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Google Hacked China Style


Google’s possible exit from China is not as foolish at may seem. Aside from a good public relations move back home, and showing integrity, it reduces their surface area from attack. Microsoft is operating in China, but is not only vulnerable to the same sort of attacks Google experienced, which brought down servers and briefly compromised security, Microsoft has the added vulnerability of exposing their operating system to being ‘held hostage’ if they don’t play by Chinese rules in China. Exposing yourself to a core of determined government’s coders who may be trying to penetrate and compromise your flagship software, when you are already vulnerable to the average hacker is certainly a way of going way-out-on–a-limb. Chinese spying and penetrating American systems goes back many years. In fact, it is doubtful that China could have had a space program of their own had they not stolen information.

The well-known situation of missing information from Los Alamos laboratories and similar facilities back in the days of the Clinton administration comes to mind. Sloppy handling of top secret technologies was the rule in those days. Clinton’s Virtual dismantling of some of the NORAD facilities to ‘Reap the Peace’ indicated the mood of the era. The wide-open door posturing of the Obama administration and aversion to various heightened security measures like intensive wire-tapping may serve as an open invitation for nations like China to explore means of penetrating security systems both in government and private industry. The often criticized Cyber-security of the Bush administration, touted by some on the left as being a violation of personal freedoms at least left a legacy of no known voracious and successful Cyber-attacks on large corporations or the U.S. government. The theft of information during the Clinton years while laboratories like los Alamos and Sandia and Lawrence Livermore were working on technologies to extend space-base laser and particle beam capabilities, and develop containable fusion energy, and the recent compromising of a server at the Rackspace Hosting Company, a big player in the Internet Provider Business, has brought to the forefront the question of whether our nation’s general posturing towards security against theft of information is well developed.

The situation with Google also makes it clear that the search for new operating systems and hardware, ones that the state department won’t easily allow to leave our shores, and ones that are more resilient to attack than Microsoft’s well-known de-facto systems has become necessary. The development of this hardware and software, though imminent, may prove fruitless if the state department proves to be sloppy in their managing of which American technologies may be proliferated abroad.

The problem with China brings to the forefront another blunder. The United States has invested so heavily in the potential future markets of China, building factories there, only to experience very poor quality products in many cases from the Chinese facilities. One wonders if the capital invested in Chinese factories had been invested in factories in Mexico if we hadn’t killed two birds with one stone: The illegal immigration problem may have been mitigated if those factories had been built in Mexico, and the espionage, spying and theft of intellectual properties would have been something that we would have at least had some more control over; additionally, transportation, shipping and management would have been closer and easier to exercise control over.

It’s been argued that the Mexican factory ventures have been tried; however, they have not been tried to the extent that they were tried in China, and the obvious byproduct of the U.S. gaining greater peaceful influence over our own hemisphere was ignored.

-copyright 2010 by Juan Zapatero

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