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If You're a Foreigner Using GPS In China, You Could Be a Spy

timothy posted about a year and a half ago | from the just-want-to-know-where-I-am dept.

China 219

tedlistens writes "China has accused Coca Cola of espionage for its 'illegal mapping,' allegedly with the use of GPS 'devices with ultra high sensitivity.' On its face the case looks like yet another example of China's aggressive sensitivity about its maps, no doubt heightened by its ongoing fracas with the U.S. over cyberwar. Li Pengde, deputy director of the National Administration of Surveying, Mapping and Geoinformation, said during a radio interview on Tuesday that the Coca Cola case was only one of 21 similar cases involving companies using GPS devices in Yunnan to 'illegally obtain classified information.' According to Chinese authorities, geographical data can be used by guided missiles to strike key military facilities — a concern that one GPS expert says is overblown at a time when the U.S. government already has high-precision satellite maps of China. Nevertheless, Chinese law dictates that foreigners, be they companies or individuals, are prohibited from using highly-sensitive GPS equipment in China."

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Bad idea? (5, Funny)

enigma32 (128601) | about a year and a half ago | (#43187461)

Maybe they shouldn't have Coca-Cola deliver refreshments to their secret military installations? ;)

Re:Bad idea? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43187957)

The question is, as with many (local) gouverments rules, can they (and other (local) gouverments) describe/define the limits you need to be inside of to not to be labeled as someone violating those (local) rules.

If they can't than the rules (laws) are just there to criminalize the civilians (and China is as bad in this respect so some (other) "civilized" countries) and/or visitors thereof.

So, don't get your nickers into a bunch because the accused country/organisation isn't the one you're in. Your own country might be as bad, but its antics maybe simply accepted (by you) as "a fact of life" ...

Re:Bad idea? (2, Funny)

Austerity Empowers (669817) | about a year and a half ago | (#43188259)

Hey, given how frequently my employers want to send me to China to train their idiotic "engineers", knowing all I have to do is possess a sensitive GPS device is all I need to know.

I await the banhammer China, [sung to the mighty mouse theme] here I come to train your slaves!

I am an American (5, Interesting)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about a year and a half ago | (#43188549)

and I live outside of America because my business is outside of the United States

And you know what ?

For the past decades I've been contacted by "someone" asking me for my "cooperation" so that they can use my company as a cover up to spy on the countries that my business has located branches and local contacts

When I told them that I do not want my company to be involved in some espionage activities "they" remind me of my "duty" to my country, that I should be "patriotic", that I should aid them in "defeating the enemies"

Of course, I can't tell you where my business branches are located - or they will know who I am

Just want you guys to know what is going on in the real world

Re:I am an American (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43188715)

Thanks for posting through slashdot. We will now trace and destroy you.

Re:I am an American (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43188751)

Well, how much did they offer you? Apparently it wasn't enough and now you're all offended.

Legitimate complaint? (4, Insightful)

Immerman (2627577) | about a year and a half ago | (#43187961)

Heh.

Actually seems like it could be a semi-legitimate complaint to me. Realistically what applications are there for a high-precision GPS outside of geological/territorial surveys and military intelligence? Sure we've got the satellite maps, but one of the nice things about those maps is the ability for someone with a GPS on the ground to make "X is here" annotations for important locations. For military purposes the ability to know within a few feet/yards where a strategic "soft spot" is could prove very valuable in terms of, say, disrupting infrastructure with a minimum of the sort of civilian collateral damage which could be used to sway international opinion against you.

Re:Legitimate complaint? (5, Insightful)

tragedy (27079) | about a year and a half ago | (#43188193)

Realistically what applications are there for a high-precision GPS outside of geological/territorial surveys and military intelligence?

Ooh, ooh, teacher, teacher! I know this one! It's knowing which freaking road you're on when there are several close together.

Seriously, what kind of question is that?

Re:Legitimate complaint? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43188803)

Except, funnily enough, high precision GPS doesn't help you find out which road you're on in China because the maps are purposefully inaccurate. Fun stuff.

Re:Legitimate complaint? (4, Insightful)

hedwards (940851) | about a year and a half ago | (#43188329)

You think that satellites can't do that? This is just about appearances, nothing more, or they just wanted access to those phones for industrial espionage reasons.

