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Google Government Your Rights Online

Google.cn Attack Part of a Broad Spying Effort 515

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the something-to-think-about dept.
CWmike writes "Google's decision Tuesday to risk walking away from China (Um, the world's largest Internet market) may have come as a shock, but security experts see it as the most public admission of a top IT problem for US companies: ongoing corporate espionage originating from China. It's a problem that the US lawmakers have complained about loudly. In the corporate world, online attacks that appear to come from China have been an ongoing problem for years, but big companies haven't said much about this, eager to remain in the good graces of the world's powerhouse economy. Google, by implying that Beijing had sponsored the attack, has placed itself in the center of an international controversy, exposing what appears to be a state-sponsored corporate espionage campaign that compromised more than 30 technology, financial and media companies, most of them global Fortune 500 enterprises. The US government is taking the attack seriously. Late Tuesday, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton released a statement asking the Chinese government to explain itself, saying that Google's allegations 'raise very serious concerns and questions.' She continued: 'The ability to operate with confidence in cyberspace is critical in a modern society and economy.'"
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Google.cn Attack Part of a Broad Spying Effort

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  • by Cornwallis (1188489) on Wednesday January 13, 2010 @02:02PM (#30753414)

    That ought to scare 'em.

  • by jandrese (485) <kensama@vt.edu> on Wednesday January 13, 2010 @02:04PM (#30753434) Homepage Journal

    ...asking the Chinese government to explain itself

    Why is the government wasting time with this? Everybody knows what the answer is going to be, the Chinese government is going to deny everything and change nothing. Unless Secretary Clinton is willing to back up those words with some sort of action, they are just a waste of breath.

  • by Bicx (1042846) on Wednesday January 13, 2010 @02:06PM (#30753462)
    ... that what began as a simple web search company is now so large that it is capable of potentially altering the course of international diplomacy.
  • by DigitalSorceress (156609) on Wednesday January 13, 2010 @02:07PM (#30753468)

    They may lose china, but in the eyes of many, "not being evil" is worth more.

    Go Google, make me proud!

  • by characterZer0 (138196) on Wednesday January 13, 2010 @02:14PM (#30753556)

    Google is not getting out because they think operating in China was evil, they are getting out because they think operating in China carries excess financial risks.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 13, 2010 @02:16PM (#30753582)

    China is not a powerhouse.
    It is growing rapidly but it is a nightmare police state joke.
    When the demographic collapse hits all the "miracle" dreams about China will fade.
    Their population is ageing rapidly, they have an imbalance of women to men and they have huge internal problems.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 13, 2010 @02:16PM (#30753594)

    Prove it.

  • by Mashhaster (1396287) on Wednesday January 13, 2010 @02:18PM (#30753622)

    The same reason I heard from my manager at one of the investment banks that went tits up. The same reason we spend billions on security theater.

    "Perception is reality."

    While on the face of it this is a crass and ridiculous statement, the fact remains that it makes some kind of warped, diabolical sense once you are under a certain level of scrutiny. It becomes more important to look like you're making a difference, than to actually make one. If you are perceived to be adding value and working hard, you can be slacking off all day and still get promoted at the end of the day.

    Honestly, it seems to me more like a publicity stunt than anything. Keep the other party from getting more ammo, while making the uninformed feel good and warm and fuzzy inside.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 13, 2010 @02:22PM (#30753662)

    Clinton -> Wal-Mart -> China

  • Statescraft (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TiggertheMad (556308) on Wednesday January 13, 2010 @02:22PM (#30753672) Homepage Journal
    Why is the government wasting time with this? Everybody knows what the answer is going to be, the Chinese government is going to deny everything and change nothing. Unless Secretary Clinton is willing to back up those words with some sort of action, they are just a waste of breath.

    Because by publicly asking the government to respond, they are making them look like a pack of inept idiots. It tells the rest of the world that they are attempting to spy (still), and doing a bad job of it. Security services globally will probably now be reviewing their intrusion detection procedures, making it more difficult for the Chinese government skript kiddies to make headway toward their goals. It will scare away some companies considering investment in China, slowing their internal ecenomic growth, and costing them money. It is also the first step in the diplomatic process that can lead to condemnations from the UN, sanctions, or even war. Rational states don't simply skip to straight to attacking other states over stuff like this.

