word of the day: guanxi
a comprehensive description and visualization of the interconnections of power in China:
cut in half and also double
‘It is “the cause,” after all. That movement that will make the world right, which will correct the horrific injustices you were privy to on a daily basis. It will avenge the friends arrested, tortured, or killed. You live, breathe, eat, feel, touch anything related to it. The moments away from the computer are engaged in phone calls, texts, or in-person meetings and events. My body was in Los Angeles, but my mind was in Iran. Being so connected to something you are disconnected from is, I believe, deeply disturbing to your psyche. Sooner or later things make sense, and your mind realizes it’s been seeing and reading one thing and living another. At that moment it just happens—you “go dark.” Vanish.’
The General Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television’s unveiled the tighter controls in a notice released on April 16, 2013, less than a day after The New York Times announced it had won a Pulitzer Prize for the newspaper’s report on the hidden wealth of Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao’s family.
In response to the report, the Chinese government blocked the New York Times website as well as Wen Jiabao’s name on Sina Weibo.
In addition to requiring Chinese media to have authorization to use foreign media content, the regulations also clamp down on organizations and journalists sharing information on social media, such as popular microblogging site Sina Weibo, that wouldn’t normally be included in publication.
The notice, published by China’s state media Xinhua, reads:
All news outlets are not allowed to use news information from foreign media or foreign websites without permission. It is firmly forbidden for journalists and editors to use the Internet as a platform to seek illegal benefits; such behavior will be investigated and punished according to the law. To start an official Weibo account, news agencies should first report to authorities for record and appoint a staff to be responsible for posting authoritative information and deleting harmful information in time.
confident being uncertain
“If there’s heavy haze, experts say close the windows; H7N9 comes, and experts say the window should remain open. I would like to know, should the windows be open or closed?”
‘Perhaps the most remarkable characteristic of the public-opinion management over the first week of the bird flu crisis is the hands-off approach to the Internet. So far, there’s been almost no censorship of posts, including those that are critical of the government and even spread rumors of infections in Beijing (even after such rumors have been denied officially). Rumor-mongering has been aggressively censored in the past. Still, it’s probably best not to read too much into this moment of apparent freedom. It’s likely that Chinese officials have recognized that censoring panic will only result in more panic.’
do you mean all your clicks?
“I’m going to start with three data points.
One: Some of the Chinese military hackers who were implicated in a broad set of attacks against the U.S. government and corporations were identified because they accessed Facebook from the same network infrastructure they used to carry out their attacks.
Two: Hector Monsegur, one of the leaders of the LulzSac hacker movement, was identified and arrested last year by the FBI. Although he practiced good computer security and used an anonymous relay service to protect his identity, he slipped up.
And three: Paula Broadwell,who had an affair with CIA director David Petraeus, similarly took extensive precautions to hide her identity. She never logged in to her anonymous e-mail service from her home network. Instead, she used hotel and other public networks when she e-mailed him. The FBI correlated hotel registration data from several different hotels — and hers was the common name.”
does freedom have high-speed internet?
‘THE net is getting creaky and old: it is rapidly running out of space and remains fundamentally insecure. And it turns out China is streets ahead of the West in doing anything about it. A report published in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society last week details China’s advances in creating a next-generation internet that is on a national level and on a larger scale than anything in the West.
“China has a national internet backbone in place that operates under IPv6 as the native network protocol,” says Riley. “We have nothing like that in the US.”
China is already running next-generation services: internet service provider 3TNet provides television over IPv6, streaming programmes in high definition. It is the basis for a system that monitors and controls traffic flow over the internet and provides remote medical services – even long-distance, real-time violin lessons in high definition.’
typing is timing
‘Here’s a tip for the 300 million users of China’s Twitter-like microblogging site Sina Weibo: If you don’t want to get censored, post your messages at around 7pm, Beijing-time.
In a study released this week, researchers monitoring 3,500 users for 15 days last year, tracking when their posts were deleted. Weibo censors work by deleting the 140 character posts after they’ve been published, usually because they refer to sensitive political issues.
The researchers concluded that most censors are working in real-time. While about 90% of deleted posts were taken down within 24 hours of the message being posted, the majority of deletions occurred within an hour of posting—and fully 30% were zapped within a minute of posting. To handle the roughly 70,000 posts that flood the site per minute, the company probably employs about 4,200 censors, if they work working eight hour shifts.’