This is about as legitimate as banning hunting rifles because they could shoot down military planes. I'm sure it's technically possible to get lucky, but it's rather unlikely that somebody is going to be able to hit something going that fast that far up on purpose.

Re:Legitimate complaint? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43188693)

Openstreetmap.

Fuck China (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43187465)

I'm just going to say it. Fuck China. Seriously, fuck China right in the ass with pollutants, cyber crime, civil unrest, and human rights violations.

Re:Fuck China (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43187563)

I'm just going to say it. Fuck USA. Seriously, fuck USA right in the ass with pollutants, cyber crime, civil unrest, and human rights violations.

Re:Fuck USA (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43187731)

so the "fuck China" gets a 3 and "fuck USA" gets a -1?
Cybercrime: Styxnet most likely created by USA and Israel
civic unrest: for the last 3 days in Brooklyn blacks are rioting because yet another 16 black kid was shot to death by the Police
Human rights violations: Guantanamo.
Fuck ./ for it turns it is just another China bashing web site.

Re:Fuck USA (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43187853)

Obviously, if one group is doing something, then they can't blame the other for doing something. That is just how it works. People not actively doing horrible things in their group have no right to say those things are horrible in another group. They can only talk about horrible things that their group is doing exclusively.

Re:Fuck USA (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43188719)

Slashdot is a US website. Most users here reside in the US... There might be a slight bias, even though /. tries to be neutral.

Re:Fuck USA (5, Insightful)

poity (465672) | about a year and a half ago | (#43188799)

Look at how Noam Chomsky, Michael Moore, Glenn Greenwald, Amy Goodman, and other critics of the US live and prosper in the US. Now, look at how their Chinese equivalents are dead, rotting away in jail, under house arrest, or in exile.

That's all you need know to understand that the statements "Fuck China" and "Fuck USA" are weighed differently.

Fuck you PLA propaganda officer (1)

Su27K (652607) | about a year and a half ago | (#43188731)

When China is finally freed from communist dictatorship, you and your bosses will be hanged in front of Tiananman Square, I'm waiting for that day to come to piss on your corpse

Re:Fuck China - No Fuck You (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43187579)

China makes almost everything you utilize on your daily life, directly or indirectly.

This is not by your choice but by the companies you buy utilities and electronics.

China also owns most of US foreign debt.

This is also by design since china has been buying it from the free markets.

Deal with it.

Re:Fuck China - No Fuck You (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43187925)

Wrong - us citizens own most of the debt.

Re:Fuck China - No Fuck You (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43188009)

Did you miss the part when he said "foreign"?

"Foreign governments hold about 46 percent of all U.S. debt held by the public, more than $4.5 trillion. The largest foreign holder of U.S. debt is China, which owns more about $1.2 trillion in bills, notes and bonds, according to the Treasury."

Re:Fuck China - No Fuck You (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43188461)

Did you miss the part where he said "most of US foreign debt"?

1.2 trillion out of 4.5 trillion is not 'most of'.

Re:Fuck China - No Fuck You (5, Informative)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about a year and a half ago | (#43188171)

China also owns most of US foreign debt.

Actually, China owns about 8% of our national debt. [about.com]

Even if you only consider debt own by foreign countries, China owns only 26% of that, about the same as Japan.

Re:Fuck China - No Fuck You (2)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | about a year and a half ago | (#43188349)

It's the price they pay to deflate their currency.

No, Chinese workers made all that (1)

Su27K (652607) | about a year and a half ago | (#43188737)

Not the Chinese communist dictatorship government, the worker and people of China wants to fuck their government too.

Re:Fuck China (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43187587)

If the rationale provided by China for banning "highly-sensitive" GPS is genuine (and that's one wobbly "if" right there) then Allah-or-whomever praise the US; all such regimes should live in perpetual fear.

Thankfully, after more than four wasted years of temporary insanity we are resuming [thehill.com] our GMD deployment, so fuck North Korea and their ballistic pipe-bombs too.