    The very fact that they have put this in the public realm as opposed to quietly telling the Chinese government that they know what they are doing (which they have been for years) indicates that the next step in the process is being taken.
  • by je ne sais quoi (987177) on Wednesday January 13, 2010 @02:24PM (#30753694)
    Don't you think she knows that? It's called protocol. Either A) she's just putting up a strong showing for american audiences and has said something completely different to the Chinese, or B) she really is going to do something. Who knows what? So far Obama has not shown much interest in rocking the boat any (see Wall Street bail out for evidence) but Hillary Clinton is not exactly the kind to shy away from a fight.

    It'll be interesting -- I would like to see some tougher trade policies with China. For me personally, I'm really tired of importing Chinese goods that are made with no pollution controls, especially when those goods are laced with cadmium or melamine. I'm also annoyed that they sabotaged the Copenhagen talks [guardian.co.uk] on climate change. In fact, this could be exactly what the administration is reacting to, maybe Obama et al. got burned and are in no mood to play nice with China the way past presidents have done.
  • One fascinating aspect of this story is how Google, just a private corporation, is able to credibly threaten an entire country -- and a near-superpower one, at that! That used to take the kind of might only a government could wield.

    No longer.

    The web levels everyone -- and I mean EVERYONE -- to one, lowest common denominator: access.

  • by geminidomino (614729) * on Wednesday January 13, 2010 @02:28PM (#30753754) Journal

    Prove it.

    How about the fact that they stayed this long, and are only *considering* pulling out (they haven't yet) now that they've been victimized.

  • by Savage-Rabbit (308260) on Wednesday January 13, 2010 @02:28PM (#30753756)

    Why is the government wasting time with this? Everybody knows what the answer is going to be, the Chinese government is going to deny everything and change nothing.

    That's more or less exactly what happened when the USA got caught using the Echelon system for the exact same purposes as the Chinese are now mounting these attacks. Why is it such a shock that everybody else is repaying the US in kind? Industrial espionage has been going on for millennia, hell, it's almost a tradition. US corporate weasels should just do what the EU corporate weasels did (well some of them... there are always enough people that will never learn) after the Echelon scandals: Stop whining and introduce military grade encryption for all vital communications and generally fortify their IT infrastructure better.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 13, 2010 @02:29PM (#30753776)

    Time will tell if Google finds China hacked into nexus one custom support and provided poor service.

  • The Borg (Score:5, Insightful)

    by m0s3m8n (1335861) on Wednesday January 13, 2010 @02:34PM (#30753848)
    The Chinese are all about assimilation of technology. And most companies are happy to help. Boeing, you want to sell us planes, then you have to build some components here. Bring in your fancy machine tools and expertize.
  • by StuartHankins (1020819) on Wednesday January 13, 2010 @02:34PM (#30753862)
    Information is power, and whomever controls the flow of information is very powerful.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 13, 2010 @02:36PM (#30753892)

    The system isn't there to make the government's job easier. It's there to make Google's job easier. Back doors or not, Google HAS to comply with search warrants in the United States. So of course they are going to set up the system so they can do so without huge amounts of work.

  • by onepoint (301486) on Wednesday January 13, 2010 @02:46PM (#30754036) Homepage Journal

    why, very simple, sometimes all it takes to wake up Corporate America is to shine the light on a problem, and people up the chain will do what it takes to clean up there systems.

    mostly the people that will pay attention to this is IT firms. They should know that there $$$ are on the line.

  • by chord.wav (599850) on Wednesday January 13, 2010 @02:46PM (#30754050) Journal

    Can't believe people still fall for the naive "Don't be evil" motto these days.

    Google is a corporation, doing evil or not doing it may apply for people, but corporations are entities that operate way above those simple "good/right" and "bad/wrong" terms. They don't have sentiments, morale or regrets. They follow the economy rules without asking themselves whether something it's right or wrong. And following those rules can make them do horrible things which they'll do without hesitation if there's a buck to be made.

  • by MaWeiTao (908546) on Wednesday January 13, 2010 @02:51PM (#30754116)

    As others have mentioned, Google didn't do this because it's the good thing to do. They did this because it makes good business sense. If it had been financially advantageous to remain in China and even court their government more closely Google would have done that instead.

    I'm really tired of people casting corporations in such simple-minded light. Corporations exist to make money, and usually do so within the boundaries of the law. The people running these companies certainly may hold a particular set of morals, but ultimately they have to make decisions based on what's best for the company.

