ETA: Apparently some tourists are being forced to install it as well: https://www.reddit.com/r/security/comments/8ofiiw/chinese_bo...
Also worth checking out the excellent ABC (Australia) multimedia feature on China's "social credit" system:
Social credit is like a personal scorecard for each of China’s 1.4 billion citizens.
In one pilot program already in place, each citizen has been assigned a score out of 800. In other programs it’s 900.
Those, like Dandan, with top “citizen scores” get VIP treatment at hotels and airports, cheap loans and a fast track to the best universities and jobs.
“It will allow the trustworthy to roam freely under heaven while making it hard for the discredited to take a single step.”
Those at the bottom can be locked out of society and banned from travel, or barred from getting credit or government jobs.
The system will be enforced by the latest in high-tech surveillance systems as China pushes to become the world leader in artificial intelligence.
Surveillance cameras will be equipped with facial recognition, body scanning and geo-tracking to cast a constant gaze over every citizen.
Like, come on. There is no possible way this won't be gamed to death. I can't conceive of this system ever working for more than 7 years, max. And then having people in the algorithmic underclass? Jesus. This is pretty much forcing a revolution to happen. Once you end up at the bottom, what do you have to loose? Unless there is a 'bankruptcy' mechanism, this is obviously doomed to failure.
For me what's astounding is:
"Lastly, nothing is transmitted from the individuals device to the receiving server over HTTPS — all in plaintext via HTTP — and updates are unsigned.
This means all the data the app collects is transmitted to the unknown entity on the receiving end in a way that allows someone with a trivial amount of technical knowledge to intercept and potentially manipulate" 
Is there any reason besides incompetence why the apps developers would do this?
You didn't seem to understand, the JingWang app was supposed to be the someone with trivial amount of technical knowledge to intercept and manipulate.
Laziness isn't an excuse.
Well... cheap shot maybe, but it's Android. People are always hating on Apple for having security checks and rules. Android, on the other hand... how did Sundar Pichai put it? "We prioritize openness over security," something like that.
Openness does sound good but positioning it as a tradeoff with security bothers me. Having both would be good.
I'm wondering how this is or will be handled on the Apple platform. When that information comes out, I'm not expecting it will make Apple look good, since they have said they will follow the law (no matter how bad the law is!) wherever they sell their devices. If following the law means allowing a spyware app into the App Store, and they do this, I'll have to reevaluate my expectations of privacy for using Apple devices.
Letting people write and install whatever program they want necessarily includes letting them write and install shitty programs.
But when it comes to other people's devices, those other people probably want a say in who the device is open to and when, and for what purpose. Apple helps make it possible for them to have a say.
While I am free to install astoundingly shitty software on my own iPhone/iPad/Mac, Apple makes it difficult for me to install shitty programs on other people's Apple devices without their knowledge or consent.
Seems like a reasonable way of doing things. Open for your own device, and others get to decide for themselves what they are open to for their devices.
To clarify, the article doesn't mention that they were stopping iPhone users to install the app, only Android. I'm not too familiar with the method/tech though. If by design, Android had a more closed ecosystem, they couldn't force it so casually. I'm personally not a fan of that approach, but could see the benefits when under this type of government.
Are you describing China or America? Maybe Russia?
At the same time it makes me feel lonely. I would love to be able to help them in some way, but I can't.
Muslim minority (but majority in Xinjiang, more or less resisting forced assimilation). Regular Han people don't really have much sympathy for them, and since China is nowadays an ethnostate, the state won't care either.
They would not currently attempt to do this in Han cities.
What I mean is that China is known to jail political dissidents (and or lower their social score which has negative implications, like limiting travel), so you have to weigh the risks of being viewed negatively via the spyware's information leakage with the risk of getting caught circumventing. For example one could only be a lower social score, while the other could literally be jail or "disappearing."
