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China Telco Replaces Cisco Devices Over Security Concerns

timothy posted about 2 years ago | from the tit-for-tat-for-tit-etc dept.

China 180

hackingbear writes "China Unicom, the country's second largest telecom operator, has replaced Cisco Systems routers in one of the country's most important backbone networks, citing security reasons [due to bugs and vulnerability.) The move came after a congressional report branded Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. and ZTE Corp. security threats in the United States, citing bugs and vulnerability (rather than actual evidence of spying.) Surprising to us, up to now, Cisco occupies a large market share in China. It accounts for over a 70 percent share of China Telecom's 163 backbone network and over an 80 percent share of China Unicom's 169 backbone network. Let's wait to see who's the winner in this trade war disguised as national security."

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Who Cares? (-1)

DumbMarketingGuy (171031) | about 2 years ago | (#41785061)

I have not actually read the fucking article, but with a hurricane headed for New York, the global financial system about to collapse, and a war in the Middle East don't you think there are more important things to worry about than Cisco's Chinese sales performance? Jesus, Get some PRIORITIES!!!

Re:Who Cares? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41785111)

We can only hope that the global financial system collapses. Maybe then, it can be rebuilt into something that actually works.

Re:Who Cares? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41785345)

Yeah, but then we will all have to start from zero.

How are your skills for a 1790 environment?

Lot of well educated folks right here will only be good for physical labor.

Re:Who Cares? (2)

hawguy (1600213) | about 2 years ago | (#41785683)

Lot of well educated folks right here will only be good for physical labor.

That's a good thing since there will be lots of need for physical labor.

Re:Who Cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41786287)

Finally a solution to America's obesity epidemic! Brillant!

You should care (4, Insightful)

Andy Prough (2730467) | about 2 years ago | (#41786165)

We can only hope that the global financial system collapses. Maybe then, it can be rebuilt into something that actually works.

Hope you enjoy starving/freezing to death. If you manage to hoard enough canned food and heating oil to survive, enjoy being beaten to death by thieves.

In the meantime, a drastically reduced worldwide population can enjoy its "new global financial system" - i.e. - a "king" or "lord" (the heartless guy with the most weapons) tells you what you are allowed to use for money, what you are allowed to buy, how much of it you can buy, etc. And of course, you can kiss industry and manufacturing goodbye since there will be no capital investment and no methods of distribution - so your shopping choices will be, shall we say, very limited. Talk to a North Korean refugee when you get a chance - they'll tell you how much fun the new "financial system" will be.

Re:You should care (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41786315)

If you manage to hoard enough canned food and heating oil to survive, enjoy being beaten to death by thieves.

No worries, man. I've got an assault and a 2nd degree burglary conviction on my sheet, so I'll be the thief beating you for your cans of Wolf Brand Chili (love that shit) when the Great Meltdown comes...

Re:You should care (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41786617)

and I use to deal with 100 of you guys alone and entirely unarmed every day, no biggy on the outside i'll just put a few 223 rounds through you and go back to eating dinner

Re:Who Cares? (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 2 years ago | (#41785171)

And your priority with the oncoming East Coast weather holocaust is to make first posts on /. bemoaning submitters not making every story about weather or the Middle East?

Re:NSA cares (1)

hoboroadie (1726896) | about 2 years ago | (#41785271)

It's pretty hard getting the right firmware installed by Chinese designers.

Re:Who Cares? (1)

rubycodez (864176) | about 2 years ago | (#41785279)

get your head screwed on, what's your problem?

1. yes hurricanes hit New York regularly. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_New_York_hurricanes [wikipedia.org]
2. The U.S. economy grew 2% during last quarter, quit your whining.
3. What war in middle east? just some congerssional actions against insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan, and some civil riots in syria, etc.

Re:Who Cares? (3, Funny)

JustOK (667959) | about 2 years ago | (#41785361)

I'm pretty sure the fries I just got at McDonalds were about 3 fries short. Whether by weight or by count, I'm not sure, but if you extrapolate, it probably constitutes a massive fraud.

Re:Who Cares? (2)

couchslug (175151) | about 2 years ago | (#41786051)

The storm will peter out, the global financial system will not collapse, and minor wars in the Middle East have been going on for literally thousands of years with nothing of value lost.

Nothing new or particularly interesting going on.

Re:Who Cares? (5, Funny)

Alien Being (18488) | about 2 years ago | (#41786063)

Yeah, where's the fucking storm tracker I came here to see? I'm hoping that Sandy blows NYC off the map, causes some butterfly to fart in turn creating sister storms to destroy China, the middle east and Tulsa. I fucking hate Tulsa.