    I think the important thing here is that China isn't nearly as important as Americans seem to believe, especially in the business world. Business idiots, in particular, seem to have a hard-on for China, despite the fact that they get burned time and time again. It's true that China has a massive population, but how many of those actually have disposable income? And of those who do have money to spend, how many of those have the money or inclination to spend on foreign goods as opposed to what's made by Chinese companies?

    The advantage China enjoys over many other developing nations is that they're far further along in their economic development and are approaching a developed nation status. And that's assuming their economic growth isn't over-inflated as many are beginning to suspect. Certainly the Chinese are very nationalistic and ambitious, but that's really only advantageous for themselves and not the rest of the world. There are many other nations around the world seeing significant growth which have the chance to become very strong competitors for China, there's India, much of southeast Asia, South America, especially Brazil.

    When it comes down to it, China needs the rest of the world far more than the rest of the world needs China. Five or ten years ago I suspect Google's management would have decided staying in China was worth the risk. Today, that's obviously not the case.

    And there's something else to consider, some companies are more entrenched than others and some have more to lose in China. it's probably a lot easier to successfully knock off Google's products than it is Apple's or Microsoft's. There are dozens, of search engines, hundreds if not thousands of web apps and countless social networking sites. And there's a lot less loyalty to any particular tool than you find in the West. Something new comes along and as long as it's halfway decent people start using it. As quickly as companies fail there are many more right behind ready to take their place. All this is, without question, hurting Google's chances in China. There's no reason for Chinese to use Google, but there is certainly a lot of incentive for Chinese companies to steal what they can. And the Chinese government sure as hell isn't going to enforce foreign copyrights.

  • by Attila Dimedici (1036002) on Wednesday January 13, 2010 @02:51PM (#30754134)
    I think that what you wrote is part of Google's thinking. Another part of it was that Google has a concept of how they run their business. That concept has been successful.
    Censoring their search results was a compromise of their concept, but didn't break it. Google perceived the hacking of their servers by the Chinese government as breaking their business concept. If the Chinese government could not be trusted to keep the "deal" that Google had made with them, then Google can no longer count on the Chinese government honoring any commitment that would allow Google to make money.
    In light of this, I, also, expect that Google expected people to work around the known censoring they were doing to make such censorship moot.
    I think that we must still be suspicious of Google, just as we must be suspicious of any large organization, but in this case, this appears to be an act in good faith.
  • Re:Statescraft (Score:2, Insightful)

    by jd2112 (1535857) on Wednesday January 13, 2010 @02:51PM (#30754138)

    It is also the first step in the diplomatic process that can lead to condemnations from the UN, sanctions, or even war.

    When has UN condemnation ever acomphished anything?
    Who exactly woud sanctions against China hurt? (Hint: not China)
    Who is going to declare war on a country with over a billion people and manufacturers most of all but the most secretive millitrary hardware for just about the rest of the world?

  • by Xest (935314) on Wednesday January 13, 2010 @02:57PM (#30754190)

    No, not really.

    I can't think why anyone would think that making such an international drama and giving up $600m in annual profit would be worth doing just to distract attention from the fact a handful of people are whining about getting the phone to use 3G instead of 2G in some areas on the Nexus One.

    What next? Microsoft purchases a nuclear missile and launches it at Russia to distract everyone from the fact no one is buying the Zune?

  • by KermodeBear (738243) on Wednesday January 13, 2010 @02:59PM (#30754224) Homepage

    A politically saavy one, yes.

  • by professorguy (1108737) on Wednesday January 13, 2010 @03:04PM (#30754296)
    This is a backdoor because the obvious way to store search data is to aggregate it immediately and delete the source. Which is what any sane engineer would do.

    Enter the cops: Don't delete that data, I might want to spy on someone. What do you mean China is using that data to spy on someone? How dare they!

    And that's why it's a back door.
  • by istartedi (132515) on Wednesday January 13, 2010 @03:08PM (#30754342) Journal

    Unless I'm actually in the business of trading with the Chinese, can anybody give me one good reason not to drop all traffic from their IPs right at the router?

    I don't think I'd miss anything from there except spam. I bet many Fortune 500 companies wouldn't either, and if they had a business unit that needed to communicate with China, they could set up a special link for that. The rest of your network doesn't need access.

    It's kind of a step backwards to have to think about national borders on the 'net; but if they're going to behave this way, that has a cost. We'll just go back to a "placing a call there requires some extra code and expense" mentality.