I might sound like a immoral question, but you really have to weigh the potential risks of doing what that thread asks. I won't give people advice on circumvention not because I agree with the Chinese government (I don't!) but because I don't want to be partly responsible for a Chinese dissident getting caught and "punished" for the attempted circumvention.
This tactic is very good if the government is likely to respond to that kind of pressure. Gandhi and his followers risked death for their actions. Gandhi referred to them as "soldiers" because, even though their battlefield was political, the consequences were the same. Through the horrific deaths of the disobedient, the British government was forced out of India. Before you engage in an act of civil disobedience, you need to understand the playing field. For India, Gandhi surmised (and was correct) that the result would be as inevitable as the losses, and people willingly sacrificed themselves for the cause. This will not always be the case (and I would be very much surprised if it is the case in China because there is very little pressure that can be effectively applied to the Chinese government, whether inside or outside of the country).
So if civil disobedience is not the goal, what is the point of trying to work around the spyware? Obviously to avoid being spied upon. But it's important to understand that it is breaking the law. It makes you a criminal -- with all the downsides that can bring. It doesn't matter whether it is moral or not. Being punished for breaking the law is an incredibly wasteful thing to do from the perspective of trying to make the country a better place, if you are not going the civil disobedience route (and hence using your punishment as a strategic weapon against the government).
So what can you do? Possibly nothing except wait. Fighting and losing may be valiant and courageous, but it's also ineffective. Wait until you can make a difference. Prepare, and plan and store all your energy for the one time where you can succeed. If it doesn't come in your lifetime, then prepare the next generation to wait. Nothing is forever.
And if you want to know how to communicate: never underestimate the bandwidth of a station wagon full of tapes hurtling down the highway. As the top reply on SE currently points out, make your cellphone squeaky clean and ensure that there is a lot of normal data on it (i.e. use it like a normal person). Communicate secret things in a different manner.
if a panopticon exists, the only way to live a normal life is to avoid it by bypassing it. there is no other option unless you refuse to interact with suspicious people who don't follow your "different techniques". in which case the government succeeds anyways in their efforts to chill disobedience
They are tracking and spying devices. It's implicit in the idea of a 'cell'. When you carry a cell phone you are being tracked. No matter what is going on in the software side of the phone you have ostensible control over you don't control the baseband modem and certainly not the basestations doing multilateration with their super precise clocks. And it's going to get worse with the proliferation of micro and nano cell basestations as well as massive MIMO beamforming at regular ones.
And do not name your phone "tiananmen square massacre 1989"
If you want to get into most any Samsung building in the world and especially their global HQ in Suwoon they make you install their security shit on any Windows laptops you've got. It blocks USB ports, prevents you from connecting to anything but corporate wifi, and disables any cameras amongst other things.
Once your business with samsung is done you can email someone (And I think it's literally only 1 guy for all of global samsung) and in a couple weeks they'll email you a one time code tied to some kinda hardware ID that you can use to uninstall the software from your machine.
I've got no reason to believe that Samsung is in kahoots with a nation state for any nefarious spying, I just resent being treated as a would be criminal.
That being said if you visit a Samsung office in China, just bring burner tech and throw it away before coming back.
...or restore a full disk backup? actually, come to think of it, what's preventing you from playing along and installing their security rootkit, then reimage/reinstall os/swap hdd/switch boot partition once you get in? unless they can overwrite your computer's firmware and prevent it fro. being modified, its trivial to remove the rootkit.
The only technology they make you declare while entering into the building/campus is the technology you want to take out.
So to exfiltrate data all you'd need to do is buy a burner phone, not declare it when entering, acquire whatever data you're stealing, use the burner to email it to to yourself or w/e, then just ditch the phone before you go back out through security.
There are body scanners and x-ray machines checking people, but only going out, not in.
I was more shocked by airport-style scanning security at the entrance and exit, forcing everyone to seal usb drives and phone cameras.
If you find yourself there again make sure to ask whoever is hosting you for VIP status. Supposed to only be Director and above, but it's an absolute game changer as far as the hassle getting in and out every day and I've managed to get it a time or two.
