Taiwan Rules

image

Our hats off to Taiwan. Why? Well, they have conducted a thorough check of the smartphones, which circulate in its market. As a result, we have a list of 12 models, which do not comply with the privacy protection requirements. Maybe, it is more advisable for us to be a little bit more precise about this one.

One of the latest privacy related controversies included the so-called Chinese Apple or Xiaomi. According to some security experts, Xiaomi smartphones have a firmware option to send all user data secretly and with no authorization back to China. What a nightmare for the Taiwan authorities, isn’t it?

Apple, Samsung, HTC and Xiaomi are the major smartphone brands in Taiwan. So far, Sasmung, HTC and even the Xiaomi itself have expressed the unconditional willingness to cooperate closely with the strict Taiwan privacy regulations. The funny thing, though, is that Apple keeps silent about this one.

No need to ask you about the moral of this story. Right? Can you imagine the USA or China of imposing similar privacy related requirements. Oh, what a lovely sight that would have been. We can only dream about it, or we can put some additional pressure on our governments follow Taiwan’s indicative example.

China-Cyber-Town

image

The trouble for the Chinese government in controlling the Internet is that there are so many users in China. The Chinese busy little cyber bees come in such unimaginable numbers and communicate with such a speed that is literally impossible to control it effectively. This makes us ask the following question?

What if, when even the legendary Great Firewall of China is not enough? Well, you hire an entire cyber army to keep an eye on your national Internet. Yet, according to some very serious rumors Chinese government wants more control. So, what they are going to do about it? You should be prepared for this one.

We should never underestimate the true power of China. In the matter of hours, the Chinese government can shut down the entire national cyber network and launch the new one made entirely in China. The completely independent national Internet is not a secret, but no one thinks it is possible to introduce it on such a large scale.

We shall wait and see how it can be possible to control almost one billion online users. We sure hope that some other countries will not get funny ideas from this most probable scenario in China. The Internet was supposed to be all about freedom. Right? Can you control the World Wide Web?

New Law Blade For A Fair Trade

image

The US House of Representatives has finally acknowledged something that should have been done years and years earlier. As you probably know the US law has been extremely protective when it comes to the IP (Intellectual Property) field. On the other side, the trade secrets were left on their own.

Now, with this new law the US companies have a unique opportunity to address federal courts in cases associated with the trade secret thefts. So far, only the IP theft cases had the granted access to the US federal courts. What is the motivation for this law? Well, this one just could not be more obvious.

The US companies have approximately 5 trillion reasons for it. Let us not forget to mention the cases of cyber espionage, which are also covered by this law. This is definitely a good news from the business point of view. Yet, there is more than one practical question to be answered in this matter.

The Chinese government will obviously get an additional chapter to discuss. On the other side, if the US government is so thoughtful about the business related interests, what about our privacy related concerns? There is no such a law on the horizon. What do we have to do to change that?

Putinux

image

The more serious political and military conflict between the West and Russia becomes, the less likely is that US based IT titans will hold their previous positions in Russia. For what is worth, Microsoft opened the Russian door, and it is more than obvious that it will close them eventually. What is the situation now?

On the one side, Russian government transfers its entire IT infrastructure from Windows to Linux on a massive and an unprecedented scale. On the other side, one serious rumor has it that Russian IT experts are working on their own version of Windows. In this matter, China has set an excellent example.

The game of stubbornness in the IT field has literally become a grotesque one with no signs of improvement. What is next? Nowadays, you have to be a rocket scientist or lucky to find a single Apple’s device in the Russian government. The IT nationalism is an inevitable reality and there is nothing we can do about it.

The most serious challenge is the World Wide Web. It is only a matter of time before the Balkanization syndrome strikes the Internet itself. For the time being, only China has the appropriate capacities to launch its own Internet at any given moment. How far is the Internet made in Russia?

Gmail And The Russian Winter

image

It seems that this year the Russian winter has come a little bit early for Gmail. It is hard to believe, but on one Russian online forum you can find more than five million Gmail users names and passwords. So, what are we supposed to say or think about this incident size of a small country?

Why? Is this some kind of a secret plan in the KGB style to “nationalize” the Russian users? The Russian government has a shinning Chinese example to get an inspiration from. Is this the next logical step? First, we had a demand to land all major servers on Russian soil. And, that was only the beginning.

You can forget about the privacy for bloggers and public network users in Russia. Windows has a shaky ground, as well. Apple can forget about the Russian market. And, now this. What is the point? If you are Russian forget about Gmail, and use the Russian version instead. What else to think?

Let us wait to hear what Google itself has to say about this one. For what is worth, the East, including both Russia and China does not love too much Google and its associated services. Is it too late to change something? What is going to happen with the five million disclosed Gmail accounts in Russia?

