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Beijing dumps Microsoft - Cites "National security"

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posted on Dec, 5 2004 @ 04:38 AM
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ITnews

Beijing had received criticism for choosing Microsoft for the three-year, $3.6m deal instead of homegrown software providers, with an official from the Chinese Science and Technology Ministry calling the deal a threat to national security.

ZDNet Aus

an official at the Ministry of Science and Technology, last week accused local governments of ignoring "national interest and security" by buying foreign software, said the Financial Times.

Government contracts are important for software makers in China, said the Financial Times, since so much of the software used privately or in business in that country is pirated.

Bloomberg

About 92 percent of computer software in China is pirated, the highest rate in the world along with Vietnam, according to a July report by the Business Software Alliance, an industry group.


Beijing cancelled the deal with Microsoft in a last minute decision. It seems that China is not ready to completely open up to the world just yet.

Is this really a national security issue, and if so, in what way?

Is China worried that Microsoft software would be secretly sending information back to the United States? Or is it simply nationalist sentiment against the "white devils" getting their mits on Chinese pie?

[edit on 2004/12/5 by wecomeinpeace]




posted on Dec, 5 2004 @ 04:43 AM
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It could be purely for the same reasons many computer users choose not to use Microsoft products. They are very insecure and extrememly common place.

I may not be correct but I think they were considering using a Linux base platform, but were critisised by Microsoft (surprise surprise) and it was pointed out that certain legal conflicts may occur (dont ask me how :puz
.

Any govenrment that Microsoft as their base are somewhat mad and obviuoly not conserned about the natioanl security of homeland data.



posted on Dec, 5 2004 @ 11:51 AM
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It is good for the chinese economy because no money is leaving the country.

Chinese Programmers create Chinese Programs for Chinese Computers which are built by Chinese Workers.
If you just buy Windows, your Money keeps flowing out of the country (and very much money also)
Also, as a government, would you trust a software that comes from another country and does not allow you to read all of its sourcecode?

I believe they are now using Red Flag Linux



posted on Dec, 5 2004 @ 03:34 PM
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Originally posted by Kriz_4
It could be purely for the same reasons many computer users choose not to use Microsoft products. They are very insecure and extrememly common place.

Any govenrment that Microsoft as their base are somewhat mad and obviuoly not conserned about the natioanl security of homeland data.

So true. Weren't those Diebold machines running Windows also?




posted on Dec, 5 2004 @ 03:47 PM
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Of course it is a potential national security issue... Would North Americans use and rely on an operating system designed by muslim extremists in Syria? How about an OS designed by hardline anti-democratic communists funded by Putin? (Bush did just say he could totally trust Putin
) I don't think so... Not to mention that the MS products are always full of security holes and bugs...

tsurobito makes a very good point too.

Besides Linux is by far the best OS out there, totally open, and the price is right as well...



posted on Dec, 5 2004 @ 03:48 PM
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thats very true but think of a nation that has 85 % pirate software which are stealing money from other contries by using such software yet they will take take take yet be cheapskates who cant by legit software

which begs the ????? is it ilegal in china to pirate and steal foriegn software if not seems like nation theft and isnt anything beeing done

makes me think what if info on the net will be restricted to what contrie u are in to me this sounds like a gd idea



posted on Dec, 5 2004 @ 05:23 PM
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name one country where software piracy is not rampant


Nox

posted on Dec, 5 2004 @ 06:12 PM
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Seriously.

Internet crimes are everywhere.
I'm pretty sure I have American friends who pirate Asian software (especially songs), because they send me loads of it.

While Chinese piracy of American software is more more common, you need to consider the difference in population and GDP per capita.

You know that the CIA factbooks show that about 1/5th of Nigerian economy is from online scamming (infamous Nigerian email scam).

Software piracy is obviously an issue in China due to its large population.

I'm not saying that this gives the Chinese an excuse, but please don't consider this as just a problem with the country but a problem with each individual himself. These individuals will add up, for such a large country.

Learn to throw blame where it belongs. It's unreasonable for the gov't to monitor the entire population and the internet. It's easy to just block a few sites, but to block a software program? It only takes one person to send MS software via FTP to another, and so on.

Hackers are like bacteria. You use anti-biotics (firewalls, security protocols) on them, but eventually they'll evolve and find ways to go around it. It's a downhill battle for the gov't.



posted on Dec, 5 2004 @ 09:08 PM
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Coincidentally, I was on Anandtech earlier today and came across these articles which seem weirdly relevant:


Buffer overflow vulnerabilities, often reported by Microsoft Corporation as Windows software bugs, may be intended, built-in backdoors. A bug is a fault in software code which software makers desire to fix. A backdoor is software code that allows others access to a computer over a network connection.


www.angelfire.com...

www.itworld.com...

The buffer overflow thing sounds kind of plausible, hopefully some of our experienced coders can evaluate this.

p.s. don't be so down on hackers, white hats do a lot of good.



posted on Dec, 5 2004 @ 11:09 PM
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A lot of Americans get hot under the collar for outsourcing or even contracting for services from out-of-state providers. China has a right to choose the what software runs their computers.