The US is headed the same way, not as far along (0)

raymorris (2726007) | about a year and a half ago | (#43187613)

The US is headed in the same direction, this just shows where the US will be in 15 years. When a majority want a nanny state, when they give the government all the control, and send all money to the government, that's what you end up with. There was a time when the US stood for individual freedom, for each person making their own decisions (and reaping the rewards / consequences), I'm afraid that time is gone. We've asked Washington to take over our lives and they'll happily do so, just as China's government has.

Re:The US is headed the same way, not as far along (5, Insightful)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year and a half ago | (#43187647)

There was a time when the US stood for individual freedom...

When?

Re:The US is headed the same way, not as far along (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43187687)

Before 1913.

Re:The US is headed the same way, not as far along (-1, Troll)

ub3r n3u7r4l1st (1388939) | about a year and a half ago | (#43188147)

A little more specific.

Since the enactment of the federal reserve act of 1913 the USA has signed away its financial (and ultimately, political) soverignity to a group of private indivduals made up of a certain ethnicity/race.

Re:The US is headed the same way, not as far along (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43188303)

LOL, Paultards.

Re:The US is headed the same way, not as far along (5, Insightful)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about a year and a half ago | (#43188229)

Before 1913.

In 1913 we had a president who openly advocated white supremacist policies [wikipedia.org] and praised the KKK. Women were denied not only the vote, but many inheritance rights, right to serve on juries, and were openly discriminated against in education, financial services, and employment. The police regularly colluded in violently suppressing organized labor.

If you were a rich white guy, 1913 may have been the golden age. For everyone else, it wasn't so good.

Re:The US is headed the same way, not as far along (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43187703)

When?

When you could simply move west and remove yourself from the boundries of civilization. Of course, as time went on, you had to go further and further west.

With California, Oregon, Washington and even Alaska firmly under the heel of the Federal boot, there's nowhere left to go. At least not until we start off-planet colonization, which may or may not happen in the next few hundred years or so.

It's a rather sad state of affairs, because society - modern or otherwise - is no place for the self-reliant.

Re:The US is headed the same way, not as far along (2, Interesting)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about a year and a half ago | (#43187865)

You can still get there in Alaska.

Re:The US is headed the same way, not as far along (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43187713)

Well, it was called New France/Spain at the time.

When wasn't USA a beacon of freedom? (1)

Su27K (652607) | about a year and a half ago | (#43188753)

Pretty all the time I can think of. Just because it has flaws doesn't mean it can't be a model for the rest of the worlds, since the rest is much worse.

not as long as the bill of rights is in place (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about a year and a half ago | (#43187697)

not as long as the bill of rights is in place

A little late (1)

raymorris (2726007) | about a year and a half ago | (#43187837)

A little late for that.

the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

These days you can get busted for a Pop Tart that is vaguely shaped somewhat like a gun.

Re:The US is headed the same way, not as far along (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43188203)

No No No No No No No. It's great to say "the US has problems" but you're an ignorant fuck if you think the US is anywhere near China in these regards, or is headed that direction and will converge within 15 years.

Re:Fuck China (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43187669)

If you want to see photos, use that as a search term on images.google.com safesearch off.

Re:Fuck China (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43188741)

You're saying it wrong; it's: " Cops are so stupid!" All they're good for are guarding jails and enforcing court orders; it's been a universal problem that's been a bane to humanity since time immemorial.

The various factions in the Middle East are fighting each other to be the ones in control; those in Germany at one time thought it was all about them and had a master plan that was best for everyone when they controlled everything--the authenticated authorities in China aren't any different. Yet, especially when they lack any checks and balances, this experience of being "security" seems to mean to them everyone else are stupid, less than human and only they can do everything in the best way for everyone else.

fair play (2)

volmtech (769154) | about a year and a half ago | (#43187473)

We should charge China with spying using all those GPS units they send here, not counting the cell phones that also have a GPS chip. Embargo all of them.

Re:fair play (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43187679)

Well US is full of GPS units not made on US soil since nothing high-tech is manufactured there anyway recently.

Re:fair play (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43188075)

Hang on, do you consider an "insult" to Coca Cola to be an insult to the USA and you personally? That is what I infer.

Utterly imbecilic if that is the case.