Re:Who Cares? (1)

BurstElement (1332791) | about 2 years ago | (#41786619)

I would say that this type of article is exactly the type of content that Slashdot should be reporting... it involves one of the largest network infrastructure providers losing a significant part of what would probably be their largest market (if not now, then at least over the next decade)

And why should a tech news site care about the weather or problems borne out of greed and prejudice like the situation with the financial system or the unrest in the middle east?!

Seems smart to me (3, Insightful)

PlusFiveTroll (754249) | about 2 years ago | (#41785067)

Why should the Chinese trust American equipment and vice versa. It's not like these are objects that get sent to another country never to be see again, they get put on networks, many available publicly.

Re:Seems smart to me (1)

war4peace (1628283) | about 2 years ago | (#41785335)

They certainly don't trust each other because the world is fucked up. And there's a fine line between "Security concerns" and plain old fashioned paranoia.

Re:Seems smart to me (3, Funny)

JustOK (667959) | about 2 years ago | (#41785905)

How come you don't talk about the new and improved paranoia?

Re:Seems smart to me (1)

Alien Being (18488) | about 2 years ago | (#41786075)

rule #1

Re:Seems smart to me (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41786213)

what's rule #1?

Re:Seems smart to me (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41786669)

Nobody knows. Everybody that tried to leak rule #1 died under mysterious circumstances.

Re:Seems smart to me (2)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about 2 years ago | (#41786917)

I know. But I ain't gonna leak it.

I still want to live.

Re:Seems smart to me (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about 2 years ago | (#41786909)

as long as it doesn't have rounded corners, its fine.

Re:Seems smart to me (1)

Cramer (69040) | about 2 years ago | (#41785529)

Maybe because they're the ones *actually* building them??? A good bit of Cisco's hardware is built in China. (amung other places.)

Re:Seems smart to me (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41786035)

the parts that matter are the ASICs, NV and DRAM, etc. I wish i knew more about each internal piece.

Re:Seems smart to me (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41785563)

The Chinese consumer will lose, getting an inferior product.

Re:Seems smart to me (1)

Jmc23 (2353706) | about 2 years ago | (#41785809)

Except this has nothing to do with trust and security and everything to do with money.

Re:Seems smart to me (1)

Austerity Empowers (669817) | about 2 years ago | (#41786067)

Why should the Chinese trust Chinese equipment, it's all copies of western stuff anyway!

Re:Seems smart to me (1)

GrpA (691294) | about 2 years ago | (#41786743)

Why should the US trust US-designed equipment?. It's all manufactured in China anyway.

GrpA

Re:Seems smart to me (2)

TheLink (130905) | about 2 years ago | (#41786421)

They shouldn't. The USA actually has a track record of putting backdoors into stuff. e.g. Lotus Notes. http://www.heise.de/tp/artikel/2/2898/1.html [heise.de]

By the way if you use Windows, as long as Microsoft signs something, your computer will trust it. And if you also use IE, you can delete all the CAs in your browser except the microsoft one, once you go to an https website, the required CA certs will be readded automagically as long as they have been signed by the Microsoft one (try it yourself on a test machine - but if you accidentally delete all CAs you're going to have problems doing updates). To disable an untrusted CA you have to keep the cert in and unmark all the checkboxes. But what if you don't know the untrusted CA in advance?

Re:Seems smart to me (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41786679)

you can delete all the CAs in your browser except the microsoft one

...

try it yourself on a test machine - but if you accidentally delete all CAs you're going to have problems doing updates

What? You can't delete the MS CAs unless you do it accidentally?

In other news 2 years later... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41785069)

Chinas telecom backbone woes bring communications to grinding halt in east asia sparking massive civil war as the world plunges into a second great depression.

Re:In other news 2 years later... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41785223)

Pretty sure that the Chinese know how to make just as good a router as Americans. Heck, Americans taught them in the beginning and they are fully capable of advancing the state-of-the-art by themselves now.

BTW, are *any* routers actually manufactured in America, using only chips manufactured in America?

Re:In other news 2 years later... (1)

rubycodez (864176) | about 2 years ago | (#41785299)

no, the really high end high traffic routers run proprietary algorithms. iptables won't scale to continental size, sorry.

Re:In other news 2 years later... (2)

hawguy (1600213) | about 2 years ago | (#41785301)

Pretty sure that the Chinese know how to make just as good a router as Americans. Heck, they've copied from Americans in the beginning and they are fully capable of advancing the state-of-the-art by themselves now.

FTFY

Re:In other news 2 years later... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41785733)

That's why the US has so many high tech workers from China and elsewhere. The US companies hire smart people instead of US "home schooled" idiots, they design high reliability products which the US companies outsource to China (Korea, Japan, etc.) to manufacture. You didn't FTFY - You missed the reality of how many foreigners do the design work here for US companies. But it doesn't matter anyway. US corporations are making sure the US middle class nose dives and they don't give a shit about US workers.

