back to article China denies role in cyber attacks on Google

China has denied it was involved in the December cyber attacks on Google and at least 33 other companies. On Monday, the BBC reports, a spokesman for the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology rejected claims that the state had anything to do with the attacks - or any others. "The accusation that the Chinese …

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The Great Firewall of China: How Lessons from the Apartheid Era Can Lift the Information Curtain

Google's defiance of China's censorship mandate illustrates the power of corporate social responsibility initiatives to influence and reshape the repressive policies of authoritarian regimes. Secretary Clinton’s recent remarks about the” information curtain” dividing the world, reminded me of the apartheid era where much greater injustice and unspeakable acts against humanity were challenged and ultimately overcome through the use of corporate codes of conduct.

Given the success of codes of conduct in ending apartheid, we should look at applying the same principles to lift the information curtain China and in other repressive countries.

This was the subject of an article on the International Business Law Advisor---The Great Firewall of China: How Lessons from the Apartheid Era Can Lift the Information Curtain www.intlbusinesslaw.com

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One Important Difference, unfortunately...

The world wasn't mortgaged to South Africa at the time. If we (US, Europe) placed sanctions (whether corporate, governmental, whatever) on China, all they have to do is call in a fraction of the debts that they are owed, and the "credit crunch" will be a fond memory of when times were good.

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Anonymous Coward

Seemed to me

it was substantially down to consumers boycotting South Africa and it's products and, apart from some really sad examples, such as Queen performing at Sun City, and cricketers going there, most companies, organisations and performers chose not to risk appalling the public of the Western world. Despite Margaret Thatcher's claim that the boycott only hurt the people it was supposed to help (but then she also supported Pinochet, etc).

Me, I already made a stumbling attempt to boycott Chinese goods. But it is hard when you reject a product because it is Chinese and end up finding _all_ such products are now Chinese. And I haven't yet figured out the degree of pointlessness in trying when the chances of the public boycotting cheap everything are just about zero. Even today's public back in the 80's would have had alternative sources. But back then the public let animals be tortured so cosmetics could be cheaper; today they let people be tortured so trainers and electronics can be cheaper.

What chance does anyone see of today's public forseeing China ruling the world because the world is totally dependent on it; or acting even if it does?

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Flame

Fairtrade for everything?

"Me, I already made a stumbling attempt to boycott Chinese goods. But it is hard when you reject a product because it is Chinese and end up finding _all_ such products are now Chinese. And I haven't yet figured out the degree of pointlessness in trying when the chances of the public boycotting cheap everything are just about zero."

Maybe there should be a Fairtrade label that applies to everything, not just various commodities. Right now, it's too easy for Digby Offshorer-Fatcat to "trim the fat" and outsource production to some dodgy contractor in China (or elsewhere) and claim that he (or any other potentially liable party) doesn't know anything about the appalling working conditions, pointing to "shareholder value" and "return on investment" which for some people seem to be on the verge of becoming natural laws.

Of course, numerous self-appointed economics experts will pooh-pooh stuff like Fairtrade, scrawling down all sorts of economic theory objections to such "market interference" (whereas giving gigapounds to banks is "stimulus not interference") while claiming that it's better to burn £50 notes and send the ashes to developing world producers: smoke and mirrors to conceal the fact that they want their shiny new stuff and don't give a shit about how it's put together. But there's nothing wrong with cutting out as much of the exploitative parts of the route to market as possible - it's a moral imperative to do so, after all - whether or not the aforementioned "experts" feel that the lack of any crisp bank notes being stuffed into their pants (or the pants of their pals in "The City") should be souring any such kind of transaction, and that everyone else should bow in deference to that supposedly Great British economic miracle and set aside their ethics for that extra penny in dividend per share.

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Re: Fairtrade for everything?

I completely agree, couldn't have put it better myself.

The problem is that there are no ethics in Capitalism (with a capital C, because it is a religion to many people).

Quite the opposite, in fact - ethics gets in the way of capitalism, as you described. Just look at Google's share price drop when they announced they might stop filtering results in China!

It's easier to look the other way and pretend you don't know why Primark clothes are so cheap, or why MP3 players are now throw-away items. Is it human nature to be greedy?

