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IT Home: Facebook Secretly Developing Filtering Technology for Censorship

Well-known Taiwanese technology news site IT Home recently reported that Facebook is quietly developing content filtering technology to comply with China’s censorship requirements. According to anonymous sources inside Facebook, this initiative has strong support and supervision from CEO Mark Zuckerberg. The new technology was constructed in exchange for being given permission to enter the Chinese market. However early signs show that the mechanism was designed in such a way that it will be operated by a third-party partner rather than by Facebook itself. China’s Facebook is currently blocked by China’s “Great Firewall.” The spokesperson for the company commented that Facebook has always been interested in the Chinese market, which has a population of 1.4 billion. Many observers in the industry expressed their concern over how many of its principles Facebook is willing to give up.

Source: IT Home, November 23, 2016

BBC Chinese: Over 40 International Trade Groups Wrote a Letter Objecting to China’s New Internet Security Law

BBC Chinese recently reported that more than 40 international trade associations and groups wrote a letter to the Chinese authority objecting to China’s newly passed Internet Security Act, which will take effect next June 1. These groups represent hundreds of global companies and technology organizations. The new Internet law prohibits anyone from posting content on China’s Internet that may “undermine national unity, disrupt the economic order or attempt to overthrow the socialist system.” The law also requires “key information infrastructure” service providers to store personal information and critical business data inside China. The providers are mandated to provide “technical support” to national security agencies and to pass national security reviews. The letter indicated that the new law will increase the cost of services and will damage the international companies’ partnership with China. Chinese officials said the law “won’t interfere with foreign commercial interests.” The letter, however, has the signatures of representatives of many key organizations, such as the Information Technology Industry Association, The Internet Society, the American Chamber of Commerce, the Australian Industry Group, and Business Europe.

Source: BBC Chinese, November 11, 2016

CNA: Pentagon Said Lenovo Products May Bring Network Hacking Risks

Taiwan’s primary news organization Central News Agency (CNA) recently reported, based on an article that appeared in the Washington Free Beacon, about the risks that may accompany the Chinese computer manufacturer Lenovo. The J-2 Intelligence Directorate, which reports to the U.S. Joint Chiefs and the Secretary of Defense, issued an internal warning that the U.S. military officials responsible for network security were concerned that purchasing Lenovo computers and cell phones may increase the risk of bringing network attacks into the U.S. military systems. J-2 also warned that Lenovo has attempted to get into the U.S. military network via acquiring U.S. vendors in the information industry. One U.S. official mentioned that Lenovo products were caught earlier secretly sending information to external individuals. Lenovo (U.S.) spokesperson Ray Gorman said he was not aware that the Joint Chiefs were paying attention to this matter. The spokesperson for the Joint Chiefs, Greg Hicks, refused to comment on individual reports. The Pentagon said the Department of Defense does not have a black list of suppliers.

Sources: Central News Agency, October 24, 2016
Washington Free Beacon, October 24, 2016

Xinhua: Chinese Online Crimes Spread across Borders

Xinhua recently reported from the Fourth China Internet Security Conference that research showed online criminal activities are getting more and more pervasive and are spreading across borders. What is called the "Online Dark Industry" has established an entire “industrial profit chain” reaching a revenue volume of RMB 100 billion (around US$15 billion). Many Chinese online criminals have been setting up phishing sites in Europe and the United States and have conducted different types of fraud back in China. While the cross-country investigations are highly limited due to a lack of cooperation among governments, research has shown that the international online crime rate has increased by 80 to 100 percent over the past couple of years. The study pointed out that the Chinese “Online Dark Industry” had 1.6 million “workers” as of the end of 2015. Most of the activities in this “industry” involve stealing personal information. More and more damage has been seen in the banking industry as well as in the stock market. Experts are calling for a global joint effort to battle these online threats.
Source: Xinhua, August 17, 2016

FT Chinese: China’s “People’s Daily” and UK MailOnline Swap Contents – up to 40 Stories a Week

On August 15, 2016, British Financial Times Chinese published an article titled “People’s Daily and British MailOnline Share Contents.” People’s Daily is the Chinese Communist Party’s official propaganda mouthpiece. MailOnline, which is under Britain’s Daily Mail, is very popular for gossip type news and famous right-wing views (236 million unique visitors and 15.1 million daily visitors). A new partnership between People’s Daily and MailOnline has been established, which enables both papers to exchange up to 40 articles per week. 

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C’ Member: Windows 10 Trusted Computing Is a Serious Threat

Well-known Chinese news site NetEase recently reported that Shen Changxiang, member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering (CAE), mentioned in a conference keynote address that Windows 10’s Trusted Computing technology should be considered a serious threat to China’s network security. Shen, along with a few other CAE members, expressed the belief that Windows 10’s built-in Trusted Computing deployment will completely eliminate the opportunity for China’s Trusted Computing industry to obtain any sizable market. Shen said China must have its own localized Trusted Computing industry which can provide self-sufficient production of digital certification and encryption equipment. Shen revealed that China “resisted” state procurement of Windows 8 and enhanced the national firewall against Windows XP. Now for Windows 10, China is “taking advantage of WTO rules” to utilize China’s domestic laws to constrain or inspect non-domestic products. He also discussed the weakness of China’s Trusted Computing systems.
Source: NetEase, August 5, 2016
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