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US Government Fears China Bugs Lenovo PCs

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 8 years ago | from the gosh-we-didn't-think-of-that dept.

348

An anonymous reader writes "After approving the sale of IBM's PC Division to the Chinese Corporation Lenovo, the US Government has realized China could bug Lenovo PCs destined for US Government customers. Would the US have done the same to China? With American businesses so eager for business in China no matter what, where are we headed?"

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Security or economics? (5, Insightful)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 8 years ago | (#15378893)

While I have no doubt that the US & China spy on each other constantly:
But after angry objections from the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission, a bipartisan panel of experts appointed by Congress, the department opted this week to pull the computers from the network. [emph mine]
I really do have to ask. Is the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission really unaware that the vast majority [com.com] of PCs (including Apple, dell, hp, gateway, etc) are manufactured (or at least part manufactured) in China?

I find it hard to believe that they don't, so this punishment is not for the computers being manufactured in China, rather for the company not being US owned anymore. In other words, it's fine for the Chinese to do the manufacturing, but it has to be Americans making the real money (and again, this sort of chauvinism is pretty common & not unexpected, but it would be nice for the US to be a little more honest about its motivations).

Re:Security or economics? (1, Troll)

jkrise (535370) | more than 8 years ago | (#15378945)

Hey.. it's a free market. In this market, the Chinese must be willing to work for free, and the US partner should be free to make profits forever. That's REAL FREE MARKET ECONOMICS for you!

US be honest? (0, Flamebait)

nethole (126708) | more than 8 years ago | (#15378986)

You must be new here

Re:Security or economics? (3, Insightful)

Carewolf (581105) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379012)

Americans have a hard time adjusting to the fact that the computer world doesn't revolve around them anymore. It's a general problem right now that American companies will not buy software and hardware from companies not perceived to be American.
In many ways it's just like the automobile industry in the 70's and 80's

Re:Security or economics? (1)

xTantrum (919048) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379023)

Your kidding right? your telling me they didn't think about the possibilty of this before? Jesus who runs things over there in the good ol u.s of a?

Re:Security or economics? (-1, Troll)

President Jesus (976363) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379096)

Jesus who runs things over there in the good ol u.s of a? Why, I do, of course, with My buddy George and all the saints in God's Own Party. So those Chinese heathens better watch out, because I've got a whole circle of hellfire reserved for anyone who commits the sin against the Holy Spirit, which is competing economically with My chosen nation.

Re:Security or economics? (-1, Troll)

smchris (464899) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379114)

The Bushes never let their evangelical posing get in the way of business with Asia.

Google: Neil taiwan herpes divorce prostitute

Re:Security or economics? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15379133)

"Would the US have done the same to China?"

Is the pope a NAZI?

So how does this supposed bugging scam work? (5, Insightful)

Savage-Rabbit (308260) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379151)

...the vast majority of PCs (including Apple, dell, hp, gateway, etc) are manufactured (or at least part manufactured) in China?

True enough, the whole suggestion of PC bugging is almost funny. If the Chinese were to bug every single computer that gets assembled in China just on the off chance that it happens to end up in a secret US.Govt facitlity they would leave a footprint so large that the operation would be blown wide open pretty quickly. How many amateurs and computer engineers are there around the world picking their computers apart? One would expect such a scam to be discovered pretty quickly. Besides that how are the Chinese going tell which of the tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of computers the US.Govt buys end up in secret facilities. Do the computes phone home? Do they have self activating bugging devices that phone home (through how many layers of firewalling and network security?) when they some how automatically detect that they are in a US Govt facility? The whole suggestion of the Chinese bugging computers wholesale is ridiculous. That leaves us with the possibility of a sophisticated Chinese sting operation that uses the Lenovo distribution network to spike only those computers Lenovo and its distributors (distributors which would have to be staffed by the Chinese intelligence) know are likely to be destined for sensetive facilites. That would minimize the likelyhood of the scam being discovered unless US intel started randomly sampling computers and checking them for bugs but it still seems collossally impractical. If I were Chinese intelligence I would stick to working the most vulnerable part of any US.Govt operation. I would, for example, look for that inevitable disappointed, bored out of his skull, stuck in a dead end career pencil pusher and bribe him/her. It has worked in the past and it will work today. There have to be a thousand more practical ways of spying on the US than bugging computers.

Bugged, you say? (4, Informative)

gowen (141411) | more than 8 years ago | (#15378897)

My computer's bugged. It keeps regurgitating the same information over and over again [slashdot.org] .

Re:Bugged, you say? (2, Funny)

Ohreally_factor (593551) | more than 8 years ago | (#15378953)

Judging by my remote scan of your computer, it seems to have picked up a bad case of Dupeware. Have you been clicking on links on slashdot recently?

Also, this is Scuttle's second dupe in 8 hours. He duped the article about the new New York Applestore. He managed to remove that quickly enough [slashdot.org] , though, and I don't think many saw it.