Re:In other news 2 years later... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41785993)

You didn't FTFY. American companies willingly taught the Chinese how to build high-tech. They shipped thousands of manufacturing jobs to Asia so that they could save a buck or two. The Chinese did more than just copy; they learned.

I'm not saying there wasn't *any* corporate espionage (on both sides, BTW). But the effects on the American economy of spying pales in comparison to the effects wrought by the gutting of America's manufacturing abilities.

Re:In other news 2 years later... (1)

theexaptation (1948750) | about 2 years ago | (#41786045)

You didn't FTFY. American companies willingly taught the Chinese how to build high-tech. They shipped thousands of manufacturing jobs to Asia so that they could save a buck or two. The Chinese did more than just copy; they learned.

I'm not saying there wasn't *any* corporate espionage (on both sides, BTW). But the effects on the American economy of spying pales in comparison to the effects wrought by the gutting of America's manufacturing abilities.

Wish I had mod points, AC.

Re:In other news 2 years later... (4, Interesting)

morcego (260031) | about 2 years ago | (#41786193)

It is interesting how easily people forget.

Back in the 1950s and 1960s, Japan was the one copying, making knockouts and whatnot. But what happened is exactly what you described: they learned. And that is exactly what is happening to China right now.

Re:In other news 2 years later... (-1, Flamebait)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | about 2 years ago | (#41786399)

Because Japan and China are identical? I have a problem with the unspoken racism in your implication.

Re:In other news 2 years later... (1)

morcego (260031) | about 2 years ago | (#41786453)

And I have a problem with your stupidity, if you really think I was making a race related comment, instead of a historical one totally unrelated to race, relating only to technological copying, learning and innovation.

Re:In other news 2 years later... (-1, Troll)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | about 2 years ago | (#41786569)

Oh, I'm sure it didn't even occur to you that you were being racist. After all, racism does not require intent, and most racists are unaware of their own racism [blogspot.com] . China and Japan are as different as cheese and chalk. Saying because one country did something, the other must inevitably follow? It's because they're all yellow people, and they're all alike, right?

Re:In other news 2 years later... (1)

BurstElement (1332791) | about 2 years ago | (#41786685)

Being a little sensitive aren't we? I suppose you think the Chinese belong in a maruta factory or something?!

Clearly he was referring to the fact that only a few decades ago it was Japan, not China that was known for its cheap low quality electronics... in time China will advance and some other so called "third world" nation will take their place as the low cost / quality source.

Re:In other news 2 years later... (1)

morcego (260031) | about 2 years ago | (#41786705)

Don't waste your time replying to him, he is nothing but a stupid troll.

And yes, that is exactly what I meant. Not only that, but I believe in a few decades (if not sooner) China will be known as the creative and technological country, where the good products come from.

As I said, Japanese products were considered crappy knockoffs, with extremely low quality. Then, after a couple decades, they were the producers of great products and technologies. "Made in Japan" started meaning high quality. Even today, there are already some very good products coming from China, created and developed there.

Re:In other news 2 years later... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41786889)

I doubt that, as the price of living there goes up technology will shift to africa for cheap production and the republic of Congo will be the center of technology

Re:In other news 2 years later... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41786789)

Ching chong ting tong ling long.

Re:In other news 2 years later... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41786831)

I would actually accuse you of being racist there. Parent posts made no corralation of race to what the countries did or may do, they simply pointed out that one country has been through a similer experiance and that they expect a similer response. Nor did they introduce ethnic slurs like you have.

That said, I question if it is the same. Times change, and the pressures on China are different to those on Japan.

Re:In other news 2 years later... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41786737)

I bet you say a dislike to Obama or Hugo Chavez is racism also. This is NOT CNN or MSNBC or Huff Post. Get real sucker. That was a legitimate comparison jerk off

Re:In other news 2 years later... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41786437)

Japanese value honesty, Chinese do not. The fundamental difference will keep them apart.

Re:In other news 2 years later... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41786475)

You're missing the point. The Japanese copied. The US didn't move tons of their manufacturing to Japan.

In contrast very many US companies did intentionally move their manufacturing to China.

Re:In other news 2 years later... (5, Insightful)

m00sh (2538182) | about 2 years ago | (#41786651)

Back in the 1950s and 1960s, Japan was the one copying, making knockouts and whatnot. But what happened is exactly what you described: they learned. And that is exactly what is happening to China right now.

Just because China and Japan share some similarities does not mean they will keep increasing their similarity. The world is at a different stage now than when Japan was starting out. Power was manufacturing then but now it's information and knowledge. It was about making stuff back then but now it's about creating stuff. The modern environment may not take China where Japan went.