[edit on 04/12/5 by GradyPhilpott]



posted on Dec, 5 2004 @ 11:50 PM
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Originally posted by jsobecky
So true. Weren't those Diebold machines running Windows also?


Yeppers. Just not the flavors many of us are used to. The Diebold machines used Windows CE which is an OS coded in Arm assembly instead of x86.

If the chinese want to use Non-M$ stuff, that's fine. I can't think of any country that wouldn't. The U.S. is a calico of sorts when it comes to OS's. Windows, Linux, OpenBSD, BeOS, MacOS, Inferno, and of course custom stuff. If they do go to an opensource direction that would be a double edged sword. On the one hand there would be no worries over gov't OS piracy, on the other.. well, since the source is known, then other countries would also know the ins and outs of it's security. This is a good thing! Perhaps a crafty white hat or at the very least a hacktivist from this side of the fence can find a way to take said fence down.



posted on Dec, 6 2004 @ 04:59 AM
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The software piracy issue in China is only marginally a matter of the number of people in the country.

Firstly, the software piracy is a percentage, not a gross number. 92% of ALL software and ALL operating systems in China are pirated. That means that OS and software developers are are scrambling for portions of just 8% of the market.

Secondly, it is a matter of utter indifference from the government. Microsoft in particular has pleaded the CCP to crack down on piracy, but the government has only made idle promises and lame attempts so far, much to the chagrin of Bill, I'm sure. That elusive Chinese market remains elusive.

Latest release progs and OS's are sold openly in the streets in little markets everywhere for less than US$1 a pop, believe it or not. Piles and piles of pirated software laid out like CDs in a music shop. Want the entire Macromedia suite and Adobe suite? US$2, thanks. The police either don't care, or they get a pay-off from the vendors to look the other way. Even in legitimate stores, the software they sell is pirated as well. You actually have to specifically ASK for an official version, and then they'll tell you they have to order it in.



It could be purely for the same reasons many computer users choose not to use Microsoft products. They are very insecure and extrememly common place.


well, since the [Linux] source is known, then other countries would also know the ins and outs of it's security. This is a good thing! Perhaps a crafty white hat or at the very least a hacktivist from this side of the fence can find a way to take said fence down.

So which system is more secure? And shouldn't governments develop their own, government-use only OS to reduce security risks?



posted on Dec, 6 2004 @ 05:47 AM
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Originally posted by wecomeinpeace
So which system is more secure? And shouldn't governments develop their own, government-use only OS to reduce security risks?

Government couldn't successfully develop a hole in a wet paper bag, let alone something as complex like an OS...

Linux's open source itself provides an abundance of security. Since you have all the inner workings of that software, it can be customized and modified to be as secure as the capability of the coders developing the mods, desire it to be.
You then also have the definite knowledge and comfortable satisfaction that your OS does not have any code snippets that allow being hacked, monitored or bugged, or allowing spies in (backdoors), or to see any data, or whatever else as far as security breaches go (as long as you trust your coders, I guess
)
If Winshmoes and its dos predecessor wasn't shipped with every computer out there for the last 25 years, and boxes were instead left empty for the user's preference to decide, I'd bet M$ would not be the superpower it is today, if it even existed now (my guess is we would be using a gui unix based system or maybe even MacOS... lol)



posted on Dec, 6 2004 @ 05:49 AM
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The US comes down heavily on poor countries wanting to migrate to open source OS. The US ambassador comes round to explain exaclty why this is would be a bad idea...


The US government wants the world to use Windoze and Macroshaft products. Why?

Firstly the US always protects its own, the biggest US multinationals are only viable because of massive government funding/protection.

Next, the security thing.. of course Windoze is the backdoor. A OS you cant open up to look inside? Fully 100% Yeehaaw american? Trust it?
Naaaah


China developed and uses Red Flag Linux for a reason.



posted on Dec, 6 2004 @ 11:46 AM
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Originally posted by Rugoolian
makes me think what if info on the net will be restricted to what contrie u are in to me this sounds like a gd idea

This is already being done in China, if this is what you are referring to:

The authors document thousands of sites rendered inaccessible using the most common and longstanding filtering practice. These sites were found through connections to the Internet by telephone dial-up link and through proxy servers in China. Once so connected, the authors attempted to access approximately two hundred thousand web sites. The authors tracked 19,032 web sites that were inaccessible from China on multiple occasions while remaining accessible from the United States. Such sites contained information about news, politics, health, commerce, and entertainment. See highlights of blocked pages. The authors conclude (1) that the Chinese government maintains an active interest in preventing users from viewing certain web content, both sexually explicit and non-sexually explicit; (2) that it has managed to configure overlapping nationwide systems to effectively -- if at times irregularly -- block such content from users who do not regularly seek to circumvent such blocking; and (3) that such blocking systems are becoming more refined even as they are likely more labor- and technology-intensive to maintain than cruder predecessors.

China



posted on Dec, 8 2004 @ 09:23 PM
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Originally posted by Lucretius
name one country where software piracy is not rampant


Vatican City?...but I would love to see a secret video of the pope using bit torrent or kazaa updating his mp3 collection..

...and yes it is a country, just only .2 sq/mi

Bentov



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