Scuttle Monkey, I give you editors a hard time, but usually it's all in good fun*. But you're just pathetic. Hang it up and go back to work at McDonald's, man! I want my fries hot and crispy, not my slashdot old and stale!

*I give Zonk grief whenever the opportunity arises, but he does a pretty good job on the whole. Now I KNOW I'll get modded down for admitting I think Zonk is a good editor. Well, comparatively good. It's not like the field here is all that competitive. =)

Re:Bugged, you say? (1)

Half a dent (952274) | more than 8 years ago | (#15378974)

Bugs in hardware? At least hardware is now catching up with most software. Oh wait... THAT type of bug.

Re:Bugged, you say? (1)

un1xl0ser (575642) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379028)

It's cool ... the new /. CSS will fix dupes. :-)

*sigh* (1)

zenmojodaddy (754377) | more than 8 years ago | (#15378900)

Isn't this about the third time we've seen this 'story'?

Re:*sigh* (3, Funny)

gedeco (696368) | more than 8 years ago | (#15378912)

Yep,

But soon this will be over.
The new lenovo pc will automagicly connect through the great firewall of China and deliver the chinese the coordinates to nuke slashdot dupe posters.

Just making the internet a safer place :)

Re:*sigh* (0, Troll)

Benzido (959767) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379021)

Why do you care? Why can't you just skip past the duplicate headline and move on without posting? What the fuck is wrong with you??

JESUS! If I see another one of these 'dupe' posts I'm gonna POP!

Re:*sigh* (1)

Ohreally_factor (593551) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379056)

Why do you care? Why can't you just skip past the duplicate headline and move on without posting? What the fuck is wrong with you??
JESUS! If I see another one of these 'dupe' posts I'm gonna POP!


Dude, someone already posted a comment like that in another duped story. Try to be a little more original next time?

You better believe they'd do it ... (4, Insightful)

vandan (151516) | more than 8 years ago | (#15378906)

It's not like the US government has exactly been leading the way on demonstrating restraint with respect to bugging.
They bug everyone calling into and out of the US. They keep aggregate data for the purpose of dragnetting the stuff later for evidence of links to terrorism.
They even bug members of the United Nations ( not that I have a great deal of respect for them, but still ... at least most other people do ).
Why wouldn't they bug China. And yes, why wouldn't China bug the US.
It's an insane system. A paranoid, power-hungry system.

You goddam pinko! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15378961)

Only Americans may bug Americans! Anything else is just...un-American!

Fucking tree-hugging hippie liberals piss me right off.

Re:You better believe they'd do it ... (3, Interesting)

strider44 (650833) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379013)

I think that bugging everything that is used by a foreign government (even allied governments) is bugged and that's just something that happens, almost as if it's expected. The following is from a friend of a friend of a family member so expect it to be exaggerated or possibly wrong (though I don't think it is), but apparently every piece of military hardware imported from America here to Australia is striped and taken apart and thoroughly checked for tracking devices and bugs, and they're routinely found. This is one of the closest allies in the "War on Terror".

Re:You better believe they'd do it ... (1)

Thing 1 (178996) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379058)

So ... if TIA really worked, wouldn't they be able to see those PCs calling home?

Tin foil time! (5, Funny)

madnuke (948229) | more than 8 years ago | (#15378913)

Wrap your laptop in foil, it will protect it from Chinese bugs and boost your wifi signal by 40%!

in other words (1, Funny)

macadamia_harold (947445) | more than 8 years ago | (#15378914)

the US Government has realized China could bug Lenovo PCs destined for US Government customers

In other words, the government says "damn, why didn't we think of that first?"

and now that I think about it... (5, Insightful)

macadamia_harold (947445) | more than 8 years ago | (#15378919)

what's with all the speculation? With their domestic spying program [infoworld.com] , wouldn't the NSA know whether the PCs were "phoning home"?

Re:and now that I think about it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15378968)

My guess is they're worried that by the time they are able to detect that, it's too late.

Of course, it could be a bit more malicious than just spyware. You could permanently disable the machines, launch a DOS, or even remotely install Windows ME!

Re:and now that I think about it... (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379127)

So what the US government has just inadertently admitted is that they no longer have the ability to take a piece of hardware and take it apart to make sure it works as advertised, with no "extra features" ...

Other "firsts" that no longer are available in the USA, but you can buy real cheap from China:

  • TVs
  • DVDs
  • Camcorders
  • VCRs

... and coming soon ...

  • Moon walks

Re:and now that I think about it... (2, Insightful)

Detritus (11846) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379103)

Not necessarily. Bugs can be designed to be passive, and nearly undetectable. Information can be leaked via intentional flaws in the shielding and filtering. Covert information channels can be very subtle and difficult to detect. They aren't going to stuff a bunch of bytes in a packet and ship it off to hq.pla.cn.

US, welcome to the rest of the world... (4, Insightful)

danro (544913) | more than 8 years ago | (#15378923)

China may bug US government PCs?
Welcome to the rest of the world!
Everyone else has to keep the same thing in mind when they use Windows in government and industry.