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Silver badge

Hit and Run ..... with the Vastness of Space in which to Reside.

It is surely something the West must be considering ...... that such, and even considerably More Sophisticated Cyber Excursions into Virile Infrastructure can come from the likes of a China or any Other Inscrutable Global Competitor and Smart Player in the Market Place Selling and Buying Specialised Intelligence Services in Virtual Productions.

And more worrying for them would be, should they be Considered and Realised as Unattributable Cyber Incursions and ZerodDay Venal Attacks on Vital Infrastructures which have no Viable Defences.

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Limit growth?

"If businesses in your nation are denied access to either type of information, it will inevitably reduce growth.”

Well somehow China seems to be getting along nicely while the rest of us flounder around in the mud trying to make a living.

On another subject, when I were a lad and mainframes had the same power as today's laptops when in sleep mode, those mainframes used to say something like welcome back Igglepiggle you last logged in on Sunday at 10:13AM on terminal 1232. How difficult would it be for the likes of Google, Facebook, etc to have a login/welcome screen that shows where the IP address you are currently using is registered and shows your last few log attempts and their locations.

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Joke

Ironic...

"flounder around in the mud trying to make a living."

if the rice farmers of chana had access to the reg and educated to have questioning though...the irony or this statement wouldnt be lost on them!

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Alien

Always two there are..

.. a master and an apprentice.

Is amanfromMars training his replacement?

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Badgers

Soo.

Business as usual from Google as it presumably wakes up, smells a fresh cup of coffee and decides it had better shut the hell up and carry on if it knows what's good for it?

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Grenade

Can we take China's word for it?

Can we take China's word for it that they had nothing to do with the attacks?

I mean, if they were doing anything shady, they'd come out and admit it right away, wouldn't they?

Grenade because it adequately sums up everything I have to say to the regime there.

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Black Helicopters

Anyone still trust Google?

The fanbois are going to love this. According to Bruce Schneier, the Chinese used a backdoor in Gmail that was installed at the insistence of the US government.

I can only assume the backdoor was a beta feature.

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@ amanfromMars1

Why All The Capitals?

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Happy

@MartinD

That's just his way.

Be grateful that this post is moderately comprehensible.

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accept

aaccept...ask questions and you might get answers.

(and yeah I had knoticed that it actully made sense...you OK TMFM)

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Pint

@MartinD

Newcomers are always a pleasant sight. Welcome to El Reg! Enjoy your stay.

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Alert

Why All The Capitals?

You mean you did not get the blip message?

Is your crypto pad bust?

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Unhappy

Sadly

China does engage in blatant and brutishly clumsy espionage in a lot of spheres, not just military, but human rights and most commonly, commercial. If world+dog wasn't utterly dependant on their massive manufacturing power for the survival of their lifestyles, there would have been fisticuffs with some of the more belligerent western nations already.

AC because I have been unlucky enough to experience the fun that is Chinese state-sponsored network intrusion and information control (tinfoil hats on, everyone).

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Railway

Did anybody see that documentary last year about Australian metal ore that supplies most of China's industry.

It all goes up a single railway line across Oz.

Fancy that.

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Joke

Hmmmm......

CHINA: "Dear USA, did you have anything to do with the railway line that supplies us with the ore for most of our industry getting blown up?"

USA: "Nope. Wasn't us. I guess it might've been US citizens based on US soil using US munitions acting independently without the knowledge or consent of the US government, but we can't do anything about that..."

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Boffin

Google's new motto

According to Schmidt, appears to be, "Do nothing."

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Re: Google's new motto

That's the only surefire way to do no evil.

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Col

"We like the Chinese people. We like our Chinese employees. We like..."

their money

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Unhappy

So there are no ethics in Capitalism

As I suspected, it was all just ethical whitewash. Still, it made a few headlines here and there.

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IR

Rewrite

"The accusation that the Chinese government participated in [any] cyber attack, either in an explicit or inexplicit way, is groundless. We [are] firmly opposed to that,"

Sounds more like:

"You can't prove we did it, we are opposed to you proving it. "

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Megaphone

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing’

that is all.

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