INforMation LeAk (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43187477)

Because they know what they will be doing with the data they have from America and it scares them!

China.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43187505)

A SPY!!!

another day, another China bashing article (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43187523)

How about trying to go around USA and taking photos of bridges??? You can be arrested for that. Sheesh even /. is turning into a China bashing site but then again, what do one expect???

Re:another day, another China bashing article (1)

Hartree (191324) | about a year and a half ago | (#43187659)

So, you're saying that ACs aren't all underpaid bored guys wearing military uniforms that troll slashdot from an office on the outskirts of Shanghai?

Citation needed (3, Insightful)

raymorris (2726007) | about a year and a half ago | (#43187851)

A claim like that requires a citation.

Re:another day, another China bashing article (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about a year and a half ago | (#43187887)

Citation Needed.

Re:another day, another China bashing article (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43187913)

http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2012/03/nyc_tourists_or_terrorists.html

http://www.nyclu.org/files/releases/nyclu_letter_to_kelly1.pdf

So Iranian agents taking pics of airports (1)

raymorris (2726007) | about a year and a half ago | (#43188131)

Your cited spurce says:

Authorities have interviewed at least 13 people since 2005 with ties to Iran's government [taking pictures of airports, etc.]

You said:

taking photos of bridges??? You can be arrested for that.

IF I were an agent of the Iranian government, and I was on a watch list causing the government to be interested in what I was doing, and I wax taking pictures of airports, I could be interviewed. Good or bad, decide for yourself, but it's good to be clear on what is actually going on.

Re:So Iranian agents taking pics of airports (2)

tragedy (27079) | about a year and a half ago | (#43188277)

Do they determine what constitutes "ties to Iran's government"? Does it mean Iranian diplomats, Iranian government ministers, vacationing bureaucrats from some government agency, vacationing postal workers, vacationing relatives of postal workers, students in the country on government loans, or just anyone Iranian since anyone from Iran has a "tie" to the Iranian government by virtue of being a citizen?

I mean, seriously, this is stupid. If someone wants to get clandestine pictures of things in plain view of the public, they will get them. There is no way to stop it from happening. Interviewing people conspicuously taking pictures in public places is absolutely useless.

Good or bad, decide for yourself, but it's good to be clear on what is actually going on.

Authorities are helpfully informing anyone who might be a foreign spy that they're being watched so that they can know, through process of elimination, which agents are _not_ being watched? Xenophobic people in positions of authority, trying to play hero, are participating in meaningless harassment that won't make a dent in any real intelligence-gathering operation?

Re:another day, another China bashing article (1)

Entropius (188861) | about a year and a half ago | (#43188579)

You may be arrested for that by police who don't know what the law is, but in the US you will have the ACLU rushing to your defense, and you will ultimately not be convicted of a crime.

In China, there is nothing like the ACLU, since the Chinese government sees lawyers who try to actually hold the government to its own laws as threats to be addressed.

Re:another day, another China bashing article (1)

hedwards (940851) | about a year and a half ago | (#43188697)

I used to be a security officer and that's simply not true. At most, you might be questioned about it, and even that's relatively unlikely unless you're already under surveillance. But, if they're going any further than that, you've likely done something else that raised suspicion.

Because China (the government) needs to be bashed (1)

Su27K (652607) | about a year and a half ago | (#43188763)

They stand for everything that is wrong with this world, they need to be stopped before it's too late.

censoring comments now too eh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43187539)

where did my comment just go??? fukken fashists

Re:censoring comments now too eh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43188235)

This post was removed due to Dice content standards violations.

If you're a foreigner in the US usaing a camera... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43187581)

you could be a terrorist.

Let's take a closer look at home too! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43187627)

Taking simple public pictures in the USA isn't much different these days, why don't we fix what's wrong in our own country before we start talking about what is wrong with others? Yes it is idiotic but can't say I'm standing on better ground in the US these days either!

Classified Information: (2)

Hartree (191324) | about a year and a half ago | (#43187631)

Coke got sensitive classified military information that their delivery vehicle that was three hours late was sitting in the parking lot of a local bar all that time.

(The corollary is that the driver they fired was a son of a local party official. Bad idea.)