On one side, when China is sufficiently ahead technologically, China may decide not to be the factory of the world and dedicate millions of people and billions of yuan to research into curing cancer, solving clean energy problems and so on and generally making the lives better instead chasing consumerism. The Chinese authorities have to make things better for the population every year for everyone to be quiet and maybe everyone will have quality of life above the west European countries eventually because of this.

Or they may the big Japan producing gizmos for the world, slowly producing mega-corporations.

Or they may crash and burn.

There is a lot of murmur that capitalism has served well in the manufacturing phase of our human history but might not be best suited for post-manufacturing economies. Sitting around waiting for someone somewhere to make some breakthrough and creating industries out of it might not be the best way forward. Maybe national and global push towards solving the world's problems might be the way instead of hoping the invisible hand fixes it. Maybe a system like China where large central decisions are made and pseudo-capitalism creates efficiencies in those central pushes is the best way forward, or maybe the old communist ugliness will rear it's ugly head and create massive inefficiencies. I guess we have to wait and see where the world is headed and in that frame where China will be.

Re:In other news 2 years later... (1)

morcego (260031) | about 2 years ago | (#41786715)

You make a very compelling argument. Thank you. It is nice seeing intelligent posts here. All to rare, unfortunately.

Re:In other news 2 years later... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41786895)

And then the circlejerk was complete slashdot/r/circlejerk

national insecurity (5, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 2 years ago | (#41785089)

It's not a trade war disguised as national security, it's national security disguised as a trade war. There's been no evidence presented of any backdoors. I'm quite certain that by now, many intelligence organizations have taken the chips apart and scanned them down and if they'd found anything there would have been a reaction. But there hasn't been -- it's just been hints, allegations, and rumor. It's disinformation, because there's no truth to go on, just more communist red-baiting. Not to say China doesn't have the resources, and doesn't have a long and inglorious history of electronic espionage... but so does France and nobody says a peep about them.

The United States isn't worried about China because it poses a military threat, or a "cyber" threat, or a terrorist threat... they're scared shitless because this country has clubbed and beaten its rivals over the head with economic policies and rules. China has us by the balls on rare earth metals, and most of our consumer electronics are made in Asia. If they decide to play economic hardball, we're going to lose. For a country that's grown complacent being able to pick up a phone and make every other country on the planet bend over and drop their pants to please the all-mighty american dollar... we're fucking terrified that there's a couple billion people about to industrialize and their economy is a jaugernaut. It won't be long before our military is the only thing remarkable about our country -- and it won't be sustainable without a solid economy to back it.

In 20 years, we're going to be facing the same situation the Soviet Union did: They died because they tried to maintain their military at the expense of their economy. This is a game we're going to lose, badly. That's why every trade sanction, disinformation campaign, and high profile story about places like FoxConn are desperately sought after by our military and economic leaders... if China manages to develop its economy much more, we're screwed.

Re:national insecurity (1, Insightful)

dbIII (701233) | about 2 years ago | (#41785143)

You were "screwed" in 2008 or probably even before. Now it's all about waking up and noticing that everything changed while Bush was asleep.

Re:national insecurity (1)

rubycodez (864176) | about 2 years ago | (#41785311)

nonsense, the problems we had in 2008 were decades in the making.

Re:national insecurity (0, Troll)

dbIII (701233) | about 2 years ago | (#41786635)

Oh sorry, I'm just the engineer, decades in the making, that knows nothing about engineering according to ruby coding boy, and not an economist, presumably like ruby coding boy who can't even understand that I did not say the problems were not "decades in the making" and even had the words "probably even before" above.
Please understand what you read before you dismiss it as "nonsense" and don't just say I'm wrong because you've seen my handle before.

Re:national insecurity (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41785315)

Yep. Bush should have confronted Chine while there still was time, instead he went jerking off in Iraq and left us cleaning up.
Huawei code is based on Cisco source code. God knows what evil resides in their chips.

Re:national insecurity (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41785153)

Everyone I know who does business in France says you can't trust the French government at all. They will take every opportunity to steal secrets to give to french companies. Its quite a well known thing. Just that its all old news so it doesn't make headlines.

Re:national insecurity (1)

Fishchip (1203964) | about 2 years ago | (#41786143)

China doing this shouldn't come as a stunning surprise either.

Re:national insecurity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41785225)

...if China manages to develop its economy...

No, your just screwed.

One day some nation will say that it will not support an incursive foreign policy by the US and that will be the end to it. Happen to England after Suez and the US is on the same end of empire curve.

