Wednesday, September 23, 2015

OpenStack 09/24/2015 (a.m.)

  • Tags: surveillance state, China, backdoors

    • Before Chinese President Xi Jinping visits President Obama, he and Chinese executives have some business in Seattle: pressing U.S. tech companies, hungry for the Chinese market, to comply with the country’s new stringent and suppressive Internet policies.

      The New York Times reported last week that Chinese authorities sent a letter to some U.S. tech firms seeking a promise they would not harm China’s national security.

      That might require such things as forcing users to register with their real names, storing Chinese citizens’ data locally where the government can access it, and building government “back doors” into encrypted communication products for better surveillance. China’s new national security law calls for systems that are “secure and controllable”, which industry groups told the Times in July means companies will have to hand over encryption keys or even source code to their products.

      Among the big names joining Xi at Wednesday’s U.S.-China Internet Industry Forum: Apple, Google, Facebook, IBM, and Microsoft.

    • The meeting comes as U.S. law enforcement officials have been pressuring companies to give them a way to access encrypted communications. The technology community has responded by pointing out that any sort of hole for law enforcement weakens the entire system to attack from outside bad actors—such as China, which has been tied to many instances of state-sponsored hacking into U.S systems.

      In fact, one argument privacy advocates have repeatedly made is that back doors for law enforcement would set a dangerous precedent when countries like China want the same kind of access to pursue their own domestic political goals.

      But here, potentially, the situation has been reversed, with China using its massive economic leverage to demand that sort of access right now.

      Human rights groups are urging U.S. companies not to give in.


Posted from Diigo. The rest of Open Web group favorite links are here.

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