force must be used to acquire such data, that does not have anything to do with privacy, which I find simply baffling. Why does a badge mean the difference between the same coercive action being considered a violation of privacy by one person and not by another? Femtobeam: This statement above clearly shows your anti-US Government sentiment and it is almost totally backwards. The US Government is required and the President takes an oath to protect and defend the United States of America against all enemies, whether they be foreign or domestic. They also are tasked with the enormous difficulty of protecting privacy, freedom of speech, rights to assemble, etc? Data kept about a person has to be kept private by law, but is not so for law enforcement, who can have access to data in order to solve crimes, also the law. I do not have an answer for your question. It makes no sense at all. What do you mean by a ?coercive action by someone with a badge being considered (by whom) a violation of privacy by one person and not by another?? Femtobeam: I do not see how any of that benefits any politician in any way. Apotheon: You do not seem to have any problem imagining how access to private information in the hands of private citizens could benefit Chinese politicians. Why is it so difficult to imagine the same about US politicians? Femtobeam: Save imagination for the North Korean film market. Facts are that it is China, (which is a terrorist state of enslaved population in my opinion now,) not the US who attacked the networks to obtain information as spies and industrial espionage operatives looking for ?cyber? and real warfare secrets. At the same time, they are looking for ?dissidents? of the Chinese government both inside and outside of China. In other words, they attacked US citizens on US soil for exposing Chinese government corruption and all of the satellite nations that pay ?tribute? to them as lesser civilizations. US politicians have almost nothing to do with it and need a fast lesson in Cyber Warfare Network Architecture, not a lesson on ?morality?. If anything, our elected officials? ability to solve the issues are hampered by false information about privacy issues versus security issues. Femtobeam:If they look at a report, they see a number, not a name. Apotheon:. . . until they correlate data to identify the relevant individual personally. A very modest start on understanding how this happens is Michael Kassner's article Panopticlick: Your Web browsing is less anonymous than you think. For more depth on the subject, I recommend learning some of the basics of information theory. If you claim to know a lot about information theory without acknowledging that the minimal "scrubbing" done to eliminate grossly violating personally identifiable information is nearly worthless when someone wants to identify the person to whom such information applies, I'll have to conclude that you are merely willfully ignorant when you find it convenient to ignore the obvious in service to your cherished delusions about the benevolence of government or something ridiculous like that. Femtobeam: OK, Apotheon. Those are fighting words. I will respond to you logically anyhow. I have been in Information Technology, HDTV technology, Networks, etc? probably longer than you have been alive. I know way more than you incorrectly assume I do. Micro-profiling is prohibited by the US government and this is the reason for the PII laws, outlined in NIST reports. With the right level of clearances, for the right reasons, Government agents can find out what the name is behind the number. This is all done for the purpose of protecting privacy and it works very, very well. Recently, the Supreme Court has been giving advertising agencies access to everything in their judgments and I totally disagree with those rulings, which are short sighted in their scope and long term in their damage to US society and US government. Don?t you dare accuse me of ?delusions? for stating my opinions about technology and the law. It is you who are ?willfully? ignorant when you find it convenient, such as pretending that you are not aware of the disinformation ?campaign? against the citizens and the government by China. PII is in the hands of China about our citizenry. They are the ones doing the micro-profiling as evidenced by their Conficker Botnet ++ ?cyber? attacks on everyone from students supporting Tibet and the Dalai Lama?s personal computers, to source code from Google, to military secrets from Northrup Grumman, to information from the power companies operating our national energy grids. If information is erased, whether true or not about a person, the FBI cannot connect the dots to find the attackers. This is the real reason for all the ?smoke screens? that people like you put up in support of the incorrect term, ?privacy?. The real term here is espionage. You, and people like you, are either knowingly or unknowingly supporting the Chinese Government in their ?Cyber War? against Western civilizations. Calling a spade? a spade. You are part of the disinformation campaign, repeating ?privacy? over and over again as though that is the issue. It is not. Crimes are. Right now they are Cyber Crimes by China. In the ?not too distant future? they will be termed for what they are: Cyber Warfare. I even disagree that foregoing privacy does not affect safety. Apotheon: Neon Samurai didn't say it doesn't affect safety. He said it doesn't benefit safety -- and, in the general case, there is certainly no direct positive relationship between safety and a relinquishment of privacy. There may be indirect safety benefits resulting from a reqlinquishment of one's privacy, but there are also quite direct detriments to security (of which a varying threshold is, in combination with luck, a prerequisite to safety) in the general case. Femtobeam: Affect and benefit. Gee, it seems like 3rd Grade. You made my point and the correct English is ?general sense?, not case. China has compromised our safety greatly by invading our privacy. Femtobeam: How can they protect a number without a name? Apotheon: How can they hurt a number without a name? Femtobeam: Law enforcement needs a number and a name. Your IP address is a number, that is all that is needed to hurt you. For example, those engaged in child pornography and rape scenes are always the most concerned about Privacy issues. They want to be certain that what they are doing is private from the parents of those children and the police and FBI. They are protected by anonymity and rights to privacy, but the child is not. Until there is a clear understanding of the dangers involved in anonymity for criminals as opposed to the rights of privacy, which are not related, this debate will result in more child pornography and attacks on women, scientists, inventors, entrepreneurs, businesspeople, and even the US government. All of them need protection from falsifiers of information. Your personal attacks on me for my opinions on subjects, (and in response to someone else, not you), is extremely annoying. I am de-friending you on TechRepublic. We ?Old Timers? are pretty fed up with this crap! Posted: 02/14/2010 @ 01:57 AM (PST)