Re:national insecurity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41785323)

Google Lynas

Re:national insecurity (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41785351)

Posting as AC, because this is one of my areas of research. And it is impossible to "tear down the chips" like you think it is. If you only alter the chips in 1 out of 400 routers... thats enough to provide a lot of access in and of itself. And this would be statistically very hard to find. (even if you dissolve the upper layers of the IC and then progressively examine the ICs)

Plus this isn't an issue of just the hardware alone, it has to do with the intractability of hardware AND software combinations. Perhaps the "backdoor"s only "activate" when they receive a certainly formatted UDP packet, etc...

It isn't easy to find things like this in IC circuits... despite how easy you would think it is...

This PROBABLY isn't as big an issue as the politicians are hyping it up (on both sides of the isle) BUT... just like how the US has ITAR (International Trafficking of Arms Regulations) about both weapons and "things that can help a foreign military... and POTENTIAL backdoor into a major USA ISP... is s potential security (and national security{in terms of infrastructure}) issue...

Re:national insecurity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41785369)

Tear down the chips? Yeah, you have been watching too many movies.

China has the monopoly on rare earth? Yeah right, they undercut everyone so nobody else bothered with it. As China increases prices everyone else will start digging/processing in their back yards. The US has more rare earth deposits than China, they have just been left untouched for environmental or because China is so much cheaper. That could change overnight.

A puny play: Mere "ReVeRsE-PsyChoLoGy"... apk (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41785397)

That's all they're doing - punily transparent!

:)

APK

P.S.=> After the material I've been picking up on regarding HUAWEI routers? Come on, a child can see the "puny 'effete retaliation'" method @ work here...

... apk

Re:national insecurity (5, Interesting)

artor3 (1344997) | about 2 years ago | (#41785399)

A few things...

I'm quite certain that by now, many intelligence organizations have taken the chips apart and scanned them down [for backdoors] and if they'd found anything there would have been a reaction.

You are grossly underestimating the complexity of modern microchips. What you're describing simply isn't feasible for any chip of even modest complexity. To hunt for backdoors, you would really need to look at the HDL files, and even then, it wouldn't be hard to hide something malicious in one of the hundreds of test modes.

China has us by the balls on rare earth metals, and most of our consumer electronics are made in Asia. If they decide to play economic hardball, we're going to lose.

You're also overestimating China's position. There are plenty of rare earth metals outside of China. It's actually to China's detriment that they're the chief supplier right now. As the supply of easily accessible minerals goes down, the value will go up -- the countries that wait the longest before ramping production will benefit the most. As for consumer electronics, what are they going to do? Stop making iPhones? If anything, that could be a short term boon to our economy, as we would suddenly have a motive to build a bunch of new factories and hire a bunch of workers. The increased cost of electronics would bug people for a while, but eventually they'd get used to it, and maybe even stop throwing away perfectly good phones every couple years. Meanwhile, what happens to China's economy when they cut out their largest trade partner?

Now, I agree that we spend waaay too much on our military, and but your attitude is way too negative. I get that there's a lot of anti-American propaganda on the internet, and it's easy to be taken in by it, but it's mostly baseless. China will develop for a while longer, their people will demand a fair wage, their quality of life will increase, and things will even back out. The Chinese people aren't a bunch of worker ants, emotionlessly toiling away for the good of the hive. The media likes to present them that way, just as they used to do with Japan, because it's scary, and scared people consume more news.

People often predict end times in their life time. I suspect it's because life can be dull and a part of them wants to live in "interesting times". The truth is much more banal. England's a perfect example of a "fallen" superpower, and they seem to be doing quite alright.

Re:national insecurity (0)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 2 years ago | (#41785997)

You are grossly underestimating the complexity of modern microchips. What you're describing simply isn't feasible for any chip of even modest complexity. To hunt for backdoors, you would really need to look at the HDL files, and even then, it wouldn't be hard to hide something malicious in one of the hundreds of test modes.

No, I think you are grossly underestimating the resources of the global intelligence community.

You're also overestimating China's position. There are plenty of rare earth metals outside of China. It's actually to China's detriment that they're the chief supplier right now.

Really? Walk over to any electronics item in your house and flip it over. Made in ______ [fill in the blank]. And please explain to me how being the chief supplier of a thing is a problem for said supplier... because OPEC is the chief supplier of oil and nobody considers them disadvantaged.

Now, I agree that we spend waaay too much on our military, and but your attitude is way too negative. I get that there's a lot of anti-American propaganda on the internet, and it's easy to be taken in by it, but it's mostly baseless.

Why do people hate us Americans? New survey reveals it's because we're bombing them! Apparently, 100% of the respondents stated they didn't like getting blown up.

The Chinese people aren't a bunch of worker ants, emotionlessly toiling away for the good of the hive. The media likes to present them that way, just as they used to do with Japan, because it's scary, and scared people consume more news.

