No, I don't miss "the good old days."
I'd like to embrace the fuzzy feelings of peace and love and brotherhood (oops - siblinghood?) for all: without borders, without animosities, without thinking. My memory's too good for that, too.
Not that I'm a "regular American," who grudgingly admits that some of those foreigners make good cars, but doesn't like any of 'those people over there.' I'm a Catholic, which gives me a particular point of view on tolerance and related topics. (A Catholic Citizen in America, August 3, 2009, , for starters)
"Don't be so open-minded that your brain falls out" is good advice, I think. Yellow journalism, headlines screaming "Remember the Maine!" and movies where anybody from eastern Europe was suspect were not good ideas.
Neither is a "tolerance" which involves studiously ignoring or misinterpreting facts.
Cyberattacks, China, and Getting a GripI think that The New York Times is a pretty good home-town newspaper for the upper crust of New York City. (October 21, 2008) I also think that the editors - some of them, anyway - try to be professional journalists. And, occasionally succeed.
If this article had been on the front page, or in with international news, I'd have a higher opinion of the Times:
"A series of online attacks on Google and dozens of other American corporations have been traced to computers at two educational institutions in China, including one with close ties to the Chinese military, say people involved in the investigation.Kudos to the Times, for pointing out that evidence points to specific schools in China. And that this does not necessarily mean that the Chinese government is responsible for the attacks.
"They also said the attacks, aimed at stealing trade secrets and computer codes and capturing e-mail of Chinese human rights activists, may have begun as early as April, months earlier than previously believed. Google announced on Jan. 12 that it and other companies had been subjected to sophisticated attacks that probably came from China.
"Computer security experts, including investigators from the National Security Agency, have been working since then to pinpoint the source of the attacks. Until recently, the trail had led only to servers in Taiwan.
"If supported by further investigation, the findings raise as many questions as they answer, including the possibility that some of the attacks came from China but not necessarily from the Chinese government, or even from Chinese sources.
"Tracing the attacks further back, to an elite Chinese university and a vocational school, is a breakthrough in a difficult task. Evidence acquired by a United States military contractor that faced the same attacks as Google has even led investigators to suspect a link to a specific computer science class, taught by a Ukrainian professor at the vocational school...."
(The New York Times)
But: a security threat like this, in the Technology section? I'm all for suspended judgment and waiting until facts support a conclusion: but I'd also appreciate a bit less of what can be seen as bending-over-backwards polite reticence about acknowledging that China doesn't always play nice.
I don't think that the Chinese government is behind the many cyberattacks that came from computers in China. I certainly don't think that the Chinese government isn't behind the attacks. I don't know.
Sure, it looks like The People's Republic of China has been repeatedly trying to hack into private sector and government computer networks around the world - and in America. But that's suspicion, not knowledge.
Well-founded suspicion, in my opinion: but suspicion nonetheless.
I think I could be less suspicious, though, if traditional American news services didn't seem to be tiptoeing around the idea that the last large worker's paradise on the planet might not be behaving well.
- "'Everybody Knows' That Americans are Arrogant"
(February 17, 2010)
- "News Stories You're Not Supposed to Know About"
(December 31, 2009)
- "Haiyang Zhu Pleads Guilty in Decapitation of Xin Yang: Which Goes to Show Something"
(December 22, 2009)
- "Empire State Building Goes Red and Gold for People's Republic Anniversary"
(September 30, 2009)
- "China Shot 12: Don't Worry, They're 'Mobsters' "
(July 19, 2009)
- "Cyber-Attacks 'No More Harmful than Spam' - So Far"
(July 11, 2009)
- "Cyber-Attack Started July Fourth: Common Sense, Security, and the War on Terror"
(July 10, 2009)
- "Uighur Riot? Revolt? Foreign Separatists? Depends on What You Read"
(July 10, 2009)
- "A Reporter Escapes the Taliban, Monks Escape China"
(June 20, 2009)
- "Tiananmen Square Commemoration in Hong Kong: No Tanks"
(June 5, 2009)
- "Tiananmen Square 20th Anniversary: A Losing Battle for Traditional Information Gatekeepers"
(June 3, 2009)
- "Chinese Anti-Carrier Missile: Cause for Concern"
(March 31, 2009)
- "Cyberspy Network Hacked 103 Countries' Systems"
(March 29, 2009)
- "Thai Police, Punctured Protesters, and Exploding Tear Gas from China"
(October 13, 2008)
- "2 Chinese Schools Said to Be Tied to Online Attacks"
Technology, The New York Times (February 18, 2010)