  • by ElectricTurtle (1171201) on Wednesday January 13, 2010 @03:17PM (#30754512)
    Google made a move everybody else was afraid to make, and they're too big to be ignored. This is going to have a geopolitical domino effect, that's why everybody is now concerned. It is rare that a corporation should make such a bold statement that preempts what I'm sure are a lot of well laid foreign policy plans both public and private. They're forcing action on the issue, and now each nation is going to have to grandstand. We'll see how much real substance is addressed, but if other corporations start coming forward like a bunch of women coming out of hiding in a serial rape case, then you can be sure that for any number of constituency reasons (contributions included) there will be so much pressure on Congress that it could topple the foreign policy direction of the executive branch.
  • by ElectricTurtle (1171201) on Wednesday January 13, 2010 @03:20PM (#30754572)
    Yeah the 19th century just called and wanted to give you a little update called the Monroe Doctrine. Not new.

    Neither, technically, is that of large companies altering the course of diplomacy. British East India Company comes to mind fastest.
  • by TiggertheMad (556308) on Wednesday January 13, 2010 @03:23PM (#30754614) Homepage Journal
    When has UN condemnation ever acomphished anything?

    Even if the condemnation doesn't scare off investors (Which China wants and needs), it is the next step in the process. International diplomacy is a game with rules.

    Who exactly woud sanctions against China hurt? (Hint: not China)

    Yes it would actually hurt China. They need markets to sell to. While it wouldn't also cause other short term pain, it would allow development of markets in other countries, eroding China's long term markets. China is not the only game in town by a long shot.

    Who is going to declare war on a country with over a billion people and manufacturers most of all but the most secretive millitrary hardware for just about the rest of the world?

    Again, China is not the only market, especially for military hardware. While China is a powerful country, it cannot stand alone against the world. While warfare isn't on the table yet, China will not be able to behave like this indefinitely without suffering repercussions.
  • by davide marney (231845) * <(davide.marney) (at) (netmedia.org)> on Wednesday January 13, 2010 @03:25PM (#30754638) Journal

    The thought was, China will suffer a major loss of prestige if Google goes through with this. Other companies will follow suit, leading to loss of access, loss of influence, loss of opportunity, and ultimately, loss of business.

    China will lash out with wounded national pride, as they seem wont to do. This will further alienate them from the international community, leading to further loss of status.

    Loss of prestige will encourage civil unrest, something China dreads. In some places, China seems to be a tinderbox, just waiting to catch fire. They are suffering from the global recession just as much as anyone.

    That is a whole lot of pain that China doesn't need right now.

  • by misexistentialist (1537887) on Wednesday January 13, 2010 @03:25PM (#30754654)
    Nothing is done about the currency manipulation because a lot of profits go to American corporations. Even if it were stopped, it's unlikely that those manufacturing jobs would come back, because it's pretty hard to beat a centralized socialist economy when it comes to mass production using low-skilled labor. A lot of factories have also moved to cheaper third-world countries, and Americans will never be able to compete with people who work for a bowl of rice.
  • by Dahamma (304068) on Wednesday January 13, 2010 @03:32PM (#30754776)

    Are you serious? It's politics. It's an official statement by the US Secretary of State claiming the US govt has received evidence from Google and demands an explanation. The Chinese government is VERY conscious about world perception, and their own embarrassment or humiliation, etc. Calling them out like this will force them to respond, and they have learned from several previous International fiascos (SARS, lead, tainted milk, etc) that lying and denying everything when the proof is already out usually just causes lot more harm than good. You are right that they probably will have to deny it (lead paint is one thing, govt sponsored international industrial espionage is another) - but they are going to lose a lot of international credibility in the process.

    This kind of potential leverage in international politics and diplomacy doesn't come along very often, so I hope the US govt keeps up the statements like this to keep the Chinese govt on the defensive!

  • by Xtravar (725372) on Wednesday January 13, 2010 @03:35PM (#30754808) Homepage Journal

    Yes, because the President should help terrorize the populous by over-reacting to a stupid Nigerian with explosive underpants.

    And I don't think anyone 'controls' Hillary Clinton. She's a fierce lady.

  • by Dahamma (304068) on Wednesday January 13, 2010 @03:39PM (#30754866)

    That's more or less exactly what happened when the USA got caught using the Echelon system for the exact same purposes as the Chinese are now mounting these attacks.

