China: Everyone’s Favorite Whipping Boy?

Okay, we wrote yesterday about Congressman and Senate Republican candidate Tom Campbell’s strong response to how he would respond to the attacks on Google, even though we tried to qualify the facts as we know them.  Tom is a great guy and a great supporter of the Internet, privacy and Silicon Valley.  And he has been for many years.  It’s not surprising Tom took a strong stance given the attacks he is under from Carly Fiorino, former HP CEO and now running second to Tom.

Our Favorite Whipping Cream Boy

Yet, I just read the post by Fast Company’s Kit Eaton whom we read regularly and quote here often.  I’m a little flummoxed on this one by Kit as he says, "That Chinese cyberattack late in 2009, targeting Google and other big names, was enabled by U.S. warrantless search legislation," and, "The crack through which Chinese cyberattacks broke into Google last year, causing no end of ongoing trouble, was actually put into the security system on purpose to comply with legislation."

So now where are we?  We do not know for sure if "China" was responsible and when someone says, "China," it is usually inferred that they mean the government, though I haven’t heard back from Kit yet.  In fact, we don’t really know for sure if it was even somebody in China, which very well may be but may also be somebody trying to make it look like it came from there or it could be someone in China from East Godknowswhereistan.

Kit details the fact that it was our government, the U.S. of A., that was "hell-bent at trampling over citizen’s rights in order to protect those self-same rights, required Google to install back doors in its security system so that it could, at will, snoop on the online goings-on of suspect Gmail users." Pretty strong words from Kit and he is right.  But here is where I think he loses us, "then clever Chinese hackers, hell-bent on discovering intelligence on Gmail users who are suspected to be anti-establishment, used that same back door system to neatly dodge past the complex, expensive security systems Google has in place to protect its own data, and the petabytes of deeply personal information it stores about its billions of users."

Well fact is, we just don’t know that for a fact.  What we know is that Chinese hackers are not necessarily China.  Certainly not the government, for sure, to which he, in my opinion, contradicts himself by saying, "Security researchers are still trying to pin-point the source of the hacks, and believe they may have found some key players and institutions that may be responsible, some with government links."  There are more holes in his assertions than in Google.

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In the end, Kit seems to be saying what we’ve been saying all along, "Tech-savvy people around the U.S. are left to wonder how many other government-required back doors exist in the Net, ready for nefarious types from organized criminals to foreign spies to exploit, in a similar way Google was attacked."  Exactamundo.

Fortunately, we still love Kit and Fast money as he closes with a fabulous Latin quote:  "Quis custodiet ipsos custodes," which means, who shall keep the keepers themselves and to which we say, satis verborum.

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