Get out (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43187673)

Just get out of China.. stop spying on them and go home to your damn USA and fix your problems. You're already spying everywhere and waging war in half of the middle east. The whole world is sick of you.

Re:Get out (1)

VocationalZero (1306233) | about a year and a half ago | (#43187911)

go home to your damn USA and fix your problems

And yet, one of the USA's biggest problems is China spying on US corporations. Though, unlike China's propaganda division, I admit that the Tu Quoque fallacy is not a defense for USA's (or China's) actions.

Re:Get out (1)

Marxdot (2699183) | about a year and a half ago | (#43188089)

one of the USA's biggest problems is China spying on US corporations

Is it?

Re:Get out (1)

VocationalZero (1306233) | about a year and a half ago | (#43188271)

From what I've heard in the industry, it is. This BBC article [bbc.co.uk] is a little dated but is a good outline of some of the key points. Popular Mechanics [popularmechanics.com] did a good piece on the issue a few years back, if you're up for a longer read.

Re:Get out (5, Informative)

Tailhook (98486) | about a year and a half ago | (#43187923)

Just get out of China.

But keep sending your food [ibtimes.com] .

And keep sending us your industry. [washingtonexaminer.com]

Oh, your tech too. Keep sending that [chinadaily.com.cn] .

Otherwise, just stay the hell out, round-eye.

Re:Get out (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43187979)

I sort of agree with you. I often wonder what the point of these "anti-china" posts are all about.

On one hand you have the USA, and its rules and gvt. On the other you have China, with a different set of rules and different gvt.

I think Its fairly rare to see China tell the US what to do, but frequently the US tells China what to do. If you don't like China and its laws don't go there. No one "forced" Coke to go to china, they did it because they saw a huge market to sell their products to.

I am fairly sure the US expects visitors to follow US laws when in the US but i don't understand why they feel they can use US laws when not in the US? Maybe in the US you have a right to take detailed GPS maps of wherever you want, but Coke wasn't doing that in the US. They did it in a more restrictive country which specifically doesn't want you doing this. The law may be totally stupid for many reasons, but don't violate them then complain.

Lastly, as many others have posted I'd like a pro-american-freedom type to go photograph a US nuclear plant or gvt building with a GPS and see how that works out for you. Hopefully the plant you choose is not within the 200 mile border zone where your "rights" are suspended and you are end up being labelled a "terrorist".

As an amateur photographer i have been hassled more then once for taking pictures of US buildings while on PUBLIC PROPERTY (sidewalks). Doesn't seem very "free" to me.

Lastly, for what its worth I am a Canadian who has lived in both the US and China.

Yeah, when Germany has Nazi gov it has rules too (1)

Su27K (652607) | about a year and a half ago | (#43188797)

I guess you're ok when they follow their rules to kill people? The US tried isolationism back in the beginning of last century, it doesn't work, like it or not the world is interconnected, what China does doesn't just affect Chinese, it affects the whole world. The only thing Chinese government fears is foreigners (at least for now, once China got 10 aircraft carriers, you may not feel that easy in China), that's why you don't understand how evil Chinese government is, and why they need to be stopped.

so people from the outsite can't take there cell p (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about a year and a half ago | (#43187675)

so people from the outside of china can't take there cell phone with GPS to china??

Re:so people from the outsite can't take there cel (1)

Shavano (2541114) | about a year and a half ago | (#43188153)

Not unless you want the Chinese government to use it to track you wherever you go and aren't worried about them taking all of your private information and your passwords into corporate accounts and putting malware on it that will open a back door when you hook it back into your network when you get home.

These days, tech companies send their employees to China with scrubbed laptops and burn phones for this reason. Then they scrub them again as soon as they get home.

Re:so people from the outsite can't take there cel (1)

sdsucks (1161899) | about a year and a half ago | (#43188587)

These days, tech companies send their employees to China with scrubbed laptops and burn phones for this reason. Then they scrub them again as soon as they get home.

The sad part is how long that took to become the norm.

I was recommending this long ago, and only in the last year or two has it become commonplace. Of course, I do the same thing when I travel to the US - except then I don't even bother copying my legally purchased mp3's as I know there is a good chance I'll get harassed about them.

