So my question is, how likely it is that the cable system are just really shitty? Or is the assumption of bald-faced censorship correct?
Usually breaks are caused by humans (ships pulling anchors, sabotage/spying). Sometimes they're natural (caused by wildlife, ocean floor movement, flaws in the cable design).
Fixes usually take a few hours if they happen at the endpoints, or weeks if they happen somewhere under the ocean.
Interestingly, spying breaks always involve three simultaneous breaks in the cable. The cable is broken at two points, and then broken at a third point in the middle to put spy equipment. They do this so the people operating the cable can't tell where the spy equipment was inserted, since otherwise you can tell where a cable is broken or being tampered with by sending light down the cable and seeing how long before light reflects off the broken bit and comes back to the end.
Using statistical methods, you can see how frequently you'd expect a cable to break at different points along it's length simultaneously, and it happens a lot more than raw chance would suggest.
This is not true. Submarine cable installations generally have a lifespan of 20-25 years although that's even being extended now to 30 years with advances in WDM gear. Also in water deeper than 1500 meters the cables are typically laid on the ocean floor. This is done because it is beyond the limit of trawl fishing anchors.
>"Interestingly, spying breaks always involve three simultaneous breaks in the cable. The cable is broken at two points, and then broken at a third point in the middle to put spy equipment."
Yeah this is not true at all. Where did you get this from? Fiber cables can be tapped by simply adding a bend radius to the cable which allows it to leak. , Further you can shoot a light down both ends of a fiber and easily discern that there is more than one break in the cable.
IIRC at BSidesLV last year there was a vendor selling optical splicing modules which were rather difficult to detect using this technique.
> Still, cable breaks are by no means a thing of the past, with more than 50 repairs a year in the Atlantic alone, and significant breaks in 2006, 2008, and 2009.
Can you further explain this part? It sounds so out there with undersea cable.
The only thing I can think of is that wildfire cause erosion in soil which wash off into the sea and damage the end point?
Things like a whale getting entangled in it, and then using all its strength to get free, breaking the cable.
Submarine cable is buried when it's at depths of 2000 Meters or less. It is done so using jet-plow technology. Beyond depths of 2000 meters the cable simply sinks to floor and rests there. It most certainly does not hang across a valley the way high tension power lines do above ground. Also cable routes are carefully planned to avoid trenches wherever possible. Where that's not possible it's simply sunk by its' own weight down to the ocean floor.
I'd expect cables in shallow water in fishing areas to be broken more often than deep floating cables in the middle of the Atlantic.
I've never heard that they break the cables, but rather "bend" them so that light leaks out of the fibre.
-- Gen. Michael Hayden (retired), former Director of both the CIA and NSA.
Not everyone treats long haul as secure until they learn the hard way. Few are big enough to find out.
Of course there are also accidental breakages and other things. That is to say there are many root causes, not necessarily intuitive.
If you can go thousands of miles across the Pacific and be "quite stable", and a shallower, shorter run through similar ocean floor and ship traffic conditions between HK and the Philippines suffers fewer outages than one to Vietnam, yeah, censorship seems like a pretty reasonable conclusion.
Imagine if your job is to drive the tractor on the beach that would "chop" the cable up once or twice every year...
This is less the case for people using other providers.
This is silly, the internet at night is slow simply because there are too many people are using it at the same time.
Bandwidth is not limitless, and they are shared for the same neighborhood.
Also, having a 100Mbps internet plan doesn't mean you will be guaranteed to have 100Mbps download/upload all the time. There are reason why in VN companies like netnam and cms are selling 50Mbps leased line for 1000+ dollars.
Try to download some highly seeded torrents at the "throttled hours" to see for yourself.
FB might have just opened Pandora's box with all kind of restriction requests coming from all over the World.
For anecdotal evidence, I have been ordering food on FB every day for the last month. My wife is watching a life-streaming apparel sale as we speak.
Relating to your small businesses, a lot of them will have their own shippers to save on having to pay the cut from a food delivery app. When I needed a reusable mask after the ones I had were running out at the end of my quarantine, I just messaged a guy who had his online business and an hour later my shipment had arrived (he used an inter-city courier, but you get the point). Somehow being in a city of 8 million makes you feel in more of a community than being in a city of 150k.
I've had a bakery message me to ask if I was in the mood for ordering cupcakes when they still had extra at the end of the day (and I was). A few weeks after a new japanese ramen restaurant told me they only offered take out, they messaged me to tell me that they now offered delivery. It's an amazing channel for businesses to reach their customers.
It's also a really convenient place to get news, because since all news sources are government approved then there's no fake news to worry about. (and by fake news I mean sensationalist stuff, not anything serious relating to politics. I obviously understand the shortcomings with such a system when it relates to criticism of the government)
It's also really nice because you don't have pseudo-science crap on your feed (since sharing that stuff is a fineable offense). Although you still have to watch out for the moms in their Zalo groupchats.
For example, imagine the US government as it exists today banning everything they call pseudoscience or fake news. Even if you say it's just "sensationalist stuff" and not political things, I wouldn't trust them to make either distinction.
Hopefully you see that "because since all news sources are government approved then there's no fake news to worry about" is essentially a verbatim line out of any dystopian novel. And with the added context of this article saying the state is refusing to allow Facebook to operate unless they censor posts that criticize the state, the allusion isn't even necessary, since the dystopian aspect is already so incredibly blatant.