apotheon
apotheon

I've done better (or worse, depending on your point of view).

santeewelding
santeewelding

To Golden Thumb for longest sentence, while still, and only, but just maintaining train of thought, goes to Apotheon.

apotheon
apotheon

The difference between Cyber Attacks, Cybercrimes and other crimes . . . You say all that as if you think Neon Samurai doesn't understand what people mean when they say things like "cyber-attack". He knows what they mean. That seems quite obvious from what he said in his preceding comment, in fact. What he's questioning is not what "cyber-attack" means, but why anyone feels a need to say "cyber-attack". As seanferd pointed out, the colloquial use of terms with "cyber" prefixed is more often than not inaccurate at best, and its purpose appears to be entirely for purposes of ratcheting up the buzzword factor rather than actually adding anything meaningful to a discussion. I disagree that Google did anything wrong. After saying this, you went on to explain the "real" problem with what happened, then continued to explain how others did things wrong, but never actually provided an argument for how anything Google did to set up this situation in the first place was right. Further, you said this in response to Neon Samurai, who did not actually say anything about Google, which makes your statement that Google did nothing wrong come off like a weird non sequitur. It really boils down to where people stand on intellectual property rights. If people do not have the rights to their own ideas and information, especially if stolen, there is no way to redress grievances and protect personal property in a communications age. This start to your explanation of your feelings on copyright (not "intellectual property", which is a term of propaganda) makes two unsupported assumptions: 1. Copyrightable expressions of ideas are analogous to physical property. 2. A copy of a copyrightable expression of an idea shares identity, in principle, with another copy of it -- rather than just being a copy, as is the case with a piece of physical property. This raises two problems: 1. People who do not agree with your premises do not care about your argument based on those premises, except insofar as they care that the argument muddies the waters, because the validity or invalidity of the argument is utterly irrelevant to real-world ethics if the premises are not true. 2. The two assumptions you have implied, that I have cataloged above, are mutually contradictory. The rest of that paragraph of yours quickly spins off-topic by way of leaps from one tangent to another. Anonymity will leave us in a world of Cyber Warfare as anonymous victims of mass theft and mass murder Please cite your source for this, or provide a valid argument based on reasonable premises. While you are at it, you may want to also consider the fact that a lack of anonymity in expressing dissent may lead to state-sanctioned mass theft and murder, as amply demonstrated by 20th century examples such as the Soviet Union. I do not see how anything I said has anything to do with "foregoing privacy". Your blindness to this association between what you said and "foregoing privacy" appears to be related to the fact that, for some reason, you do not seem to consider government agencies capable of violating privacy. Judging by what you have said, you seem to think that if a government agency catalogs and correlates every single possible datum about a person -- perhaps nominally for the purpose of "protecting" people -- even in cases where physical force must be used to acquire such data, that does not have anything to do with privacy, which I find simply baffling. Why does a badge mean the difference between the same coercive action being considered a violation of privacy by one person and not by another? I do not see how any of that benefits any politician in any way. You do not seem to have any problem imagining how access to private information in the hands of private citizens could benefit Chinese politicians. Why is it so difficult to imagine the same about US politicians? If they look at a report, they see a number, not a name. . . . until they correlate data to identify the relevant individual personally. A very modest start on understanding how this happens is Michael Kassner's article Panopticlick: Your Web browsing is less anonymous than you think. For more depth on the subject, I recommend learning some of the basics of information theory. If you claim to know a lot about information theory without acknowledging that the minimal "scrubbing" done to eliminate grossly violating personally identifiable information is nearly worthless when someone wants to identify the person to whom such information applies, I'll have to conclude that you are merely willfully ignorant when you find it convenient to ignore the obvious in service to your cherished delusions about the benevolence of government or something ridiculous like that. I even disagree that foregoing privacy does not affect safety. Neon Samurai didn't say it doesn't affect safety. He said it doesn't benefit safety -- and, in the general case, there is certainly no direct positive relationship between safety and a relinquishment of privacy. There may be indirect safety benefits resulting from a relinquishment of one's privacy, but there are also quite direct detriments to security (of which a varying threshold is, in combination with luck, a prerequisite to safety) in the general case. How can they protect a number without a name? How can they hurt a number without a name?