GPS laws are like this all over the place (4, Interesting)

imidan (559239) | about a year and a half ago | (#43187709)

If you do a lot of travelling, you will find that GPS laws are different everywhere. Many countries won't even allow you to bring one across the border. Defense against enemies obtaining high quality maps is usually the reasoning. Sometimes, you can bribe a customs guy to let you bring it in. But you shouldn't be flaunting GPS when you're visiting a place like that. I think China should be more free, but I can't get too upset when they enforce their existing laws against visitors who break them, even when the laws are out of date or seem silly.

The part I find funny... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43187769)

Is that they think Coca-Cola can do any more harm to their country. They've probably already hooked seventy-five percent of their nutritionally-absent, tooth-rotting, dehydrating, over-blown, over-advertised products or another, and will have the entire country hooked in another decade as more old people die and another generation steps into the shoes of hyperactive, self-aware ten-year-old brats. I mean, the stuff is so addictive that even I have a craving once every month or so and I went from a guy who drank a half-gallon of bourbon (or the equivalent), shot a quarter-ounce coke, shot an eight-ball of meth, another quarter-ounce of heroin, dropped some acid to make the nighttime more interesting, and took ecstasy if it was a Friday night to a guy who sometimes gets high on the weekends - mildly, and only if it fits in with my plans. Coca-cola is almost as bad as cigarettes (those I just cannot fucking quit).

Harm yes, but not through GPS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43187891)

Sugar-filled cola is the main cause of obesity, metabolic syndrome and type-II diabetes, so China is dead right that the Coca-Cola company is doing harm to their country.

Not as much harm as it's doing to the US though, so on balance you'd think they'd be happy. :P

Don't worry, China... (2)

gubon13 (2695335) | about a year and a half ago | (#43187801)

...I've got Apple Maps. Even if I geotagged one of your military sites, I'm just as likely to inadvertently order a missile strike on the Superdome.

One Two Three (4, Informative)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about a year and a half ago | (#43187859)

This makes me think of the classic 1953 Billy Wilder comedy involving a Coca-Cola executive going to East Berlin to open up the iron curtain for Coke products.

Hilarious in a dated sort of way. Tremendous pacing, starring James Cagney.

A great way to pick up mid-century American culture.

Misleading title! (2)

VocationalZero (1306233) | about a year and a half ago | (#43187873)

I entered this story under the pretense that I too could become a spy.

Posted from China, Texas.

What "classified information"? (2)

Zadaz (950521) | about a year and a half ago | (#43187901)

If it really is GPS then it's simply the local time, broadcast in the clear. How is that classified?

Re:What "classified information"? (2)

Hadlock (143607) | about a year and a half ago | (#43188015)

Ground truth does not always equal what is said on a map. It's hard to read the signs that say "one way" from a satellite photo. It's also a lot easier for someone to come back to america, look at their GPS track and say "yep, there's definitely an entrance to an underground bunker here on this street" etc etc.Beijing is riddled with nuclear bunkers with entrances on to public streets, but they're poorly documented in english. Also, government mapping agencies tend to "forget" to put things on maps. BT tower, tallest building in London for many years and a major telcom antenna platform for the city/country, the address was a national secret, it existed on no map in public record.

Re:What "classified information"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43188029)

What are you talking about? It's a GPS receiver. It doesn't broadcast anything. It's the collection of location data that's the alleged classified information.

*Yawn* (1, Insightful)

Greyfox (87712) | about a year and a half ago | (#43187929)

We've mapped every inch of your country with satellites already. Get over it.

Re:*Yawn* (1)

tftp (111690) | about a year and a half ago | (#43188573)

Satellite maps have no accurate references to coordinates. The satellite knows where it is, and it knows where it points the camera to, but the error is too large from hundreds of miles away. You can see a lamppost, but you don't know its exact coordinates. The nearest lamppost that you do know coordinates of is not in this photo.

This is why you need to take the satellite photo and then send someone who will stand by that specific lamppost, look at his GPS and write: "This is xx.xxx North and yy.yyy East." One such point will pin the map down, modulo rotation; two points will define the flat map; more points will define the map on a sphere and provide for error correction.