If you really need some app that they monitor install an Android emulator on your PC.
Or get a phone where their app wont work, like one with Ubuntu or Sailfish OS.
I'd suggest extracting their binary and seeing how it works. It quite possibly is badly written, with no code update. May be fixed functionality, unable to detect rootkits etc.
I suppose if it was informational, then it might be OK. But seeing how the government has gone after Backpage and other similar sites, I think anything that aids and abets it would be shut down.
Some of my libertarian tech friends like the idea of more encryption and decentralisation to resist what they perceive as increasingly oppressive governments, but I'm confident that this tech-first approach can never work. A truly oppressive government can easily outlaw these things and identify the users, and they'll be the first to disappear.
AFAIK iphones don't allow spyware apps to gather most of the data the android app does.
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Having as the adversary a state is a game changer and there are a few purple who have the knowledge to imagine a strategy. Suggesting anything to someone who has no idea about security is simply unethical, given what is at stake.
China is a authoritarian surveillance state? Yes.
But that only scratches the surface of a deeper problem within. I think China is just a case of policies easily influenced by lobbyists, and gets executed very efficiently
This contributes much to China's economical success, as well as its (possible) demise.
If you are going to Xinjiang or Tibet, things start to get weird. Both are really nice places to go, but the logistics are complicated and you’ll feel much more repressed. I went to northern XJ in 2006 before the 2008 riots, it was absolutely stunning and a great place to tour. I also visited the Tibetan part of Sichuan and Yunnan, equally awesome, you are really missing out if you never see it! The Tibetan areas outside of Tibet are easier to get into for foreigners, well at least they were back in 2004. China is getting more closed than it used to be before the olympics, that’s for sure.
Especially if you can't read the propaganda posters.
> Ya, the internet will suck while you are there
Protip: bring a phone with a foreign international data plan. The packets will be routed over the phone network to your home country and bypass the Great Firewall.
I thought that only applies to HK phones, but I have never tried!
Only if you completely "own", manage, and trust all suppliers can you say that you even know the scope of trust to associate with your phone. This is not possible on even a "rooted" phone without the software due to the baseband being non-free and non-audited.
2. One of the ROMs would, essentially, be a dummy device which would have the Jingwang spyware as enforced by gun.
3. The other ROMs would not.
How about carrying two phones?
Sounds strange. A 100 Dollar phone plus a prepaid SIM?
I actually never heard that the Chinese police forces spyware on your phone, except if you are a Muslim.
If a large illiberal and totalitarian state can succeed and thrive then I fear our own nations will soon follow that path.
Generic discussions, especially generic flamewars, lead to the same things being said over and over. These topics are important and people feel very strongly about them, and because their passions are so engaged, they stride into the threads with tried-and-true weapons (talking points, prepared statements, and so on) to smite the other side with. The other side responds in kind, and off into battle we go.
In addition to being violent by internet standards, such discussions are also predictable. That's where the point about off-topicness comes in. Predictability is what this site exists to avoid; its core value is intellectual curiosity (see https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html), and that lives at the opposite end of the topic spectrum. So when I say that an argument like this is off topic, I mean it's off topic for Hacker News as a whole, even if it's related to the story at hand.
Tons more explanation of this can be found via https://hn.algolia.com/?query=by:dang%20generic&sort=byDate&... if anyone wants it.
The more that China enforces the social credit system, the less worried I am about competition from China. Stagnation is the end result.
The damage it can do in the meantime is incalculable.
The old argument from libertarians was that freedom and modern prosperity are a package deal. Take away freedom and you get poverty, corruption, and stagnation.
That seemed mostly true until the Chinese "miracle." China seems to be proving that you can have prosperity without freedom or human rights. You can allow some amount of freedom in certain select areas, and that's all it takes.
That has in turn opened the door for a whole host of fundamental challenges to freedom and human rights in the West.
I’d very much like to be wrong, of course.