    So the US was hacking into human rights workers' information in order to find and imprison its own citizens that were speaking up against them? Right.

  • Re:Statescraft (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 13, 2010 @03:44PM (#30754932)

    making it more difficult for the Chinese government skript kiddies to make headway toward their goals

    As fun as it might be to denigrate an "enemy", I suspect that the Chinese government employs a lot of crackers well above the level of skript kiddie. I imagine that they use a range of attacks from the obvious and easy (phishing) to more sophisticated, which seems to be supported by some of Google's comments on the issue.

    It is never wise to underestimate one's opponent.

  • by ElectricTurtle (1171201) on Wednesday January 13, 2010 @03:45PM (#30754938)
    Yeah, I'm sure China will be as damaged by their 'collapse' as we have been by ours.

    China is a powerhouse whether you like it or not. China has been the cultural, political, and economic epicenter of the largest continent on earth for the better part of five thousand years. Almost every society near China is directly derivative of Chinese society. China contains nearly 20% of the world's entire population. They will be second only to the US in GDP very shortly. China is second only to the US in military expenditures, and has nearly 1 million more active duty military personnel than the US (sobering considering that the US could not defeat China in any of the proxy wars it has fought in Asia). Ask the Germans or the French how well technological superiority works against vast numbers and huge territory in a conventional war. And while I'm not one of the nutjobs who think war with China is around the corner, if their economic growth falters and it destabilizes their society, they may change their approach to a more aggressive one regionally to rally nationalism, perhaps even to the point of provoking a war with India over Arunchal Pradesh or trying to absorb Taiwan.

    China is a police state, even a nightmare, but if you think China is a joke you might find that the punchline is not so funny.
  • by evilviper (135110) on Wednesday January 13, 2010 @03:45PM (#30754948) Journal

    They walk on egg shells because China is the largest nuclear threat since the USSR

    China has been a nuclear threat for several decades, and nobody has cared to do business with them until now. Though they're making noise, NOBODY in their right mind believes they are going to take an aggressive military stance against any other countries... LEAST of all the USA.

    Yes, China is the most well nuclear-armed country behind Russia, but we're talking about a HUGE drop-off there... Ditto for their non-nuclear military as well. The fact that they wouldn't stand a chance against the US in all-out conflict is the only reason Taiwan wasn't invaded decades ago.

    from a measure of hostility communism has killed more then 100 million people since it's incept. Between Pol Pot, Mao, Stalin, Castro, and countless others they are giving religion a run for it's money for "killing in the name of"

    Yeah, but the vast majority of that is internal conflict. Suicide and Homicide just aren't on the same level.

  • by icebike (68054) on Wednesday January 13, 2010 @03:45PM (#30754950)

    But they have ALREADY stopped censoring and have forced https connections for Gmail.

    The Ball is in China's court.

    They have done EXACTLY what they promised they would do.

  • by alan_dershowitz (586542) on Wednesday January 13, 2010 @03:49PM (#30755024)

    yeah, that's _alleged_, except for the case where the NSA outed the fact that France's Airbus was bribing people to secure contracts in violation of their own country's laws and international agreement, sorry about making that public. That must have been embarrassing.

    Repayment in kind implies that China is doing this because we did it to them, but it hasn't been demonstrated anywhere here that China has that much in the way of intellectual property that we've been stealing over the years. To the contrary it's always been THEM stealing from EVERYBODY, which is not alleged, it's obvious when you see knockoffs of technology pouring out of China. That's what this topic was about, despite attempts to turn it into payback against the USA.

  • by phantomcircuit (938963) on Wednesday January 13, 2010 @03:57PM (#30755140) Homepage

    International diplomacy is a game with rules.

    You're a funny guy.

  • by Shompol (1690084) on Wednesday January 13, 2010 @04:07PM (#30755286)
    Where Chinese government has to hack their way in, US govt agents simply show up and asks for disclosure. I don't think they even need a warrant for that.
    In what ways are Communists more evil?
  • Re:Statescraft (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MikeURL (890801) on Wednesday January 13, 2010 @04:27PM (#30755592) Journal
    This is a wake up call for everyone. The "party line" was that China was getting better about respecting IP. Now it appears that they not only didn't improve but have, in fact, gotten much much worse.

    It also adds an element of state sponsored terrorism because that is what is happening when a government tries to crack servers based in the US.

