China Using US Encryption Fight To Defend Its New Encryption Backdoor Mandate

from the because,-of-course dept

It's not like this wasn't easy to predict (because we did exactly that), but as China is pushing forward with its new "anti-terrorism" law, it's using the US's fight over encryption as a reason for why the law shouldn't be a problem. Part of the law would require that companies backdoor any encryption for the Chinese government:
The initial draft, published by parliament late last year, requires companies to keep servers and user data within China, supply law enforcement authorities with communications records and censor terrorism-related Internet content.

China has said many Western governments, including the United States, have made similar requests for encryption keys, and Chinese companies operating in the United States had been subject to intense security checks.
Again, this is hardly surprising, but with all of these politicians demanding backdoors, or other surveillance techniques, have any of them stopped to consider the message being sent to other governments around the globe? Either way, the bill has now been approved by the Chinese Parliament. And, again, the Chinese government is pointing to other countries as to why it's no big deal:
Speaking after China's largely rubber-stamp parliament passed the law, Li Shouwei, deputy head of the parliament's criminal law division under the legislative affairs committee, said China was simply doing what other Western nations already do in asking technology firms to help fight terror.

"This rule accords with the actual work need of fighting terrorism and is basically the same as what other major countries in the world do," Li told reporters.
So, again, to all the politicians and lawmakers supporting backdooring encryption, what's your response when China uses it to say that's why they're doing it as well?

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  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 28 Dec 2015 @ 2:21am

    You really need to ask?

    So, again, to all the politicians and lawmakers supporting backdooring encryption, what's your response when China uses it to say that's why they're doing it as well?

    Either:

    Politicians: "China? Is that a country or something? I'm sorry, but I have no idea how that is relevant to the discussion of combating terrorism by making sure that terrorists don't have secure forms of communications to use."

    Or

    Politicians: "See, China has passed strong anti-terrorism laws, and they're doing fine! Clearly all the hype over how dangerous encryption backdoors are are nothing but scaremongering by the terrorist-sympathizers in the tech industry, unwilling to take simple, reasonable steps to combat terrorism!"

    Those pushing for crippled encryption show a complete disregard for the security of those living in the same country that they do, why would they care what happens to the people in other countries? If anything they're probably glad for china's move here, as it means a free security vulnerability that they can exploit without having to do anything themselves but find it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Dec 2015 @ 3:55am

    James B. Comey: China did it? Backdoors are evil, we must stop them at all cost.

    Donald Trump: I'll nuke backdoors until there are no backdoors.

    Ben Carson: This one time I fought off 9 backdoors with a rubber band and fork.

    Westboro Baptist Church: God hates backdoors.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Dec 2015 @ 4:46am

    With all these back doors, it's a wonder if there are any walls left.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    ponky security tales in woe and jammin ponk, 28 Dec 2015 @ 4:53am

    ponky jammin backdoors ponk

    You are all an incompetant bunch of arseholes and the next world war is only a few years off. Such waste, such stupidity and such idiocy by a few in high places that are not elected and serve no purpose other than to create wars and death. This world is headed for the dustbin of history forever. The people are not wanted so they are dieing, the world is being carved up by the so called powers that be, otherwise known as the central world government. No country can challenge them no one can disobey them. Be afraid, be very afraid, you have no power, you have no rights, you have no purpose to live.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 28 Dec 2015 @ 10:06am

      Re: ponky jammin backdoors ponk

      you do have a purpose... to be their lapdog, servant, slave, ignorant supporter, or cannon fodder of war!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Ninja (profile), 28 Dec 2015 @ 6:01am

    Let them do it. Then hack the heck out and cause severe financial damages. You'll never see a political decision being reversed so fast. In fact, let everybody do it. Some mayhem may bring some sense in some heads.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 28 Dec 2015 @ 7:43am

      Re:

      The problem with that is that governments will ensure that taxpayers compensate their corporate buddies.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 28 Dec 2015 @ 7:59am

      Re:

      ...Some mayhem may bring some sense in some heads...

      Regret to inform you that in China - and a few other places - it may cost a few people their heads - literally. The political decision makers won't give a damn that it was their decision that started it.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    TheResidentSkeptic (profile), 28 Dec 2015 @ 6:46am

    Unfortunately

    Destroying the internet is in the best interests of our politicians and their paymasters. Having a limited media back under control and squashing all this citizen communication would be seen as a total win for them.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Dec 2015 @ 7:10am

    Sooooo... The law they passed is the public word. What's to say that they don't have EOs that say anything made in china needs to have Chinese backdoor built into it already? Hmmm... phones, routers, computers -- all of these are used by everyone in our government -- hell everyone on the planet uses Made in China electronic goods.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Christopher, 28 Dec 2015 @ 7:19am

    The Endgame?

    Maybe this was the US endgame after all? Get the Chinese government to mandate backdoors so the NSA can get in wherever and whenever they like.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    DavidMxx (profile), 28 Dec 2015 @ 9:02am

    A boon for US surveillance

    Whether you agree with their methods or not, most would agree that the NSA is very good at finding ways to capture communications. If the Chinese Government actually forces a backdoor into all encryption used in China, one can expect that the NSA will be quick to take advantage of that. It is likely that this will be a short-lived requirement (and may help us make the point here in the US as well), once some highly sensitive Chinese data becomes freely available to the US...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 28 Dec 2015 @ 9:10am

      Re: A boon for US surveillance

      You vastly underestimate the ego and boneheadedness of politicians. Admitting that mandatory encryption backdoors are a security nightmare would require them to admit to being wrong when they called for and/or implemented them, and you'd be hard pressed to find a politician willing to admit to being wrong.

      No, more likely when such data is obtained by another party, whether individual or government, they'll just double down and insist that it happened not because of the broken encryption, but because the tech companies didn't try hard enough, or didn't properly implement the broken encryption, with threats of even more burdensome legislation if it happens again.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 28 Dec 2015 @ 9:29am

        Re: Re: A boon for US surveillance

        You ignore a third possibility. Blame some poor sap for "misleading" them as to the dangers of backdoors, throw him in prison for life or execute him, and quietly repeal the law.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    tqk (profile), 28 Dec 2015 @ 10:39am

    Voter records database hacked.

    I'll just add this as the other (important) side of the situation:

    They're boning you for it from one direction, and losing it just as fast from another.

    Who needs the Chinese when the US gov't's on the job? Shades of the OPM hack.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Dec 2015 @ 10:55am

    They're as bad as the UK.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Dec 2015 @ 1:10pm

    number one enemy of every govt is the people it 'serves'.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Dec 2015 @ 2:13am

    I am guessing threats backed my military muscle from the US towards China in the name of "protecting US based companies" and coincidently the blatant hypocrisy they will show towards another country doing to them what they do to their own US citizens.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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