Hackers Do Care About The Healthcare

image

Malware is a disease, call a doctor. Under some other circumstances this could have been a nice slogan for some IT security service provider. However, we are eager to discuss something else with you. Why, all of a sudden, the hackers have become so healthcare systems focused?

Maybe, they understand that the health comes first and business second? No, it is not a time for jokes. Yes, it can be that simple. The hackers are.educated fools with the money on their minds. They want to get the most in exchange for their invested money, time and efforts. Very rational indeed.

Now, we can understand their logic and motives with this one. The healthcare data centers are the endless seas of opportunities for hackers. Each healthcare system is an El Dorado of personal data. Just imagine what you can do in the black data market with millions and millions of personal data?

In order to avoid serious medical conditions of healthcare users, who can really get ill when they found out about hacking of their personal data, something needs to be done for real. These systems require serious and efficient IT security therapies for a long and healthy life of all of us. Cheers.

Xiaomi Sends All Data Back To China?

image

Here is an extremely disturbing rumor. Apparently, Xiaomi models send all user data back to China, including SMS, as well. In other words, as soon as you start using a Xiaomi smartphone, you become a part of the Chinese version of the Big Brother without your knowledge or approval. Is this true?

Well, something is certainly happening with the Xiaomi smartphones. On the other side, it is worth asking what is the motivation behind these accusations? Are we worried more about our security and privacy, or the unprecedented success and growing power of this so-called Chinese Apple?

Did you know that Xiaomi was able to sell 15,000 MI3 models in India in less than two seconds? In addition, for the very first time Xiaomi dominated its home ground after the years of indisputable Samsung’s rule in China. These facts are more than enough for some smartphone players to start worrying.

Do not be surprised, if the next thing to hear is an appeal not to buy smartphones, which come from China. Without any exaggeration we can say that the next thing is the smartphone nationalism. On the other hand, Samsung comes from the South Korea, but at least they are our allies. Right?

Microsoft vs China

image

The golden road to the Chinese market is definitely covered with thorns. Google has had the honor to experience it first hand on behalf of the first group of the US based IT hunger of extra profit. It seems that Microsoft now has to hit the Great Wall in China, literally and mercilessly.

The Chinese authorities first paused the decision about introducing Windows 8 on its government’s computers. Then, they have decided to pay an unexpected visit to all major Microsoft’s offices all over China. You can rest assured that these were not entirely friendly talks about the weather and local food.

China has a nice alibi for all of these actions. It rides on a wave of the growing global concern closely associated with the spying controversies. However, you do not have to be a rocket scientist to see for yourself that something simpler is making all the noise here. Can you give your best shot?

It all comes down to the question of business and money, sooner or later, this way or another. The USA will pressure China with its accusations about the technology espionage, and China itself will fight back with the suspicions about the political spying activities. This is light years away from the win-win situation for both.

Gimme Your Source Code, Or…

image

We got ourselves an additional chapter in the bloody book of Ukraine crisis. This time the Russian government demands the source codes from the leading IT companies, which wish to do business on the Russian soil. So far, only the Microsoft showed the unreserved readiness to cooperate.

On the other side, Apple and SAP are having some second thoughts about it. The Russian government is deadly worried about the spying threat. It seems that in all software made in the USA they see the NSA and CIA signature. So, what is the response of the US based companies in this matter?

It seems that Apple and SAP are not willing to cooperate. The Russians were so kind to remind them of Microsoft’s flawless cooperation over the last couple of years. This is a nice test for US companies to evaluate how important is their business in Russia. Something similar Google has been experiencing in China.

It all comes down to numbers, eventually. If you want to play a game of profit in the certain country, you have no other choice than to embrace the local rules more or less willingly. In the Russian case a fragile balance between the economy and politics has to be achieved this way or another.

Cisco Systems – Spying Systems

image

This is what happens when you leave an open door for the politics in the cyber space. The Chinese have become extremely spying sensitive and let us admit it even paranoid about this one. First, we had a situation with an iPhone, which was to blame for the tracking jeopardy completely unacceptable for the Chinese.

Now, the blacklist in China is very likely to include an additional name from the USA. The Cisco Systems are accused for supporting the US funded and organized spying activities. As expected, the Cisco Systems have denied it all, but the damage was already done. In the meantime, even Microsoft had some tough times.

Google has to play according to Chinese rules. Windows is no longer welcome on government’s computers. Apple is suspicious. Cisco is unreliable. It seems that Made In China definitely does not go hand in hand with the Made in the USA. Is there a solution for this serious problem?

Well, if the USA players want a piece of a billion market pie in China, they will have to play according to the Chinese rules with no exceptions or excuses. China can certainly afford it. One serious rumor has it that China has an infrastructure to launch a completely independent Internet on its own, any time they want. Enough said. Right?