Understanding China, One Blog at a Time

An American in China

China is the World’s Largest Jail for Journalists

Posted by w_thames_the_d on June 13, 2012

Reporters without borders gives us a glimpse into the reality of reporting in various countries. They report on the best and the worst. Thus, they have info on China. The interesting thing is that this group does not hide behind cliche’s in an attempt at not defending the communists in charge.

Here is part of what Reporters Without Borders has to say about China:

“China is the world’s biggest prison for journalists, bloggers and cyber-dissidents. Most of the around one hundred prisoners have been sentenced to long jail sentences for “subversion” or “divulging state secrets” and are held in harsh conditions, with journalists often being put to forced labour. The local authorities, fearful of bad publicity from reports on corruption and nepotism, continue to arrest journalists.”- found herehttp://en.rsf.org/report-china,57.html

What most people do not realize, however, is that the imprisonment of journalists and bloggers is the tip of the iceberg, so to speak. Some may point to the number of journalists imprisoned and harassed and state that China is actually getting better or making progress. They would contend that the Chinese now have the ability to rant, the jailing of authors proves this.

What they fail to consider is that China has a saying, “you kill the chicken to scare the monkey”

Conceptually this means that a person or entity is singled out and brutalized, think Tienanmen 1989. An attack on this entity is meant to shake the other 139,999,9999,999 chinese to their core. Thus, in the context of journalsts, the chicoms brutalize, harass and jail them, but what they are doing is sending a message to the masses. Those who are jailed are nothing more than a sacrificial lamb. The chinese are telling the masses that if the will act so brutally against an official entity vz professional reporter or newspaper, than just imagine what they will do to you Mr. Typical Chinaman.

The impact can be felt in the fear that many have to divulge the dirty little secrets of China. Even the mainstream press, imho is culpable. Sure they may talk about Bo Xilai, but the party is doing it as well. If the mainstream press were free to report as they choose, then why is there silence on the depth and scope of China’s threat to US security, such as hacking? Shouldn’t this be reported on by the people close to the action-us?

Beyond that, one has to wonder why only US based writers are reporting on things like this:
“Chinese companies apparently have a covert capability to remotely access communications technology sold to the United States and other Western countries and could “disable a country’s telecommunications infrastructure before a military engagement,” according to former and current intelligence sources.” found here

The article- quoting intelligence from ex-spooks, states that China, while exploiting tech sold by Huawei and ZTE, can access and cripple US infrastructure that is dependent on them. While this sounds too James Bondish for those of limited intellect, I would assume that those of you with a brain can see how this may occur.

I am no expert in tech, but understand the net, routers and such. All of these things can carry backdoors in both the hardware and the software. Such backdoors have legitimate uses such as debugging. These backdoors can also be used to house malicious code that can be exploited such as malware. When exploited, these programs can grant total access to the malefactor.

Huawei claims that their tech is safe and that their code can be studied and verified, but how realistic is this. If we are talking hardware, then code can be baked into discreet units, all of which , presumably must be checked. Aside from that, I have it on good stead that detecting malicious code is a complicated task and what may appear to be a grammar error can actually house a virus or worse.

But back to reporters without borders. If reporting about China is so open, why then, did such an incredible report such as this have to come from a US staffer, via LIGNET-a Langley based intelligence service.

Huawei’s tech center is on the north side of Beijing, surely someone here must know something, and if they do then why aren’t they reporting it? Does it make more sense to keep us appraised of the Beijing smog level or the fact that the communists have the ability to shut down parts of our telecom infrastructure?

Call me crazy, but I’d much rather read about the latter.

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