Re:US, welcome to the rest of the world... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15378969)

Goverment Employees goof off list
Morning Crossword,
Golf lessons
Weather reports
Watching out of window
Sports Illustrated
paperclip requisition
Dilbert downloads
Baseball scores
Planning next weekend off
flexsheets

Yep, they must be wondering how anything gets done.
This presumes firewall is wide open, and the others are asleep at the wheel. Too much effort, better an unknown zero day exploit.

Re:US, welcome to the rest of the world... (1)

arivanov (12034) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379068)

Just Windows?

What about Solaris? What about AIX? Irix? UNICOS (especially this one)?

What about the specialized sh*t loaded on Rockwell vector processors used in radars by everyone but the russians?

What about...

Let's be real here.

What goes around comes around and it is very nice to see the US govt being repayed in its own currency. It is only a matter of time until it gets more of it with everyone and his dog moving manufacturing to China and R&D to India and Russia.

You are right... (1)

danro (544913) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379085)

You are right, the problem applies to all closed source software. I only used Windows as an example because it is in so widespread use.

Aw, these Americans... (5, Insightful)

liangzai (837960) | more than 8 years ago | (#15378925)

They say they want free trade, but they won't buy IBM PCs after China bought the brand (no other difference).

They say they want democracy in the Middle East, but when there is democracy in the Middle East, they don't respect the outcome (Hamas).

They say other nations should respect human rights, but they themselves don't (Gitmo, torture flights, numerous examples).

Anyone still wonder why the rest of the world spits on America?

Re:Aw, these Americans... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15378996)

Wish I had points to mod you up ... Closed-minded Oreilly-loving redneck moderator you need to start understanding power politics. Until then refrain from moding people offtopic. If there is someone offtopic, that is you.

Re:Aw, these Americans... (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15379004)

How is this parent post off topic?

It only goes to show American's don't get it. You can't shit on the rest of the world and get away with it.

Re:Aw, these Americans... (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15379006)

In what way does the US not respect the outcome of the Palestinian election? Just because someone was elected democratically you're not required to like or help or even have diplomatic relations with them. The US has never denied that Hamas won the election and that they thus have a right to form a government

Re:Aw, these Americans... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15379049)

In what way does the US not respect the outcome of the Palestinian election? Just because someone was elected democratically you're not required to like or help or even have diplomatic relations with them. The US has never denied that Hamas won the election and that they thus have a right to form a government

Furthermore, the US would be more than willing to let bygones be bygones, if Hamas would renounce terrorism and accept Israel's right to exist.

No, I think the problem is that the Palestinians want it both ways. They want to elect a terrorist organization which is unwilling to soften it's stance once it's in power, and they want the world to carry them. If they didn't want to lose monetary support from the world, they should have elected someone else, i.e., responsible adults. Hamas is not demonstrating that they know how to run a government. Instead of taking care of the people's business, they're engaging in brinksmanship, powerplays, and violent confrontations with their political rivals.

I do feel sorry for those Palestinians that did not vote for Hamas, just as I feel bad for those of us in the US that did not vote for Bush. (Still, it could be worse. Hillary could be president.)

Re:Aw, these Americans... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15379094)

So effectively you're telling me, that they should have bowed down before the money and elect someone that "the rest of the world" (bah!) likes to pat on the head?

[sarcasm] Thumbs up for you! You know how to stand by yourself (or whoever you superimpose youself on). [/sarcasm]

Re:Aw, these Americans... (3, Insightful)

devnull17 (592326) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379014)

For the record, the whole world spits on China, too.

America may be a mess, but it's not like China is a shining example of how to run a country. Your country sucks just as much as mine, and probably more so.

At least I can say America is a mess without worrying about a knock on my door from the thought police. America may be poorly mistreating those captured on the war on terror, but at least we don't have "strike hard" campaigns where our own citizens are sentenced to death in stadiums and executed minutes later. And there may be much class inequality in America, but from what I understand, it's the same in China (and everywhere else). At least our system is supposed to work that way. We may have sided with some real bastards in the Middle East in the early 1980's, but China's the one blocking action against everyone's favorite nascent nuclear theocracy in the UN Security Council.

America has been at the forefront of innovation for centuries, while China is poised to become an economic superpower simply by virtue of its huge numbers of people, importing Western ingenuity and cranking out cheap imitations. But I guess someone has to make our Happy Meal toys. :)

So seriously, shut the fuck up, Chinese guy. You have no right to talk.

Re:Aw, these Americans... (2, Funny)

liangzai (837960) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379029)

So seriously, shut the fuck up, Chinese guy. You have no right to talk.


Chinese guy? Pure Viking blood here, dude...

Re:Aw, these Americans... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15379072)

He is merely a bigot. His pathetic words are null and void. He could not make a valid counter-argument so he resorted to smallmindedness.