The US flexes a lot of political muscle to enforce copyright restrictions, maintain secrets, and expand surveillance around the world. That may not be as oppressive as China, but on a scale from "free" to "China", it's still in the "China" half.
No, it doesn't. It means that people who think the US (or the West or whatever) is somehow uniquely evil have an incorrect view of the world and will have incorrect actions in the future as a result. That the US is screwing up doesn't mean that other places aren't screwing up worse. It also means that it isn't only the US screwing up, so if you start arranging your protests and rhetoric and such based on that theory you're going to get played by people who will quite happily play the part of "good guy" for you right up until they close the trap. It also means you may miss allies in the fight, like this guy. There is no way in which incorrectly thinking that the US is the worst or uniquely bad is a good idea.
I believe the US is worse than the HN gestalt thinks it is... but China is absolutely worse. It's a preview of where we're headed if we allow people to convince that we are obligated to hand more and more control over to the government to solve every last possible problem, up to and including hurt feelings.
Not “uniquely evil.” I think if he’d said what you’re shifting the goalposts to, it would have been an unremarkable comment with few if any replies. He didn’t say that though, and what he did say was very clear and didn’t leave wiggle room for the hyperbole you’re trying to inject.
The actual quote the person you’re responding to was addressing justifies what they said, insofar as it ...trivially reduces to, "everything the US does is fine until it's the most oppressive presence on the internet". That’s a fair summation of using China as a diversion when people claim that the US is *...An oppressive presence on the internet.” Responding to people who claim that it’s worse than China, or “uniquely evil” is an entirely different conversation no one here was having.
Consider also the bigger picture. There is no rule of law in China. That guy who is being forced to install spyware on his phone is probably in Xinjiang, where hundreds of thousands (and maybe over a million) people have been detained without charge and on no legal basis. Conviction rates are extremely high because trials aren't fair. Lawyers and activists disappear. Torture and forced confessions are common.
This is the one sentence that everyone on HN must remember when we get into debates about who is better/worse/trump/xi/etc.
In China, you have no rights. There is no recourse. There are no promises made by the state to protect you. This is because of China’s situation where it needs a strong central state to maintain control of the distant provinces and keep from fragmenting, but that is another debate in and of itself.
The US has screwed up horribly many times, for sure, and is not perfect. But here and in many other countries you are innocent until proven guilty and have the ability to take the state to court to fight a decision you disagree with or feel is unfair.
Yes, in terms of implementing secrets & National Security-related spying there is overall parity, with the US probably a bit ahead of China & Russia.
But in terms of being an average citizen, it is night and day. At least for now, the US is an active open democracy, with a large majority of citizens actively engaged in maintaining the governmental and extra-governmental institutions the maintain democracy, e.g., independent judiciary, co-equal branches of govt, elections, independent journalism, free speech, etc. Even though these are imperfectly implemented and under threat by the current administration (w/increasing evidence of significant compromise by Russia), the US remains overly in the OPEN and FREE column.
In contrast, China is a straight-up autocracy, and it is openly working to ensure it's citizens do not even know their own history (e.g., Tiananmen, Tibet) or current news (e.g., Uyghurs), and have no capability to independently either obtain accurate information, or to organize to respond appropriately if they can somehow get it. And of course the spyware topic of this article, where ordinary citizens can get stopped on the street for failure to install.
This is little different than "May I see your papers please".
Russia is not far behind.
To falsely equate these regimes and their surveillance & interference levels is tantamount to propaganda.
The reasonable people who make that argument are also the important vocal watchdogs who provide the friction against further abuses of power. They shouldn't be casually dismissed just because there are worse governments in the world.
It is a wholesale difference in kind/type.
NatSec ops constrained by a robust constitution implemented by an elected govt, with different co-equal branches, including a court system with centuries of experience & tradition of protecting privacy of citizens from the beginning -- one of the principles on which is was founded (see 2nd, 3rd, 4th, Ammendments for starters), and a vigorous tradition of free speech and free press is one side.
