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China Internet News

The Economist on the Internet in China

Gady Epstein, who is the China Correspondent for The Economist has put together a large 14-page special report on the Internet in China. I strongly recommend it.

Gady was also on this week’s Sinica Podcast talking about this special report, which I also strongly recommend: Gady Epstein on The Internet (in China)

Special report: China and the internet

China’s internet: A giant cage
The internet was expected to help democratise China. Instead, it has enabled the authoritarian state to get a firmer grip, says Gady Epstein. But for how long?

The machinery of control: Cat and mouse
How China makes sure its internet abides by the rules

Microblogs: Small beginnings
Microblogs are a potentially powerful force for change, but they have to tread carefully

The Great Firewall: The art of concealment
Chinese screening of online material from abroad is becoming ever more sophisticated

E-commerce: Ours, all ours
A wealth of internet businesses with Chinese characteristics

Cyber-hacking: Masters of the cyber-universe
China’s state-sponsored hackers are ubiquitous—and totally unabashed

Internet controls in other countries: To each their own
China’s model for controlling the internet is being adopted elsewhere

Assessing the effects: A curse disguised as a blessing?
The internet may be delaying the radical changes China needs

Shutting down the internet: Thou shalt not kill
Turning off the entire internet is a nuclear option best not exercised

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Internet

deleted my Instagram account

After reading what changes will occur early next year with Instagram due to the new terms of service, What Instagram’s New Terms of Service Mean for You, I decided to delete my account. I was not a big Instagram user and frankly I can get the same functionality I want with Flickr, especially now that Flickr has new mobile apps.

Abuse my privacy and I’ll delete my account. Not only that, I will also promote leaving that service to everyone in my network and social circle. The fact that I’m promoting my deletion of my own Instagram account on Facebook itself is icing on the cake.

Treat your users as you would want to be treated.

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China Internet News

Richard Clarke doesn’t understand the Internet

Richard A. Clarke, the special adviser to the president for cybersecurity from 2001 to 2003, has an important op-ed in the NY Times today.

How China Steals Our Secrets

Clarke basically laments the state of US cyber security (who uses this “cyber” word besides the US govt.?) in regards to the incessant hacking of US businesses by Chinese hackers. Clarke believes that giving the Department of Homeland Security the ability to:

inspect what enters and exits the United States in cyberspace.

And under the Intelligence Act, the president could issue a finding that would authorize agencies to scan Internet traffic outside the United States and seize sensitive files stolen from within our borders. “

If this proposal is not basically an identical copy of what the Chinese government has set up in with their Great Firewall of China, I don’t know what it is.

US businesses need to take responsibility for securing their own servers, documents and networks. That they have not done so to date is their own fault.

The proposal to give the US government the right/ability to scan/filter the Internet is not only like trying to filter the entire ocean to catch a few fish (i.e. the wrong way to do it), it’s also asking the government to provide Internet security for US commercial businesses (which they should do on their own, not on the US taxpayer’s dime.)

A future that Richard Clarke wants for the US is a mirror image of what China has created today with the Internet in China. That he does not see the irony in this vision is probably the most troubling aspect of his op-ed as well as his “special adviser to the president for cybersecurity” role.

The US government needs experts who understand the Internet in roles like these, not people like Clarke, who clearly do not understand how the Internet works. And US businesses need to take their network security seriously. Focus on securing your networks, not just next quarter’s profit margins, and you’ll see less successful hacking.

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China Internet News

Will China’s Great Firewall Hold?

One day before US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton’s speech on Internet freedom, the New America Foundation has hosted a panel discussion on Chinese censorship of the Internet with Alex Ross of the State Department, Rebecca MacKinnon of the Open Society Institute, Tim Wu of Columbia University, and Evgeny Morozov of Georgetown University. The discussion was moderated by James Fallows of The Atlantic Monthly.


Authority, Meet Technology: Will China’s Great Firewall Hold?

For those who prefer the audio, you can download the MP3 Recording of This Event.

Categories
China Internet

$150 Mil. USD fund for free software in China

Tangos Chan over at China Web 2.0 Review is reporting on a new 1 Billion RMB or $150 Mil. USD fund to invest in free software run by Sequoia China, Highland Capital and Qihoo 360. Note that this is ‘free as in beer’ free software, not ‘free and open source software’ such as Linux or Apache or Mozilla. It’s interesting to see these 3 particular entities working together on such a large fund for “free software.” It seems to imply that the “free software” market in China is at least significantly larger than that fund, and if there is a fund that large for free software, anyone in China hoping to make money on non-free software has to fight all of the current challenges as well as this new 1 billion RMB fund.
Fascinating.