seanferd
seanferd

If I can't understand that someone is using the internet, other networked systems, or other technologies generally grouped with information systems in the commission of their acts, prepending the erroneous "cyber" to some other relevant term will not further explicate the concept. Why bother? Because it is just spingeneering, that's why. It sounds good for some purpose, the way that e.g., "Axis of Evil" is used to appeal to the mindsets of some people. The use of the term "cyber-attack" only makes sense to me (in an abstruse way) if such an attack were directly upon some type of regulatory system, such as disrupting the systems which control the internet or a national power grid. By the same token, however, zapping someone with enough electrical current to disrupt normal cardiac operation, or feeding disinformation into an office environment to create friction, suspicion, or animosity between co-workers could equally be labeled a "cyber-attack". It is a dumb term, whether we are stuck with it or not.

femtobeam
femtobeam

Thanks for your reply Neon Samarai. The difference between Cyber Attacks, Cybercrimes and other crimes are that they are done using communications technology. Laws were put into place prior to the distribution of network systems and the current capabilities of networks are de-facto. The Cyber name stuck as a general term to distinguish the two. If someone stabs you in the heart with a knife, it's a crime. If someone uses a computer network to access a nearby millimeter wave antenna in your neighborhood along with GPS positioning systems to override your heart pacemaker and cause a heart attack, it's a Cyber crime. At this point, the Pentagon still has communications networks listed as non-lethal weapons, even if some portion of them is used in lethal manner, such as a remotely operated and armed drone. In terms of the attacks on the computer systems, those attacks were to obtain the information on the systems, which was obtained. If you look at Northrup Grumman's website you can get an idea of what types of information are probably now in the possession of the Chinese Government. If they then use this information to build or prevent advantageous operations of military ships for example, at a later date, this ability was enabled by the successful cyber attack. In terms of tracking chips and humans, this is well documented all over the Internet and has been in place for over 50 years. Some of it is classified. What is not are the use of antennas embedded under the skin and there are a number of Youtube videos, articles and photos available. Brain interfaces are a different subject requiring electrodes in the skull and in some cases surgery. The best example of what is possible is in the recent New Scientist. It shows a comatose patient conversing with their brain using an MRI. Honda has a photo of a man using an MRI on the back of a motorized wagon to operate a robot with his brain. Brain interfaces to move cursers has been demonstrated. Femtocells, which are being deployed are examples of chip to chip communications networks and these chips can just as easily be on clothes or in a body as on a wall. There is no traditional police work that can detect and solve real time cybercrimes as the perpetrators of these crimes are protected by anonymity. They cannot obtain the records. A blinking light is not a bad idea! I disagree that Google did anything wrong. The only problem was being able to prevent hacking into their system and this turned out to be an exploit in IE Explorer from a previous access to Microsoft source code by China. The networks, re-routing and embedded spyware on disks and inside computer equipment is part of the identifier. Sony was found guilty of embedding spyware on disks in Texas and had a small fine. Anyone who has inserted a Sony music disk has spyware on their computer that can be found by a hacker. I would like my search information and all of my cloud storage etc... to be preserved forever and never erased, with my name. I do not want to be an anonymous number without rights. It really boils down to where people stand on intellectual property rights. If people do not have the rights to their own ideas and information, especially if stolen, there is no way to redress grievances and protect personal property in a communications age. In the extreme, thoughts may be difficult to attribute to an individual due to the speed of light issues and biological synapse times. Changing information on the fly is disinformation. The deliberate social engineering begun in the 50's and 60's with these technologies can theoretically computerize repeat patterns in augmented cognition equipment. This can include anything from constant "noise" which can kill a person with a lack of sleep, to total occupation of thought process and brain atrophy, or what is known as "Manchurian Candidate" occupation. Who has the right to the thoughts of a person and who has the rights to those thoughts typed into a computer? The FBI might have some difficulty obtaining the computer terminals from China, given their current budget and DOJ restrictions. Anonymity will leave us in a world of Cyber Warfare as anonymous victims of mass theft and mass murder. At the very least, hearsay about a person cannot be proven to be true or false without questioning the subliminal mind, which does not lie. The issue of sovereignty is also muddy now as there are no national borders in cyberspace. Lastly, you said: "forgoing your privacy only benefits your politicians, not your safety." I do not see how anything I said has anything to do with "foregoing privacy". I expect the laws on my privacy to be upheld as well. If someone hacks into my information, I do not want to see it on television. I do not see how any of that benefits any politician in any way. They cannot even obtain records from AT&T, currently being used by AT&T to make money off of stolen "property". How does their obligation to uphold privacy interfere with my rights to IP and Trade Secrets? Erasure and PII (personal identifying information). If they look at a report, they see a number, not a name. Large companies hide the theft of inventions this way. They do not even have to report consultants paid less than 50,000 at all nor state ownership of ideas when submitting proposals. I even disagree that foregoing privacy does not affect safety. Safety from whom? We all need Constitutional protection from all enemies both foreign and domestic. How can they protect a number without a name? I will try to find a few links for you on my next post.