Re:Aw, these Americans... (0, Offtopic)

devnull17 (592326) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379077)

Given your Chinese username, domain name (TLD notwithstanding) and text on your website, you can see where the confusion occurred.

Re:Aw, these Americans... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15379091)

Hey bigot, why not just apologise for your stupidity? If you actually visited his website, you'd see that even though he is married to a lovely asian lady, he clearly is caucasian. AND, he has just as much right to speak as anyone else.

Re:Aw, these Americans... (0)

GuloGulo2 (972355) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379130)

"AND, he has just as much right to speak as anyone else."

Unless he's in China, where he has no rights at all.

Re:Aw, these Americans... (0, Flamebait)

devnull17 (592326) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379149)

It takes a big man to call someone a bigot in an anonymous /. post. At least I have the stones to attach my name to my words, even when it's quite obvious that they'll offend some people.

And what, exactly, in my original post makes me a bigot? Is any of what I said untrue? More to the point, did I make any generalizations about Chinese people, or anyone else for that matter?

Re:Aw, these Americans... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15379112)

>Chinese guy? Pure Viking blood here, dude...

Bloody Vikings! Coming over here, stealing our women and raping our cattle. . . .

Re:Aw, these Americans... (1)

Silver Sloth (770927) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379043)

At least I can say America is a mess without worrying about a knock on my door from the thought police.

This might be true at the moment but if you say it too loudly you'll end up in gitmo with no right to a trial. You assume the GP is chinese, you don't have to be chinese to abhor the way the land of the free is slipping into rampant McCarthyism all wrapped up in newspeak as the fight against terrorism.

Re:Aw, these Americans... (1)

devnull17 (592326) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379055)

Oh, I totally agree with you. I despise Bush et. al. (and yes, I voted in 2004), and I think we'll look at the word "terrorism" in forty years in the same quaint, cringing way we look at mentions of "communism" from the 60's. Regardless, I love my country and its history, and I'm getting really tired of having to answer, as an American, for the actions of my government. It's understandable, I suppose, but hearing it from someone who seems so eager to embrace Chinese culture strikes me as a bit hypocritical.

Re:Aw, these Americans... (0, Flamebait)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379076)

Regardless, I love my country and its history,

Its good to love your country, but I really think you need to read more of your history.

and I'm getting really tired of having to answer, as an American, for the actions of my government.

I'm afraid that if you live in a democracy - you do have to answer for your government. You are responsible for your government's actions.

It's understandable, I suppose, but hearing it from someone who seems so eager to embrace Chinese culture strikes me as a bit hypocritical.

The OP made no positive statements about China. A criticism of the US is not the same as an endorsement of your opponents.

Re:Aw, these Americans... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15379122)

Every day. All day long, here you are, acting as though people give a fuck about your opinion. Aren't you tired of having no life?

Re:Aw, these Americans... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15379158)

Every day. All day long, here you are, acting as though people give a fuck about your opinion. Aren't you tired of having no life?
Every day. All day long, here you are, acting as though people give a fuck about your opinion. Aren't you tired of having no life?

Re:Aw, these Americans... (1)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379061)

For those who missed it, devnull17's post can be summarised as:
America - still more rights then China!

Re:Aw, these Americans... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15379064)

America may be poorly mistreating those captured on the war on terror, but at least we don't have "strike hard" campaigns where our own citizens are sentenced to death in stadiums and executed minutes later.

Why the emphasis on "your own citizens"? Surely summary execution is bad regardless of whether the victims are citizens of the country in which it takes place or not? Are you saying you would have no problem with the US government rounding up foreigners and shooting them dead, as long as it leaves its citizens alone? Boy, what an admirable sentiment.

And there may be much class inequality in America, but [...] at least our system is supposed to work that way.

It is? The country that's supposedly founded on the self-evident truth that all men are created equal, is "supposed" to have class-based equality? I thought the American dream was that everyone had an equal opportunity to succeed based on their own talent and hard work. Giving greater opportunities to the children of the rich, while condemning the children of the poor to substandard education and bad jobs, is not what America is "supposed" to stand for.

So seriously, shut the fuck up, Chinese guy. You have no right to talk.

Wait, you're saying that because the Chinese have no right to freedom of speech in their own country, they should be denied it in America too?

So much for respecting freedom.

Re:Aw, these Americans... (1)

devnull17 (592326) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379107)

Why the emphasis on "your own citizens"? Surely summary execution is bad regardless of whether the victims are citizens of the country in which it takes place or not? Are you saying you would have no problem with the US government rounding up foreigners and shooting them dead, as long as it leaves its citizens alone? Boy, what an admirable sentiment.

That's ridiculous. My aim was to point out the hypocracy in the OP's statement. And, frankly, yes, while you won't find a sane person anywhere would would condone murder in any form, you have to admit that there's something even more unsettling about doing it to the very people that you're supposed to be protecting.