‘The Pirate Bay has been hunted in many countries around the world. Not for illegal activities but being persecuted for beliefs of freedom of information. Today, a new chapter is written in the history of the movement, as well as the history of the internets.
A week ago we could reveal that The Pirate Bay was accessed via Norway and Catalonya. The move was to ensure that these countries and regions will get attention to the issues at hand. Today we can reveal that we have been invited by the leader of the republic of Korea, to fight our battles from their network.
This is truly an ironic situation. We have been fighting for a free world, and our opponents are mostly huge corporations from the United States of America, a place where freedom and freedom of speech is said to be held high. At the same time, companies from that country is chasing a competitor from other countries, bribing police and lawmakers, threatening political parties and physically hunting people from our crew. And to our help comes a government famous in our part of the world for locking people up for their thoughts and forbidding access to information.
We believe that being offered our virtual asylum in Korea is a first step of this country’s changing view of access to information. It’s a country opening up and one thing is sure, they do not care about threats like others do. In that way, TPB and Korea might have a special bond. We will do our best to influence the Korean leaders to also let their own population use our service, and to make sure that we can help improve the situation in any way we can. When someone is reaching out to make things better, it’s also ones duty to grab their hand.’
the managed citizen
‘After 1,000 days in pretrial detention, Private Bradley Manning yesterday offered a modified guilty plea for passing classified materials to WikiLeaks. But his case is far from over—not for Manning, and not for the rest of the country. To understand what is still at stake, consider an exchange that took place in a military courtroom in Maryland in January.
The judge, Col. Denise Lind, asked the prosecutors a brief but revealing question: Would you have pressed the same charges if Manning had given the documents not to WikiLeaks but directly to the New York Times?
The prosecutor’s answer was simple: “Yes Ma’am.”’
area code 86
‘In March 2011, Stewart was examining a piece of malware that looked different from the typical handiwork of Russian or Eastern European identity thieves. As he began to explore the command nodes connected to the suspicious code, Stewart noticed that since 2004, about a dozen had been registered under the same one or two names—Tawnya Grilth or Eric Charles—both listing the same Hotmail account and usually a city in California. Several were registered in the wonderfully misspelled city of Sin Digoo.
Some of the addresses had also figured in Chinese espionage campaigns documented by other researchers. They were part of a block of about 2,000 addresses belonging to China Unicom, one of the country’s largest Internet service providers. Trails of hacks had led Stewart to this cluster of addresses again and again, and he believes they are used by one of China’s top two digital spying teams, which he calls the Beijing Group. This is about as far as Stewart and his fellow detectives usually get—to a place and a probable group, but not to individual hackers. But he got a lucky break over the next few months.’
‘300,000 pages of code. Or 60 minutes of triple-X rubber-and-leather interactive bondage porno’
‘A multinational security firm has secretly developed software capable of tracking people’s movements and predicting future behaviour by mining data from social networking websites. A video obtained by the Guardian reveals how an “extreme-scale analytics” system created by Raytheon, the world’s fifth largest defence contractor, can gather vast amounts of information about people from websites including Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare. Raytheon says it has not sold the software – named Riot, or Rapid Information Overlay Technology – to any clients. But the Massachusetts-based company has acknowledged the technology was shared with US government and industry as part of a joint research and development effort, in 2010, to help build a national security system capable of analysing “trillions of entities” from cyberspace.
Using Riot it is possible to gain an entire snapshot of a person’s life – their friends, the places they visit charted on a map – in little more than a few clicks of a button.’
privacy by design
‘Back in October, the startup tech firm Silent Circle ruffled governments’ feathers with a “surveillance-proof” smartphone app to allow people to make secure phone calls and send texts easily. Now, the company is pushing things even further—with a groundbreaking encrypted data transfer app that will enable people to send files securelyfrom a smartphone or tablet at the touch of a button.
The technology uses a sophisticated peer-to-peer encryption technique that allows users to send encrypted files of up to 60 megabytes through a “Silent Text” app. The sender of the file can set it on a timer so that it will automatically “burn”—deleting it from both devices after a set period of, say, seven minutes. Until now, sending encrypted documents has been frustratingly difficult for anyone who isn’t a sophisticated technology user, requiring knowledge of how to use and install various kinds of specialist software. What Silent Circle has done is to remove these hurdles, essentially democratizing encryption. It’s a game-changer that will almost certainly make life easier and safer for journalists, dissidents, diplomats, and companies trying to evade state surveillance or corporate espionage. Governments pushing for more snooping powers, however, will not be pleased.’