I have an ex-pat friend who lives in China, and in fact works for China Telecom. They're not emotionless, but they are worker ants. Look up how many people have died during the construction of, er... any major public works project. Ever. Even the Great Wall of China has bodies buried in it. No, really... sometimes people fell in, and they just poured clay in over them and kept going.

The truth is much more banal. England's a perfect example of a "fallen" superpower, and they seem to be doing quite alright.

Yeah. They were only barely able to sack an island in south america a few years ago. That's the only recent military victory they can speak to... and two of the ships in that convoy were commercial freighters. Britain's navy was once to be feared, and their empire literally spanned the globe. While they are "doing alright" in terms of quality of life for its citizens and it has a stable and developed government... they're a mere shadow of what they once were. So "doing quite alright" is a subjective view of things.

Re:national insecurity (5, Insightful)

artor3 (1344997) | about 2 years ago | (#41786147)

1. You're just going to have to trust me on this: it is not possible to find backdoors in microchips by "tearing them down". The CIA or NSA or whoever wouldn't even both to try. Instead, they would bribe some Chinese worker to tell them, or they would drop a flash drive with a virus in the parking lot and gain access to the company's emails, or something like that.

2. If we couldn't get electronics from China, we'd get them from Korea or Japan or Taiwan or Thailand or wherever. Or make them here, thanks to advances in automation. The reduction in supply would raise prices for a while, but we could adjust. Your OPEC analogy doesn't work because oil is a resource that is specific to certain areas. Labor is not.

3. Absolutely agree on why people hate the US, and I agree that our foreign policy shouldn't involve playing world cop (especially since we seem to be a dirty cop). But the fact that people's reasons for anger towards the US are valid does not mean that their predictions of America's fall will come true.

4. "The Chinese are worker ants." Now come on, that's just offensive. They're humans, just like everywhere else. People died building the Great Wall, they also died building the transcontinental railroad in the US. The US developed to the point that people weren't willing to put up with that anymore, and China will too.

5. "Britain's navy was once to be feared, ... [now] they're a mere shadow of what they once were". Wait, weren't you complaining about America's imperialism a couple paragraphs ago? What Britain "once was", was a tyrannical empire that killed countless people and destroyed nations all over the world to enrich themselves. Now they're a much calmer nation that provides good quality of life for their people, and doesn't go around hurting others. Why, exactly, would it be bad for America to follow in their footsteps?

Re:national insecurity (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41786781)

While I agree calling Brtian calm is a bit misleading. It's just not capable of what it once was. The abuse isn't gone.

Britan is hardly innocent. They do hurt people. Those people are in prisons. They can't vote. They don't get a say. They can't effect bad laws for which they were imprisoned (or may have been). Britan also has rejected the human rights the EU is trying to impose. They don't want to let the little people have a voice.

They participated like many other allies of the United States in recent 'wars' such as in: Afghanistan and Iraq. They may not be leading those wars although they are active participants. Bullied into it or not they are guilty. They had the ability to stand up and say no. There economies would not have crumbled. The United States would not have toppled their governments. No. The elite likely just want to suck up in order to take advantage of Americas economy.

They also are very active in invading the privacy of citizens. Have you watched to read the news? They've got camera everywhere. They led the way.

Re:national insecurity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41786873)

I think you underestimate the capability of the NSA. We're talking about an entity that is large enough, and employs enough people that its headquarters at Ft. Meade has its own exit on the Baltimore-Washington Parkway...

As for America's "proactive" foreign policy, no foreign army has set foot on American soil in anger since 1815. Not too many other countries can say that. Meanwhile our possession of the only true blue water navy insures worldwide freedom of navigation and seagoing trade.

Re:national insecurity (3, Funny)

m.ducharme (1082683) | about 2 years ago | (#41786419)

Why do people hate us Americans? New survey reveals it's because we're bombing them! Apparently, 100% of the respondents stated they didn't like getting blown up.

That's a great .sig, right there.

Re:national insecurity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41786483)

Really? Walk over to any electronics item in your house and flip it over. Made in ______ [fill in the blank]. And please explain to me how being the chief supplier of a thing is a problem for said supplier... because OPEC is the chief supplier of oil and nobody considers them disadvantaged.

Actually, it's funny you bring up OPEC, because many of the member countries have little or no domestic industry, save oil extraction. What do you suppose is going to happen in those countries when the oil runs out (you do believe that oil is a finite resource, don't you?). Take Saudi Arabia, for example: The economy has ~$300 billion in exports and ~$100 billion in imports. According to Wikipedia, 90% of export revenue comes from oil extraction. In other words, the country has only $30 billion in non-oil exports to pay for it's $100 billion in imports. It doesn't take a genius to figure out that domestic consumption is going to have to decrease. I suppose the ruling class expects they can get visas for the United States or Europe when the defecation hits the rotary oscillator.