It is? The country that's supposedly founded on the self-evident truth that all men are created equal, is "supposed" to have class-based equality? I thought the American dream was that everyone had an equal opportunity to succeed based on their own talent and hard work. Giving greater opportunities to the children of the rich, while condemning the children of the poor to substandard education and bad jobs, is not what America is "supposed" to stand for.

Economically speaking, yes, America is supposed to be stratified. That's what happens in a capitalist economy. China, meanwhile, is just as stratified, but still operating under the auspices of being a Communist society in which everyone is absolutely economically equal. I didn't say America was perfect, nor did I say that I was happy with the direction in which my country is headed.

Wait, you're saying that because the Chinese have no right to freedom of speech in their own country, they should be denied it in America too?

I don't see how you could come to that conclusion based on what I said. Obviously, people have the right to say whatever they want, just as I have the right to label your speech as foolish or hypocritical. I wasn't saying that the OP didn't have a legal right to say whatever he wanted; merely that I think it was an illogical and hypocritical thing to say.

Re:Aw, these Americans... (1)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379147)

That's ridiculous. My aim was to point out the hypocracy in the OP's statement.

Are you stupid? The OP didn't say anything positive about China.

Re:Aw, these Americans... (1)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379165)

It's called reading between the lines...

Re:Aw, these Americans... (1)

Deliveranc3 (629997) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379080)

Diffrent value systems vs Hypocracy.

At least one is honest.

Can any American really be considered a "civilian" or claim to abhore their government's actions when they don't do anything to stop them, take any responsability or act ashamed for their countries actions?

I'm not trolling. I'm seriously curious how U.S. citizens will answer these questions.

Karma Kablooiieee!

Re:Aw, these Americans... (4, Insightful)

devnull17 (592326) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379128)

I'm totally ashamed of my government's actions. I can't think of a single good idea that's come out of Washington in the past five years. I'm a registered Democrat; I vote in every election, and I donate money to politicians in every election cycle. Short of armed revolt, I don't see what more I can do.

But hearing things like "the world spits on America" makes my blood boil. I love my country, and I'm proud of (most of) its history. Blaming all Americans for the poor decisions our government makes is no different than blaming all Muslims for the activities of al-Qaeda.

Karma Kablooiieee!

My thoughts exactly when I made my first post on this article.

Re:Aw, these Americans... (4, Insightful)

Eivind (15695) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379117)

Agreed. Neither foreign policy, not human rigths is something China should be proud of.

But here's the thing -- noone acts as if China are doing particularily well in these areas, neither do China currently act as "world police", waving the banner of freedom and democracy, and claiming to be chief protector of those values.

For that matter, China doesn't even particularily seem to care if other countries ignore human rigths.

When you go out in the world, invade other countries, wave the banner of freedom and democracy around, it is to be excepected that people will be bothered by this "image" and see it as fake when they're confronted by stuff like Gitmo.

There are (lots of!) places worse than Gitmo in China, no doubt about it.

But the thing is, like you say, US citizens are free to protest Gitmo. They're even free to toss out those politicians responsible for trampling americas reputation in the mud. Yet they do not. To me that's a mystery.

Most americans I know are *proud* of their freedoms. Consider human rigths *important*. Want the world to have more freedom and less torture, less inhumane punishments, less repression, less people in jail without a fair trial. That's why I don't understand why you tolerate such abuses from your own government.

At last: "We may be bad, but atleast we're better than China" is true. But it makes you wonder, doesn't it ? If you have to compare yourself to *China* to come out the winner, just how deeply have you sunk ?

Sure, you're not alone in refusing to sign the convention on childrens rigths, you share that honor with Somalia. That give a warm cuddly feeling ?

The thing is, I don't get it. I'm absolutely positive, if you where to read the declaration (available here [ohchr.org] ) for the US public and ask if they're in favor or not, literally 95% (or more) would be in favor, and you're a democracy, so I don't understand why you don't demand your government gets with the program.

Democracy (3, Insightful)

Detritus (11846) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379074)

They say they want democracy in the Middle East, but when there is democracy in the Middle East, they don't respect the outcome (Hamas).

Bullshit. Holding a democratic election does not absolve you of responsibility for the outcome. If "the People" want Hamas to run the P.A., they will have to live with the consequences of that decision. The rest of the world is under no obligation to underwrite the operations of a group of terrorists, whether democratically elected or not.

Re:Democracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15379115)

The rest of the world is under no obligation to underwrite the operations of a group of terrorists, whether democratically elected or not.

Then why do we Americans give aide to Israel? Israeli tactics are seen for what they truly are outside of the US. While we wear our rose-colored glasses, you should remember Prime Minister Sharon of Israel was accused by his own Israeli countrymen via the Kahan Commission [wikipedia.org] for personal responsibility in the Sabra and Shatila massacre [wikipedia.org] . He is, based on the testimony on the reports, a terrorist and Israel itself is violating 50+ U.N. Resolutions--the same U.N. who's single sanction against Iraq was the reason for bombing the nation repeatedly and the deaths of nearly half a million Iraqi children. Yet we've given Israel billions of our tax dollars for carrying out a campaign against the Palestinians that would make Hilter blush. Please save your FOXnews BS for those who care. Hardline Democracies like the ones in Palestine will pop up as an answer to our actions and failing to see that is a failure in your ability to grasp what crimes our nation has committed. It's time we Americans start acknowledging why most of the world hates us.

