Skip to content

Information/Technology - 2. page

BBC Chinese: China’s Internet Censorship Just Banned WhatsApp

BBC Chinese recently reported that netizens inside China discovered WhatsApp’s audio, video, and image capabilities have been blocked. As of July 19, short text information could still go thru. These were the same symptoms before Google and Gmail were fully banned in China. WhatsApp is the world’s most popular messaging app, claiming a user base over one billion as of February, 2016. China, with the largest scale of Internet censorship, has so far banned nearly all of the world’s most widely used social media and communications apps, including Facebook, Twitter, Google (and its various apps), Instagram, and YouTube. China has just announced the ban of the Virtual Private Network (VPN) technology altogether. In the meantime, it tightened up the content level control on unbanned media for information regarding the passing away of China’s Nobel Peace Prize Winner, Liu Xiaobo.

Source: BBC Chinese, July 19, 2017

BBC Chinese: China Seems to Be Planning to Ban VPNs

BBC Chinese recently reported, based on a number of media sources, that the Chinese government appears to have become much stricter on domestic Internet access control. The three primary Chinese communications companies have been ordered that, by February 2018, they must ban Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) on their Internet networks. VPN refers to the technology to form an encrypted secure channel to go across the public Internet. This is the primary technology for Chinese netizens to access the free Internet outside of China’s “Great Firewall.” It has been estimated that over 30 percent of the 700 million Chinese Internet users depend on VPN technology to break the government’s firewall to visit banned websites such as Facebook and Twitter. It is technically challenging to fully ban VPN usage. At the same time, it may also impact the international companies that use VPN technology for their secure connections to their headquarters’ networks for legitimate business purposes. The VPN ban will further limit Chinese scientists, researchers, and scholars from their day-to-day research work and their communications with foreigners in the same field. Experts expressed their belief that this recent VPN ban demonstrates the Chinese government’s desperation in its attempt to obtain tight Internet control.

Source: BBC Chinese, July 12, 2017

Zhejiang Police Use Fake Communication Tower to Gather Mobile User Information

Radio Free Asia reported that the police from Zhejiang Province were found to have set up a fake mobile communication tower to gather mobile user’s information. The fake tower used a high power wireless signal transmission to force mobile devices such as mobile phones to register with it. This allowed the police to obtain mobile user’s information.

A former railroad policeman from Changsha, Hunan Province, commented that the police have long been using communication equipment to gather people’s information. The difference this time is that the police are doing it themselves, instead of going through telecom companies.

Another commentator indicated that it is a nationwide practice for the regime to use similar equipment to gather, monitor, analyze, and extract “useful” information from the general public.

Source: Radio Free Asia, July 2, 2017

China’s Aerospace Industry Faces Serious Problems

On July 2, 2017, China’s second Long March 5 rocket, carrying an experimental communications satellite, failed after it took off. This was the last test of the Long March 5 rocket before being used to launch the Chang’e 5 Lunar Probe later this year.

China had another satellite launch failure on June 19.

Sina republished an article analyzing the quality problem that China’s aerospace industry is facing:

“The young people especially (in the aerospace industry) … fight each other.  … They don’t feel any responsibility for their work and lack a rigorous attitude toward research. Their reports are full of mistakes. They don’t want to take on real work. They only prefer to direct others.”

“The quality of work has dropped dramatically. When similar experiments were done back in the 1980’s, they were reported clearly with thorough analyses. Now the reports have vaguely drawn conclusions and even the author is not sure if his test results are correct.”

“The whole society is like this.” “Good people are not rewarded and those who do nothing are not reprimanded, either.”

1. Sina, July 2, 2017
2. Sina, July 7, 2017

China News: Microsoft Released a Windows 10 Version Customized for the Chinese Government

China News recently reported that Microsoft just released a custom version of its flagship operating system Windows 10 specifically customized for the Chinese government. The Chinese version contains a modification to the general version that may collect information and send to other devices. The special edition addressed the concern the Chinese government has on network security. It requires that the operating system only store hardware and software configuration information to local storage providers rather than to services hosted outside of China. The special edition also removed some applications that the Chinese government classified as unnecessary, such as games like Solitaire. Microsoft said the custom system also has a special help feature jointly developed with China Electronics Technology Group Corporation, which is a state-owned high-tech company that develops technology serving both the military and civilian markets. Some international experts expressed their concern that the local storage of information can actually enable the Chinese government to inspect information collected with this version of Windows 10.

Source: China News, May 26, 2017

Business Daily: WannaCry Virus Disrupted PetroChina Gas Stations

On May 13 and May 14, Business Daily reported that a large number of PetroChina’s gas stations suffered major business disruptions due to the spread of the WannaCry virus. Over 20,000 gas stations in the PetroChina chain lost their Internet connection for more than 35 hours. Only 80 percent of the stations recovered after 35 hours. The impact of WannaCry spread across many provinces. Major cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Chongqing, Chengdu, Wuhan, Xiamen and Nanjing were affected. The stations could still pump gas. However, payment cards and Internet payment methods could not function. Basic cash transactions became the only settlement mechanism. After PetroChina identified the spreading trend within its network, the company proactively cut off the uplink connections of its stations in order to contain the damage. The biggest impact was actually one day ago (May 12) and a massive number of attacks of WannaCry “carpet bombed” many Chinese colleges and universities. PetroChina once had the highest market value in the world (surpassing ExxonMobil). Now it is in second place.

Source: Business Daily, May 15, 2017

Free High Quality Images Download Free Stock Images Download Free Images Free Stock Photos & Images Beautiful Free Stock Photos (CC0) Free stock photos