The other is an unelected totalitarian govt with a tradition of actively murdering it's own citizens to consolidate single-party political power, decades (China) or centuries (Russia) of manipulating information to the people, zero free press with active suppression, and active programs in both the civilian and military heirarchy to restrict information and spy on the people.
To even remotely equate these systems and the threat they pose to the people is to either
1) deliberately grossly misrepresent the situation, or
2) display profound ignorance of the issues.
If you want to recognize that there is a vast difference of type and then go on to discuss how the US might be better about what they do, that can be a fine discussion. But the land of 'they're all the same just different degree' is so far from reality as to render discussion useless.
When I think of the FISA court I don’t exactly think of “different co-equal branches, including a court system with centuries of experience & tradition of protecting privacy of citizens from the beginning”. The FISA court is literally a non-adversarial court.
I think the US court system is one of the best designed in the world. But please don’t pretend that the well-developed standard court system is anything like the secret and unaccountable national security court system.
You might notice that you're already off in the weeds of international National Security issues and nowhere near the problems of what Russia, China, Iran, etc. are doing. So our system is already fundamentally different.
Then, you might notice that you are completely erroneous about FISA accountability. It is accountable to both higher judges and to Congress -- see the original authorizing act and H.R.2586 in the 113th congress on increasing FISA accountability.
Yes, the FISA courts which deal with national security level secrets are different from open courts, and the accountability has been lax. But if there is any "pretending" here, it is that somehow because FISA courts exist, we're somehow on the same plane as totalitarian and criminal states.
For starters, the FISA courts EXISTS, and does turn down requests. Here, there EXISTS a court system requiring evidence, arguments, and warrants.
It may be imperfect, but there is no such structure whatsoever in Russia, China, Iran etc. -- if they want to spy on someone, foreign or domestic, they just do it.
Again, there's a basis for discussion of how the US, EU, and FVEY countries could do it better.
But there is no basis for discussion with a simplistic and/or propagandistic false equivalence of the open liberal democratic countries and totalitarian regimes.
The current administration is providing one of the greatest demonstrations in US history of just how different the US is from the Russias and Chinas of the world.
Freedom of expression, freedom of speech, freedom of press, is working well given the intensity of the atmosphere in question.
There are routine demonstrations against the administration all over the country, they're not being broken up by thousands of government thugs with clubs and guns, which is what you see in Russia, China and Iran.
A solid 90% of all media is entirely stacked against the administration. Celebrities are openly calling for the President to be coup'd, killed, or otherwise just 'taken out.' Even the media has joined in on that at times. The so called deep state (a collection of entrenched, powerful bureaucracies within the government) have been openly acting against the administration at every turn. And come the post mid-terms - which clearly the Democrats are going to retake the house in - there are going to be approximately a thousand investigations.
Despite the cynics proclamations, and the current cultural insanity (we've seen it before, the late 1960s and 1970s were far worse), the US system is functioning amazingly well. The current administration has accomplished almost nothing of what it would like to do, and will be a lame duck in a few months. In 2 or 6 years, there will be another administration, and that's that. Life will go on, just as it did after LBJ, Nixon or Bush.
There's nothing even remotely comparable to this in Russia or China, and there never has been.
No, it's not. The leading dedicated TV news network with about 45% of they audience of that media form is completely and unabashedly cheerleading for the Administration, and not even trying to pretend otherwise, as are major outlets in every other form of media. The idea that 90% of the media is hostile to, or even just not overtly shilling for, the Administration would be amusing if it didn't derive directly from the persecution-complex reinforcing propaganda those same media shills use to keep people locked into their propaganda bubble.
"News Coverage Of Trump More Negative Than For Other Presidents"
MSNBC, CBS News, NBC News, ABC News, CNN, NY Times, Washington Post, Bloomberg, NPR, all talk-show hosts, nearly all journalists (roughly 9 out of 10 vote Democrat to begin with), nearly all celebrities, essentially all of Hollywood - these groups are all as close to universally against Trump as you can get. It's not subtle, it's nearly all-encompassing. Estimating that 90% of media is stacked against the Trump Administration is an understatement.