PS May I also remind you of our support for Pinochet, Saddam, and a whole host of other horrible leaders.

Re:Aw, these Americans... (0, Redundant)

hyfe (641811) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379121)

Anyone still wonder why the rest of the world spits on America?

I'm more wondering how the hell they manage to spit so far.

Personally; last time I tried spitting over the pond, I had to dodge my own spit coming back... bloody coastal winds!

Let's see (1)

goldaryn (834427) | more than 8 years ago | (#15378928)

TFA: Word of the State Department order for the desktop PCs was made public in March, 10 months after Lenovo completed its $US1.75 billion acquisition of IBM's PC division.

That speaks for itself surely... Hello, due decision making process?

Also:

After approving the sale of IBM's PC Division to the Chinese Corporation Lenovo, the US Government has realized..

..which to me sounds like they were implicitly involved in the selling of the IBM branch.. is this misleading?

So... (1)

Crimson Fire (969807) | more than 8 years ago | (#15378931)

So you get them from a US company which then bugs them to help them secure Government contracts.

The thief's mentality... (4, Insightful)

jkrise (535370) | more than 8 years ago | (#15378935)

He suspects everyone else is a thief... or atleast a potential thief. Why would the US fear Chinese 'bugs' in Lenove PCs? And if indeed the fear is valid, then why was IBM allowed to contract it's manufacturing outside of the US, and in particular, China? If laws could be framed to control export of things like encryption etc, why not h/w manufacturing as well? So many jobs could be kept within the US.....

Re:The thief's mentality... (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379052)

I've been doing manufacturing in China for a few years now, and I can confirm that this sort of thing is exactly what the Chinese would do.

The strange part is that Lenovo doesn't even need to do that - the Chinese are stealing American technology left and right, and they're doing just fine without bugged PCs.

A bit ironic (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15378937)

Earlier this year the Bush administration was very disappointed as they weren't able to sell your harbours to an Saudi company because of the senate's fear of terrorism but are afraid of computers manufactured and _owned_ by a Chinese company.

Using the chinese as manufacturers on the other hand, that's all right since the money goes to US companies.

Obvious (2, Funny)

lovebyte (81275) | more than 8 years ago | (#15378939)

where are we headed?

Above the neck?

Re:Obvious (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15379001)

I think you may have typed your email address incorrectly.
lovebyte2000@gmail.com

No need to thank me.

Re:Obvious (0, Offtopic)

FinestLittleSpace (719663) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379069)

AC posts don't come up on crawlers, idiot :-P

Shame on you bushists (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15378952)

This US administration is really a piece of crap. Ghost of the Senator McCarthy must enjoy to see rampant fascism and anti communism feelings coming back in the so wrongly called Land of Free, Home of Brave.

Bugged PCs? Just re-image (1)

mveloso (325617) | more than 8 years ago | (#15378959)

Doesn't the US Government re-image the machines once they're in-house? If so, then the threat of bugs is somewhere near 0. Maybe they're talking about the normal Windows adware/spyware stuff?

Bugs don't need to be software. (3, Informative)

cduffy (652) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379082)

Maybe they're talking about hardware that, say... logs keystrokes, and can be summoned to retrieve them by a later software infection (or by a low-power radio request -- if these machines make it into an embassy or somesuch, it's entirely reasonable to have a feet-on-the-ground representative carry a piece of hardware that transfers the logs off the box).

Look at some of the ways the US bugged equipment exported to Russia during the cold war -- there's a lot of ingenuity going on there.

Tit for Tat? (3, Insightful)

N8F8 (4562) | more than 8 years ago | (#15378963)

Could it be a little revenge for China helping Irans nuclear program [google.com] and supporting its military in general? More specifically, supplying high grade Uranium gas?

Chinese made electronics (1)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 8 years ago | (#15378966)

considering all the electronics the get exported from china, TV. stereos, computers, etc...

now also consider cable TV and phone lines are network aware, and soon BPL will make power lines network aware too...

what if china makes modified televisions and telephones capable of spying on people sending all the juicy data straight back to china via the internet...

china could spy on the usa without even leaving china

Re:Chinese made electronics (1)

WWWWolf (2428) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379093)

and soon BPL will make power lines network aware too...

But the US government won't allow The Working Implementation of BPL (as in no funny interferences whatsoever) to be deployed, because the flying bovines could possibly be used by the Terrorists as some sort of terrifying biological weapon... =)

Re:Chinese made electronics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15379116)

considering all the electronics the get exported from china, TV. stereos, computers, etc...