    And yes, I also suspect the CIA has done much worse but they have the virtue of rarely getting caught. This move by China has all the subtlety of a someone just blindly pounding the keyboard with a 16 lb ham.
  • by MrNaz (730548) * on Wednesday January 13, 2010 @04:43PM (#30755868) Homepage

    They already gave us the projected budget surplus. It's not their fault we blew it on a War On Terror.

  • by t0p (1154575) on Wednesday January 13, 2010 @04:54PM (#30756026) Homepage

    To put it in perspective, and maybe make yourself feel a bit better, you can crack open the news archives and history books for a look back at American espionage, dirty tricks, corporate/3-letter government agency joint ventures and international "development" over the these many years. We generally give as good as we get.

    So China hasn't done anything that America hasn't done. Except this time they got caught with their hand in the cookie jar. That's the real crime.

  • by ajs (35943) <ajs@@@ajs...com> on Wednesday January 13, 2010 @06:14PM (#30757124) Homepage Journal

    International diplomacy is a game with rules.

    You're a funny guy.

    And a correct one.

    As with nearly any large, social system, international diplomacy has layers of rules and exceptions and more rules and more exceptions, accreted over time.

    Chess is a useful analogy. There are standard openings in chess. Everyone who has a working familiarity with the game knows most of them at a glance. There are some other, less standard openings. Then there are crazy things that beginners do. Except, sometimes a grand master will use one of those crazy openings specifically because it's something that his opponents don't have a set response for.

  • by sgt_doom (655561) on Wednesday January 13, 2010 @07:04PM (#30757758)

    Hillary Clinton? Would that be the same Hillary Clinton who gave a speech in India, reassuring them that more Americans would be made unemployed and their jobs offshored to India?

    Would that be the same Hillary Clinton, chair of the MCC, which helped to finance the overthrow of that democratically-elected Honduran president?

    Would that be the same Hillary Clinton with the pro-war voting record when she was a senator?

    Would that be the same Hillary Clinton who gave a speech before the Council on Foreign Relations, sucking up to them and claiming she would follow their every guidance?

    Just trying for a little clarification here.....

    A tougher trade policy with China??? Someone's been smoking the strong stuff.....with a corporate fascist state now extant in America and the banksters controlling the show....how could you possibly even suggest such an extravagance????

  • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Wednesday January 13, 2010 @08:26PM (#30758934)

    Ya I'm not sure why people think that China having nuclear weapons means they are a massive threat. To use them for no good reason, they'd have to be crazy. I mean that fairly literally. Yes, China has a few ICBMs. They could cause a large amount of damage and death in some major US cities, assuming they didn't get shot down (just because the US doesn't have dedicated ABM technology, doesn't mean they wouldn't have all their things like Aegis cruisers try to shoot down the missiles). However, the US has enough nuclear arms to annihilate China, I'm talking turn the whole place in to a radioactive wasteland. What's more, China has no way of disabling a US second strike. Their ICBMs aren't accurate enough to hit US land based weapons, they aren't numerous enough, and the US would have more than plenty of time to detect the launches and respond. This is not to mention the US's sub fleet.

    So, to launch a nuclear strike on the US would be to invite national death. Even if the leaders survived, they would be the rulers of a nuclear wasteland. Their military would be gone (military targets are high priority for the US), the industry smashed, their people dead, etc. They would achieve nothing.

    Thus the only way they'd do this is if they were crazy. To use their nuclear weapons because they were mad at the US for something wouldn't make any sense, because the result would be so much worse than whatever the current situation was. So unless we are worried about China's leaders as a whole being suicidal, using nuclear arms to get what they want is just not an option.

    Also you have to remember that they aren't the sort of thing that could very well be used in a threatening situation. If China said "You do this, or we nuke you," the US's response would likely be to attempt to destroy China's weapons. They have few enough that this is possible. They also can't launch one and say "Do what we want because we'll launch more," as the response to a launch would be annihilation. They just aren't the sort of thing that you can use to try and club people with, at least not when they other people have way more of them and a way more advanced system than you do.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 14, 2010 @01:52AM (#30761240)

    how about this

    you're also blocking a lot of innocent chinese people(not government) from accessing whatever you have to offer(information, products, etc...)

    if you decide that blocking a whole ip range is worth it in the end cost/benefit(its just easier) than i guess you're willing to accept further isolating china on the net

    (maybe in the hopes that normal people will grow disgruntled with their government's censorship instead of just turning to domestic approved sources of information and products)

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