China is trying to avoid that fate by allowing only Chinese companies to use it's inexpensive mineral reserves (and, by the by, they are inexpensive principally because China doesn't care about mine safety or pollution caused by mining), which is probably also a mistake. China is importing pollution and future health-care needs by incentivizing the use of domestic minerals. They are also disincentivizing the training of good managers (which is going to bite them later). Any idiot can run a business on 1000% profit margins, but it takes a skilled manager to keep things going when costs begin to rise. Right now the West gets the best of both worlds: Pollution is exported to Chinese cities, the West gets cool toys made from China's finite mineral resources, and Chinese businesses may not be cultivating its human resources (the ones who will be able to run competitive businesses when they have to pay world prices for raw materials).

So, yes, it is going to be a problem for them.

Re:national insecurity (1)

m00sh (2538182) | about 2 years ago | (#41786733)

You're also overestimating China's position. There are plenty of rare earth metals outside of China. It's actually to China's detriment that they're the chief supplier right now. As the supply of easily accessible minerals goes down, the value will go up -- the countries that wait the longest before ramping production will benefit the most. As for consumer electronics, what are they going to do? Stop making iPhones? If anything, that could be a short term boon to our economy, as we would suddenly have a motive to build a bunch of new factories and hire a bunch of workers. The increased cost of electronics would bug people for a while, but eventually they'd get used to it, and maybe even stop throwing away perfectly good phones every couple years. Meanwhile, what happens to China's economy when they cut out their largest trade partner?

They can use it give an advantage to their local industry. China is behind technologically and everyone is actively trying to make sure the Chinese don't get their hands on it. If China can give a slight advantage to their home industry and hope that the future leaders in electronics industry might be born from this. Even a tiny advantage might have a multiplier effect and take China to par with the rest of the world technologically.

Re:national insecurity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41785485)

You need to rethink this. The threat is real.

Re:national insecurity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41785671)

How will the US military compare once China starts spending some money on defence?

Look at the numbers here: https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ch.html

Males "fit for service" (318,265,016) is greater then size of the the US population (314,648,000)

Re:national insecurity (0)

artor3 (1344997) | about 2 years ago | (#41785709)

Which would matter if wars were still fought with muskets. Fortunately, they're not.

Besides, the American and Chinese economies are way too interdependent for the two to ever go to war, at least for the foreseeable future.

My economy can beat up your economy. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41785789)

Well except the Chinese economy is having problem's of their own. It's nice to speak of situations in a us vs them tone, but things are a bit more complicated than that.

Re:national insecurity (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | about 2 years ago | (#41785811)

LOL. If China plays economic hardball, hundreds of millions lose their jobs overnight and then it's revolution time. If China gets uppity, close off the Strait of Malacca and no more petroleum for them. The problem is that you are fundamentally looking at it from the American point of view, while doomsaying.

Putting backdoors into critical electronic infrastructure is a no-brainer as far as it goes. China would be neglectful if it didn't do that. Now, to get the right idea about Huawei: imagine if the U.S. government were major investors in Cisco and had placed an ex-NSA spook as the chairman of the board...and in fact, had kept its board of directors secret until last year.

Re:national insecurity (1)

clesters (793568) | about 2 years ago | (#41786013)

Trade war, or war within the bureaucracy of the US Govt itself? Remember that Cybersecurity Executive Order [cnet.com] ? Wonder who will be put in charge?

Reminds me of a little story about a power outage [wired.com] , maybe [gizmodo.com] .

We can't tell you what we know, but trust us to be in charge...

Re:national insecurity (2)

aNonnyMouseCowered (2693969) | about 2 years ago | (#41786095)

The US because of its electoral Olympics is in better shape to deal with any social disorder. It's entertainment good enough to divert the peoples attention from the system's real problems. No need for the large-scale supression of protests.

Even if it has the trade surplus, China cannot politically afford an Iraq or even Afghanistan-scale war at the moment without triggering social unrest that dwarfs the Cultural Revolution. The gap between richest and poorest there is larger than it's ever been in the US or Russia. The US can stagnate for a decade before the lower/middle-classes literally rise up in arms, while China has to maintain its "tiger" growth rate just to keep its mass of workers from having other ideas besides dutifully assembling toys and iPhones.

The only China crisis I see would come from the collapse of the present system and the rise of a new Mao.

Dumbass dictators (0, Troll)

benjfowler (239527) | about 2 years ago | (#41785165)

In shitty backwaters like Russia, China and most Muslim countries, the state controls everything, so if something happens in a Western country that the third-worlders don't like, they go nuts, because their small brains can't comprehend that in a free country, stuff can actually go on without the government having a hand in it.

The Chinese government are simply assuming that Western governments are as vindictive, backwards and thin-skinned as they are. This just shows what a bunch of pathetic losers they are. They deserve only ridicule.