Which China? The PRC or ROC? A lot of our stuff traditionally that says Made in China was made in the Republic of China (Taiwan).

This is stupid... (4, Insightful)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 8 years ago | (#15378967)

A huge proportion of computer hardware is manufactured in China and has been for years, not to mention countless other things... What's to stop the Chinese from sending bugged components instead of full machines?

However it raises an interesting point, it's much easier to hide back doors in software, so by this reckoning china should ban the use of american software... If this started happening, i`m sure microsoft would make it's pet government back down.

All I can say is.. (1, Troll)

Rorian (88503) | more than 8 years ago | (#15378983)

It's paranoid delusions like this that will bring about the downfall of the US

Solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15378987)

Easy. Debug them machines first!

Chomsky Link WTF? (0, Troll)

MSTCrow5429 (642744) | more than 8 years ago | (#15378991)

Having a link in the uber-parent to one of Chomsky's endless rants against the United States strikes a terrible blow to the overall seriousness of the issue at hand. Chomsky is a crackpot, is trained in linguistics, not geo-politics, political theory, et al, and giving airs to this guy who will be completely forgotten in 50 years is not a very good way to build up any crediblity. I'm certain that a link from a reputable person of scholarly merits could have been found focusing on whether the US would have bugged the Chinese given the chance in situations X, Y and Z. Playing to the fringe may excite those who are too young or ignorant to know any better, but it makes Slashdot look very stupid.

Very sensible move (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15378999)

I suppose that the governments in other parts of the world will take notice and similarly ban Windows because of the risks of its being bugged.

NSA backdoor is built into Windows (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15379017)

For years rumors about NSA backdoor in Windows [heise.de] has circulated the Net [benfrank.net] .

Yet another reason for migrating to GNU/Linux worldwide.

History repeats: Venice and the Turks (3, Insightful)

Flying pig (925874) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379020)

The Venetian Empire was constantly threatened by the Turkish Empire...but their traders just couldn't resist doing business with the vast expanse of Asia Minor. And the long term outcome? Venice lost.

Interestingly Dubai looks like its ruler is consciously aiming at becoming the next Venice, and his relations with the US are going the same way (trying to obtain harbours in the Turkish empire==trying to buy ports in the US).

The parallels are considerable. Venice relied on seapower and built the greatest manufacturing business in the world - the Arsenal, which employed 16000 men and could turn out three ships a day at its peak. But when it tried to rely on dominating trade and took its eye off manufacturing and naval power, it went into decline. The current US emphasis on creating a world of "intellectual property" and slowly de-emphasising manufacturing is not a good long term trend, at least for the US. Look at the UK, which is now a very third class power dependent on managing financial flows.

It looks like Marx was right; US capitalism may be destroyed by the internal contradictions, in that the interests of capitalists are contrary to the security of the country. Meanwhile, China while claiming to be business friendly is using Lenin's approach of using capitalism against itself.

US citizens fears gov bugs internet (2, Interesting)

pubjames (468013) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379035)

Today, Wired published the full evidence of the AT&T/NSA domestic surveillance program. It is fascinating reading:

http://www.wired.com/news/technology/0,70944-0.htm l [wired.com]

So what? (1)

the_womble (580291) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379038)

Given that the rest of the world has to worry that the US might bug any of Windows, MacOS, and a huge range of hardware we are not sympathetic.

Double Standard (1)

AndyAndyAndyAndy (967043) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379042)

Oh so it's okay when the U.S. Government does it, but not China.

We have a saying... (3, Interesting)

Serious Simon (701084) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379046)

In the Netherlands we have a saying that can be translated into English as "The way the innkeeper is himself, he suspects his guests"...

Why do you think China wants Windows source code? (4, Funny)

QuietLagoon (813062) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379067)

Would the US have done the same to China?

The Chinese dpo no trust Windows unless they have the source code.

Do you really know what Windows is doing? They is this blob of unknown code that is running on 90% of the world's computers, all under the control of one corporation in the US, a corporation that receives special treatment from the US government.

Oh please. (1)

Pichu0102 (916292) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379163)

If the Chinese wanted the Windows source code so badly, all they'd have to do is take all the Windows bug reports with the offending code attached, and piece all the code snippets together. Voila, instant Windows source code.

Do they think all the computers are bugged... (1)

big-shoulders (783475) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379078)

...or just those ordered by the government.

Wouldn't it be possible for the government to simply buy computers from a "retail" source (like say CDW) instead of direct from Lenovo. Then in order for them to be "bugged" they'd have to bug all the computers (since it wouldn't be known which ones are going to the government).

Of course an argument could be made that it would cause more damage for the bugs to be in Boeing, or Intel, or Scandia Labs, or 100 other places with sensitive data.

Truly, the whole idea is silly. but it would cost very little to buy a bunch of PC and monitor them, take them apart, etc. to verify their security.