It's always sad on the Let's Encrypt forum when someone fails to get a cert and the reason turns out to be that the hosting provider has blocked all inbound HTTP connections because the user's web site wasn't licensed. This is a regular event, most recently reported this past weekend.
The concern is the western countries taking actions to become more like China rather than less like China. It's natural to worry about convergence because eventually these things just become run away systems that are too entrenched to change.
Think about how we used to differentiate ourselves from the totalitarian regimes of the world in the post war communist fighting era. This pool of attributes is shrinking. Indefinite imprisonment without trail, national security letters, labelling the media as traitors, labelling companies that enable encryption as traitors, an omnipresent eavesdropping apparatus, etc...
The challenge of filing presidential candidate paperwork in the US versus the challenges of having a contrarian political opinion in China are nowhere near each other in level of hardship.
Moreover it does nothing to dispel concerns held by people who feel the US is an oppressive force online. They might for example, point out that while China oppresses their own citizens, the US has more of a global impact as a result of their foreign policy and massive corporations. If they then pointed out that you’re essentially comparing apples and oranges, and asked you why you thought that was an appropriate response to their concerns, you would say...?
The counterpoint to your claim of whataboutism is that it is possible to simultaneously denounce both the Chinese government's activities and the US, while at the same time critically and rationally examining their differences in methodology. And documenting where they are the same (NSA/CIA hoards zero-days, Chinese intelligence does the same, etc).
In a country where rule by law is more prominent than rule of law, this shouldn’t be weird.
Doing something bad openly is better than doing it, but trying to hide the fact that you do it, while pretending in public to be innocent or worse, encouraging condemnation of others who do the same thing openly.
Lets look at what the linked post claims:
> It basically sends the IMEI and other phone metadata
Google services do this to some degree. Location data, everything. And isn't the IMEI broadcast by the baseband itself?
> as well as file hashes, to a server
Google checksums and uploads files on both mobile and PC as part of their supposed malware heuristics and prevention.
> It also monitors messages sent via otherwise secure apps
This is somewhat malicious, and I'm honestly not sure to what degree Google services are able to intercept or "monitor" app communications.
> I don't know whether it includes sophisticated anti-tempering features or not
Google services certainly do, so much so that projects like MicroG require "signature spoofing" to function. Indirectly, Google has replaced open frameworks with proprietary ones, increasing the reliance of userspace Android on Google services. Google does not want you having freedom and tampering in any way with their ecosystem.
To my mind, the state of consumer technology in the West, and the more aggressive measures like China is taking, are two sides of the same coin. But somehow one fosters complacency despite being just as invasive.
The difference between what a private sector corporation in the US can do to you, and what the Chinese Government can do to you in China, could hardly be greater. It's an absurdity to pretend they're comparable things.
Of course Western surveillance on the Internet cannot be even remotely compared to what happens in China.
The entire population of Xinjiang is 23 million, you're several orders of magnitude off there.
Lavee describes how his attitude changed dramatically when a patient told him he was travelling to China for a scheduled heart transplant. This idea was shocking to Lavee, because the circumstances of death that allow heart donation cannot be predicted.
The CCP claimed that they stopped using organs forcibly taken from prisoners in 2015, but not everybody is convinced by that claim.
Overall, they are treated as inhuman. There's also the photo on the Wikipedia page for cattle prods: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cattle_prod
It’s really awful Western countries just put up with it because they’re afraid of offending China. Not even the Soviets thought to make such use of the millions of people they executed.
China is irrelevant to the average western internet user, to whom the US govt is indeed an oppressive presence.
We detached this subthread from https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=18061698 and marked it off-topic.