Re:Dumbass dictators (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41785601)

I am a supporter of president Obama and I disapproved this message.

Re:Dumbass dictators (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41785799)

In shitty backwaters like Russia, China and most Muslim countries, the state controls everything.

That pretty well describes the US, too, except the government uses corporations to do their bidding.

Re:Dumbass dictators (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41786893)

In shitty backwaters like Russia, China and most Muslim countries, the state controls everything.

That pretty well describes the US, too, except the government uses corporations to do their bidding.

I think you got that backwards.

Smart on their part (1)

WindBourne (631190) | about 2 years ago | (#41785205)

One thing I like about CHina is that they are smart enough to realize that national security IS an issue. They are in a cold war with the west and know that if they can not control an area economically, then they should avoid that same issue.

Re:Smart on their part (1)

war4peace (1628283) | about 2 years ago | (#41785349)

Only they DO control it.

Re:Smart on their part (1)

WindBourne (631190) | about 2 years ago | (#41785945)

Not if we do not bring their equipment into our infrastructure. The west needs to look carefully at what is happening WRT China.

Cisco is no longer what is used to be (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41785207)

Cisco is the Microsoft of the networking world - the household name that's failing to let go of the past and embrace the future. Their saving grace is that Juniper doesn't have a Steve Jobs figure. Nevertheless, anyone switching away from Cisco shouldn't be viewed as a political choice, but rather a rational choice.

Not surprising at all (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41785293)

"Surprising to us, up to now, Cisco occupies a large market share in China. It accounts for over a 70 percent share of China Telecom's 163 backbone network and over an 80 percent share of China Unicom's 169 backbone network."

Not at all... you think they built that snazzy internet firewall and surveillance system with home grown tech? Hell no! They've been buying the best equipment and services from U.S. companies for a long time:

http://wraltechwire.com/business/tech_wire/opinion/blogpost/1166609/

Better Spyware for Citizen Control (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41785407)

Art of War: "To increase Central Family power, take advantage of all situations to increase surveillance." "Any excuse will work, even trade war."

Bugs in Cisco routers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41785841)

"China Unicom, the country's second largest telecom operator, has replaced Cisco Systems routers in one of the country's most important backbone networks, citing security reasons [due to bugs and vulnerability.)"

'The "backdoors" that Cisco and other networking companies implement in their routers and switches for lawful intercept are front and center again at this week's Black Hat security conference. A few years ago, they were cause celebre in some VoIP wiretapping arguments and court rulings'. link [networkworld.com]

A trade war with whom? (4, Insightful)

macbeth66 (204889) | about 2 years ago | (#41785843)

Let's wait to see who's the winner in this trade war disguised as national security."

A trade with whom? Both companies' equipment is made in China. Cisco just sells their stuff.

As for paranoia, the US should be paranoid about Cisco stuff be made in China. It certainly gives me the willies. As does the fact that our medicine and vitamins are made over there as well. But that has had a good affect on me, I guess, as I am eating more local grown foods and staying away from processed foods. Except for Heath bars. Can't resist those.

Re:A trade war with whom? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41786221)

I have to wonder: how much of that cisco crap is actually authentic? I bet a lot is 'knockoff' cisco stuff. Lolcat

Re:A trade war with whom? (2)

BulletMagnet (600525) | about 2 years ago | (#41786411)

Both companies' equipment is made in China. Cisco just sells their stuff.

Uhm my ASA 5505 says Made In Mexcio.

Re:A trade war with whom? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41786573)

assembled in mexico with parts sourced from various asian countries.

Re:A trade war with whom? (1)

aurashift (2037038) | about 2 years ago | (#41786819)

You've already convinced the southern states we need to bomb Mexico, no need to involve China in all this. Lets pick fights we can win.

Re:A trade war with whom? (4, Interesting)

m00sh (2538182) | about 2 years ago | (#41786709)

As for paranoia, the US should be paranoid about Cisco stuff be made in China. It certainly gives me the willies.

Don't worry, the generation after you won't share the same sentiment. Each successive generation have seen larger and larger portions of the world as their "empathy circle". People identifying themselves by country is just a few generations old; before that people identified themselves more by the city or province they were from and before that a clan they belonged to. The future generations will see the a Chinese as just another person living their lives and trying to generally make things better. They certainly won't get willies imagining them as enemies fervently trying to take something away from you.

Passive Aggressive, much? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41786355)

subject says it all

Huawei is controlled by the PLA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41786815)

Huawei is controlled by the People's Liberation Army. Ditto ZTE and Lenovo. And China is a constant source of cyberattack. Under the circumstances, it's best to not let our adversaries build out our telecommunications infrastructure.

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