"you don't have pseudo-science crap on your feed (since sharing that stuff is a fineable offense)"
As a westerner, these phrases give me pause. It sounds like Facebook has become a profitable arm of the surveillance state.
It's also really nice because you don't have pseudo-science crap on your feed (since sharing that stuff is a fineable offense).
Every single word of that reads like exactly the reasons any media company that wants to maintain their own reputation should pull out of Vietnam and anywhere else that they have to compromise their content.
And post a list of countries that have made requests to remove any content specific to that country.
Comments like this remind me that totalitarianism doesn't need to be forceful or hostile, implemented by a shadowy government from above. People themselves will often happily serve as salesmen for the regime - with a 0% commission, to boot.
Do you have any insight on how consumers find this? I can imagine it's nice to hear (rarely) from a few places that you care about, but taken too far I think I'd find the mixing of messages from friends and companies pretty annoying.
It's just about money, if upholding moralic aspects does profit then through a better image and more trust they will do so. If it doesn't cost them much they might still do so. But the moment it affects their profit they will not do so, through they might pretend they hadn't had a choice or similar.
Facebook makes essentially 0 profit in poor countries like
Vietnam. Their presence there is a more general wanting to be everywhereand have everyone on board to support their users and advertisers in wealthy nations.
Vietnam's digital ad market was worth some $550 million in 2018 and 70% of that went to Facebook and Google.
FB and anyone else requested to remove politically motivated content should leave the country until that practice is stopped, and only resume service as long as no requests are made.
I know money and network effects will win out anyway but that's what I believe will pressure these governments to relent.
Why would any company support free software to begin with? Sounds like shareholders got duped. One wise man once said "They're a publicly traded company with a fiduciary to operate in the shareholder's best interest not be some moral beacon of truth."
>How is it moral to build
Didn't hurt anyone. Built something new. Many people found it useful. More good in the world. Non-zero sum.
You don't see a connection between Facebook's recruitment of engineering talent and Facebook making money? It's almost as if you didn't read my comment.
Politicians will generally follow what the money wants. Making those with a financial stake in the companies responsible is what will remove the gap.
E.g., if a company is found liable for illegal toxic waste dumping, the company should be fined, the officers that approved / failed to curtail it should be liable, and shareholders should also be penalized... calculating proportions of the cleanup and penalties to assign based on corporate valuation, officers' salaries, and shareholders' stock values.
No doubt the process could get messy but everyone in that chain deserves a share of the blame, for having polluted, and for incentivizing it.
I can see a future where shareholders take an active auditing role in corporate operations to ensure they're not getting hung out to dry.
> Vietnam is a unitary Marxist-Leninist one-party socialist republic, one of the two communist states (the other being Laos) in Southeast Asia.
Politically, it's still an autocratic state, but economically the country has opened up to the global market since the 1980's, not unlike China.
> Human rights have long been a matter of much controversy between the Government of Vietnam and some international human rights organizations and Western governments, particularly that of the United States. Under the current constitution, the Communist Party of Vietnam is the only one allowed to rule, the operation of all other political parties being outlawed. Other human rights issues concern freedom of association, freedom of speech, and freedom of the press.
Vietnam is home to several ethnic minorities and a range of religions and beliefs. There haven been frequent regional tensions and uprisings over the past decades and Vietnam itself has also had disputes over borders with Cambodia and China right after the end of the Vietnam War.
Vietnam and Facebook have a rocky past, but Facebook is well embedded in Vietnamese society by now. For instance, it is a bedrock for small business owners as it allows them to escape restrictions which are enforced on street shops. So, it's a source of wealth, but at the same time, it irks authorities enough to create tensions.
Sounds like another excellent reason to leave the country and refuse to support the regime until actual democracy is in place.
(Of course, you could say that argues that companies should leave the US now as well, but that's another can of worms.)
Facebook doesn't have any requirement to be embedded in society, anywhere. And regardless of its spot benefits anywhere, it is still an overall negative influence.
If Facebook pulls out, the general population - not the economic or political elites - will suffer for it.
A political regime based on a framework of democratic values, beliefs and morals can only emerge if there's infrastructure to spread the idea: press, education, common causes and interests and so on are needed before change happens.
Facebook is just one element in that change. There's the narrative that Facebook enabled the Arab Spring uprisings. It did so because it filled the vacuum where free and independent press would exist.
You're right, Facebook doesn't have any requirement to be embedded in society. It's a private company. And one that claims to be anything but a content publisher (to avoid all kinds of pesky litigation). However, everyone has embraced and incorporated Facebook into the fabric of society due to it's ease of use. And so Facebook very much has a moral responsibility similar to that of any newspaper company.
After all, newspapers ranging from NYT to WaPo to the Globe aren't inherently required to publish (inter)nationally. They were originally local newspapers.
The big issue with Facebook is that it has acknowledged that it is as an advertising business, while people clearly want to use it as a publishing platform to spread ideas. There's a massive amount of dissonance to the detriment of everyone, including Facebook which gets a bad rep for it's actions.
Facebook could be ethical and have half a billion less dollars or do what they did. Interesting choice that I’m sure isn’t on a slippery slope at all.