The comment that set this all off was short and made a single point that can be accurately described by a cliche. There was nothing else to it. I an understand not wanting people to dismiss real arguments with cliches, but I don’t think that’s what happened here. When someone brags about using a straw man to deflect reasonable criticism, it merits a response.
Maybe, but that response shouldn't just classify the argument as an instance of the cliche, since that would be low-effort shitposting, as you point out. HN already has the downvote arrow to express that kind of disagreement.
I guess adding “legit” mobile ads might help, but I don’t like that as I think mobile ads are a completely miserable experience. And people would probably still rip it off and install their own ads anyway.
You simply can’t trust any APKs you find by googling. (Obvious to most people on HN, of course.)
I'm curious why my original question was downvoted. I thought it was a valid question.
One thing I want to add is, many people around the world (for example many in India and China) don’t have access to Google Play. People with Amazon devices don’t have Google Play (although it doesn’t seem like there a lot of them).
It’s difficult for a small team to deliver a good product to all those different groups of people, and it’s frustrating that they’re instead serviced by the black market.
You know, because China would NEVER attempt to spy on, influence, or blackmail foreign programmers, business people, scientists, or other professionals.
China publishes a report every year on human rights abuses in the USA that has a number of valid criticisms (incarceration rate of black males, police shootings, etc), but that doesn't make the US Department of State's report on Chinese human rights abuses any less valid.
> I like to remind people of shit like this when they claim that the United States government is an "oppressive" presence on the Internet.
Why do you feel the need to bring up China when someone talks about the US govt spying on their online activities?
The active measures taken by the Chinese government are pretty much the opposite of the US/Five Eyes' SIGINT approach to things.
I do not agree with either, and think that both should be highly publicized, and awareness raised. However I think that the Chinese method of police state social control is on a whole other magnitude of "fucking with the Internet" than what is possible in the US with constitutionally/bill of rights protected freedoms.
China is an order of magnitude times worse than the US. I'm not sure why you feel the need to keep arguing that point when I already agreed. But none of that is relevant when someone is complaining that they don't like their own US govt spying on them, "passive" or otherwise. For you to bring up China in that context is whataboutism.
The initial topic of this thread is China, not the US, so it seems to me that criticizing China cannot, by definition, be whataboutism in this particular context.
I'm not personally inclined to dismiss things as "whataboutism" as though it were an automatic debate ender, but if you do, then you have to restrict your discussion to China's sins in this thread.
In January, the US Senate passed a bill to renew the NSA’s warrantless internet surveillance program for six years with minimal changes. If walrus01's friends had brought up that topic at the time, it sounds like he'd have defended the program because China is worse. Whataboutism.
Calling out hypothetical whataboutism of someone else is like whataboutism squared on your part, though. Hyper-whataboutism. Meta-whataboutism.
Not that there's anything wrong with that, of course.
I've seen it referred to as the hypocrites favourite meme, and I am inclined to agree.
Also, China is hardly irrelevant, least of all here, a discussion thread about the technical issues surrounding state surveillance in China.
But to be serious, I don't see how China is irrelevant to the average Westerner.
They manufacture a lot of the products consumed in the West. They are also responsible for a lot of the plastic floating in the water http://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-tons-of-...
From a US perspective:
They are responsible for the most damaging intelligence breach in US history https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Office_of_Personnel_Management....
Google, a US company, is starting to head toward China and play in that market after getting tired of not being evil.
US senator heading the Intelligence Committee had a Chinese spy right under her nose for almost 2 decades: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/explain-the-chinese-...
Even for the rest of the world with China and US clashing over spheres of influence and doing their power-play everyone is affected.
Stopping people at random on the street to make sure an app is installed seems quite inefficient.
You can’t just state this as fact without any sourcing. While they may be forced to do so in the future do you have proof this is happening now?
> "Green-Tea" is a code name for devices sold in China. Green-Tea devices have restricted access to various applications e.g. Maps.
isn't exactly a smoking colt for a spyware. Could you be more specific?