apotheon
apotheon

It's times like this I want an "upvote" button. Of course, I'm not sure the benefits would outweigh the detriments of adding upvote buttons all over the site, but it would be nice to have an upvote button on this comment of yours in particular. Ahem.

femtobeam
femtobeam

I agree the Chinese government is acting cold warish but they only give the outward impression of going a long way toward more freedoms. When you say there are more Christians and Jews in China than they have ever had you are completely misinformed by the Chinese propaganda. China had many Christian missionaries and Christianity was thriving in China and Taiwan prior to WWI and WWII. For the most part they were jailed, tortured, murdered or expelled, the most notable being the forced evacuation of purposely starved and panicked Christians into North and South Vietnam to change the tide of the Vietnam war. The Falun Gong, who practice group exercises were jailed and used for organ harvesting. There were thousands of Chinese American exiled protestors in Washington opposing the Chinese leader's visit during the Bush Administration, handing out flyers about this. As far as the Dalai Lama, he is a high value target of the Chinese government and a victim of the Conficker Botnet attacks by the Chinese government, according to SecDev. Did you miss the massacre of the Tibetans? Did you not read about the massacre of the Caribou people of Western China? These were almost total genocide and complete domination of those cultures by the Chinese government, of the leaders of Buddism and also Shamanism. The Chinese government is engaged in the systematic destruction of all religions and replacing them with it's own system of rule. The more time we "give" them, the more advanced they become, armed now with stolen information from hacks into Google, the DoD and now large military subcontractors and energy companies. Their wall will not come down unless we knock it down, one freedom at a time. Right now, that is definitely not happening. The opposite is happening. It is we who are losing our freedoms one at a time while they reward those who work to that plan with a higher standard of living than the poor Chinese masses. We are being impoverished rapidly with a lack of manufacturing and jobs, coupled with on-credit consumptive spending. We must support freedom in Taiwan and Google's stand against filtering. Don't forget that Yahoo turned over records on people to the Chinese government that they then used to jail those who did not agree with the Chinese government. Now, they are attacking US citizens on US soil for the same reason.

femtobeam
femtobeam

It is a decoy from the severity of the subject which is really about what China stole in the attacks and what they will do with the stolen information they targeted. I am certain that any "dissident" in China according the Chinese government knows the meaning of the word and it has life threatening connotations. When does the crossing of the borders to also attack an American student in California as a "dissident" of a government not her own, become a life threatening problem for her? Politically correct speech has not worked very well and neither has legaleze. Perhaps Obama should borrow a few lines from Apotheon and write them on his hand the next time he has to bust up a money laundering meeting.

femtobeam
femtobeam

It seems that our so-called foreign policy is to trade with and sell out to China while they steal everything to avoid payment. This is to reverse engineer our own inventions and sell them back to us so they can buy what resources they do not yet currently own. Who is conducting foreign policy?