Then don't come to China please (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43187987)

The Chinese Gov't may pretend to welcome you, some pretty Chinese girl may love your money and sell sex to you, but the major part of Chinese people don't. So don't come to here please. Don't buy "made-in-China" please.

I was going to say something about China, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43188067)

they aren't strip searching, irradiating, and molesting people coming into the country.

Uhhh... (1)

Patent Lover (779809) | about a year and a half ago | (#43188119)

Of course, nobody would use Google satellite maps or anything.

Pretty stupid of Coca Cola (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43188179)

Ignoring for a moment if GPS mapping is a security risk or not, if it's against the law Coca Cola shouldn't be doing it. Of course, they've never been punished for killing people so they probably have the judge in their pocket and just don't give a shit.

GPS on cell (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43188221)

This is a very convenient law. Everyone has a cell phone with them these days, and they all have GPS receivers. That means everyone walking around are capable of "mapping", with or without permission. And in China, having the ability to commit a crime is good enough reason to convict. So if the government, or just one of its officials, wants to arrest you, there is one crime you are suspected of.

As for ability of committing a crime as evidence enough for correction, there is a joke that goes around: all male are guilty of rape, having the equipment to commit the crime with them at all times.

I am soo confused :( (1)

Phizzle (1109923) | about a year and a half ago | (#43188241)

My highly sensitive GPS receiver is made in China and I got it from a street vendor in Shenzhen. Sooo confusing!

Laws "dictate" in any country (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43188243)

So if that law says it's forbidden to use high sensitivity GPS in that country, what the f*** was Coca Cola doing with that gear? And why are we even discussing this?

Re:Laws "dictate" in any country (1)

WindBourne (631190) | about a year and a half ago | (#43188419)

I am sure that it is a NORMAL GPS and every company uses these to determine where their assets are.

Can't blame them. (1)

WindBourne (631190) | about a year and a half ago | (#43188265)

That is what they are doing to the west. They do not want the same thing to happen to them.

Who"s on first? (1)

slick7 (1703596) | about a year and a half ago | (#43188377)

The planet was here before people were, If an area is to be classified, prevent unauthorized people from gaining access to the area. Does the use of recconasence satellites violate international treaties?

Re:Who"s on first? (2)

WindBourne (631190) | about a year and a half ago | (#43188427)

What international treaties? And since China ignores all treaties, why would it matter now?

China mapping (5, Interesting)

Stiletto (12066) | about a year and a half ago | (#43188457)

As someone who works for a company that does significant mapping business in China, I'm getting a kick out of these replies. It's funny how sensitive they are to GIS information and maps. The Chinese government has these silly rules about all maps having to show China's borders the way they imagine them to be, and you have to show certain islands and other sensitive areas as exaggerated in size. As long as you comply with their fairy tale, there's no problem. The GPS stuff is probably related. Anything that has the potential to show reality rather than the make-believe world is verboten.

New summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43188505)

If You're a Foreigner In China, You Could Be a Spy.

I'm sure it doesn't matter what you are doing (GPS mapping is merely the latest encarnation)...

They know what they're talking about... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43188529)

Seen that China is currently engaging in a worldwide spying entreprise with ZTE and Huawei devices which are *full* of backdoors, I think they know one or two things when it comes to spying ; )

If You're a Foreigner In China, You Could Be a Spy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43188533)

FTFY

I've used GPSr's many times in China. (4, Interesting)

sdsucks (1161899) | about a year and a half ago | (#43188581)

I've used GPS receivers many times in China, and even has friendly discussions with airport security about some of them. Never had any problem.

That said, I've also been followed during many (most?) of my trips to China, and for some reason they are always doing air duct work just before I get into my hotel rooms...

Re:I've used GPSr's many times in China. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43188601)

Poor little deluded man.

In the US using a GPS is almost treason (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43188767)

Because why would anyone use a GPS for any other reason? You should rely on the government to tell you where to go and when to go to these places. In fact, you not only need to follow their orders but also log them, otherwise it will be a federal offense and you can get fined for it. If you do it more than 6-times you will be labeled a terrorist and a drone will hunt you down. Sure I'm joking around but it's sadly getting close to this...

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