Trusted Computing Bytes Back (2, Insightful)

bananaendian (928499) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379081)

This could become a case of chickens coming home to roost with China and other U.S competitors and adversaries using the TCP (Trusted Computing Platform) [cam.ac.uk] to have a back door to computers they produce and which are sold to businesses and governments all over the world.

All they need to do is to make note of the keys or signatures from the TPMs(Trusted Platform Module) [infineon.com] that are embedded in every modern PC.

In fact this illustrates the greatest challenge of TCP based DRM. Who will be the key escrow / signing authority in a world where China, Russia and India increasingly shun away from U.S centered IT solutions.

Its all about your right to read [gnu.org] .

NEW WORLD ORDER (1, Interesting)

CranberryKing (776846) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379106)

This is WHERE we are headed. It's by design.

Believe it.

I fear bugs in Windows computers! (1)

Bromskloss (750445) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379108)

Why should that be anymore legitimate?!

Of capitalism and morality (1)

Anonymous Bullard (62082) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379118)

First off I fully realize that capitalism is the best way of maximizing economic output, although personally I'd prefer the so-called social-democratic model where the benefits of that growth get also filtered down to the have-nots in an organized manner.

However our friendly old capitalism has increasingly metamorphosed into a new kind of faceless corporate globalism where any remains of social responsibility have given way to pure greed and only the rights of the major shareholders -- themselves increasingly being faceless holding companies -- are catered for. This globalistic corporate might relies upon collaboration with the political elite and since the regimes in both the USA and China feel that they can (ab)use this system to their national benefit, the rest of the world is just trying to hang on for the ride.

The European Union was supposedly founded upon the European ideals of morality and shared social responsibility -- doing the right thing, if you will -- but even there the most powerful national governments (UK, France, Germany etc.) and the executive body of the EU itself are increasingly controlled by corporate interests. Doing the right thing simply doesn't pay in the new globalism-driven market environment.

While Charles Cooper only refers to the USA, the main instigator behind globalization, when he says that "cuddling up to Beijing inevitably will raise discomfiting questions about globalization and the cost U.S. companies must pay to operate in the countries in which they do business", one day the whole world must wake up to the reality of the moral costs of this increasingly non-democratic way of putting corporate interests above the rights of an individual, not forgetting whole nations under modern-day imperial occupation.

Although the destructive US-lead occupation of Iraq is bad enough, the Americans are expected to eventually leave that burned country to Iraqis (or whatever the remaining peoples choose to call themselves and their ethno-religious units). But other increasingly fascist second-rate superpowers like China and (Soviet) Russia are in the process of occupying and swallowing (de facto wiping off the map) their neigbouring nations and peoples as part of a nationalistic neo-imperial drive.

From a moral viewpoint, even that which is encapsulated in the founding principles of the United Nations (peoples rights to self-determination and their own language, freedom of religion, freedom from torture etc.), the Free World really should unite against such expansionist totalitarian regimes until they stop their genocidal aggressions. Choosing not to trade with such criminal regimes would be the morally acceptable course of action, but the current free-for-all business-driven system would appear to actually favour fascist regimes instead of giving their populations incentive to demand reform. US government's decision against buying PCs from the Chinese Lenovo is based on ludicruous reasoning when that same government continues to promote business with the totalitarian and lebensraum-seeking Chinese regime. It is just hypocrisy and money talking nonsense.

Either it is perfectly acceptable for the Free World to deal with fascist China and live with the consequences (or die with the consequences as is the case with China's occupied neighbours who depend on world's support and have no choice), or the elected governments should grow some balls and decide not to collaborate with any criminal regimes.

Invest that freely floating money from the West into non-aggressive and democratic developing nations instead and kick the aggressors out of the WTO while slap very significant import, export and investment duties on them. How hard can that be??

The Chinese people won't lift a finger to change their regime for a less criminal one as long as the current dictatorship continues to make them money and the state propaganda continues to hail China's genodical expansionism as something to be jingoistic about.

Paranoid (0)

killeena (794394) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379136)

Well, if that isn't just good old fashioned paranoia. I mean really, ....... *INTERRUPT TRANSMISSION* Need WoW Gold? Go to http://superwowgoldsite.com/ [superwowgoldsite.com] to buy gold now! *RESUMETRANSMISSION* what a load on nonsense.

Why China and not Microsoft? (1)

mariox19 (632969) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379144)

Microsoft and other big businesses in the US are constantly under the threat of anti-trust laws and other regulations. Isn't it possible that any one of them might consider it beneficial to bug the computers or operating systems that they sell to various government agencies?

I'm not trying to defend China or slander Microsoft -- I just think it's crazy that someone in Washington would worry about this only now. It seems like the government ought to be doing QA on any computers they buy, if only to spot check them. I'd like to believe that at least the intelligence community is doing this already.

US Embassy - Moscow (2, Informative)

Morky (577776) | more than 8 years ago | (#15379146)

It reminds me of when the US let the Soviets build their embassy in Moscow. Bugs in the bricks. They couldn't use it.
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