apotheon
apotheon

I do not recognize the "established authority" of China. Go back and read what I said again. Notice the "scare quotes" around the word "authority". The Chinese government is definitely established, and it definitely claims authority. This facile statement of yours in no way contradicts anything I said. Your response was indeed judgemental and was also an insult. US citizens who are human rights activists for the "organ harvested", enslaved population in China, are not dissidents of China. You don't even know what the heck you're talking about. All I can do is direct you to read an effing dictionary and educate yourself at this point. I explained what the word "dissident" actually means just for people like you who are obviously too lazy to actually educate themselves about what words mean before using them, but that apparently wasn't enough. Go learn something or trouble me no more with your ditherings about the subject of what "dissident" means, since you are clearly and obstinately without any understanding of the actual meaning of the word. I find such willful ignorance completely contemptible. They are US citizens excercising their Constitutional rights to free speech, rights to assemble, and organize around the cause of freedom everywhere, in their own country. I never said otherwise. Your insistence on trying to assign arguments to me that I never actually made so you can paint me as some kind of evil ogre is quite disgusting. The dishonesty of your arguments is flabbergasting.

boxfiddler
boxfiddler

[i]The word "dissident" is not an insult. It is effectively judgment-neutral. [/i] I often think over-attention to connotation is dividing and conquering us. Politicians play to it blatantly, as do 'the media'. I'd go so far as to say it spawned this whole 'politically correct speech' debacle.

santeewelding
santeewelding

Conduct de facto foreign policy on behalf of the rest of us?

femtobeam
femtobeam

I do not recognize the "established authority" of China. Your response was indeed judgemental and was also an insult. US citizens who are human rights activists for the "organ harvested", enslaved population in China, are not dissidents of China. They are US citizens excercising their Constitutional rights to free speech, rights to assemble, and organize around the cause of freedom everywhere, in their own country.

apotheon
apotheon

A dissident is one who disagrees or dissents, particularly with an established "authority". Human rights activists are often dissidents, if they specifically oppose governmental policy. The word "dissident" is not an insult. It is effectively judgment-neutral.

apotheon
apotheon

If it's any consolation, it seems that (four days later) the person won't be drawn out in any case -- so no harm done, as far as I see.

JamesRL
JamesRL

You have attacked the poster and the post without any reason or rationale. Exactly what makes it a good or bad article? What would you like to have seen covered that wasn't? Where do you see the bias? James

JCitizen
JCitizen

The FCC regulates 911 calls but the ISP does have to hand it off to the local Pubiic Safety Access Point. What the providers do with that information after it is input to the internet is a good question. It is my understanding that all PSAPs receive the emergency locator information from the internet through software provided by the state. I seem to remember our state subsidizing the cost to the wireless providers for the new phones. I'm sure most of that was passed to the consumer. As far as the IP address information, I would have to know a lot more about how E-911 works before I could comment on how the ISP data base would handle it; I would think for the sake of tort law alone that they would have to record quite a bit of information to cover their behinds for each 911 call location. As far as PSAP operations, the police/emergency services are restricted by HIPAA on anything medical, and would guard the information like a rabid junkyard dog. Criminal information, is another thing, though. Our local agency put their own antenna on the sheriff's communication tower, to gain the information directly from the cell phone, however locator information would arrive several nanoseconds later through the internet. This is the one time ISPs have promiscuous data on anyone no matter whose provider they use; so it does cause one to ponder. What if someone used the PSAP service in reverse to track everyone in the US and even record their conversations? It could happen in George Orwell's world.

apotheon
apotheon

I have given up on supporting a browser that doesn't work properly with my standards-compliant code on occasion before -- when for the specific site in question it really doesn't matter much. It's rare, though. I guess, as long as the only browsers you fail to support are those that fail to properly adhere to standards and, thus, fail to work properly with your standards-compliant design, it's not all bad to fall somewhat short of complete cross-browser compatibility from time to time. It might encourage browser developers and vendors to take more pride in their work for a change, and to target standards-compliant rendering. One should at least desire cross-browser compatibility, however, in any non-pathological case, and while the act of trying to wrangle support for IE (for instance) may be an annoying, bothersome challenge at times, I don't think that makes cross-browser compatibility itself annoying or bothersome, per se.

Ocie3
Ocie3

the correction. I don't know how that misconception slipped-in to my thinking when I wrote that Google was "blocking access" instead of just removing the blacklisted sites from search results. No doubt, though, that the PDRC "Great Firewall" blocks access to them.

JCitizen
JCitizen

if one of those "enhancements" isn't a butt kicking firewall, to try to reduce the growth of the internal bot nets in China. However this too, can and will fail. It may only slow the exchange of information between individuals who are not determined to find the truth.

Ocie3
Ocie3

of Free BSD will be with "a few security enhancements", according to the press release that I read in the English edition of [i]The People's Daily[/i]. I doubt that they intend to share those "enhancements" with the rest of us. It might not be the security of Free BSD that concerns them so much as whether the "Communist Party" continues in power.