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China Wants Cyber Crisis Hotline 58

An anonymous reader writes "China should look at establishing a cyber crisis hotline with the United States, according to a Chinese newspaper seen as a window into official thinking. Discussions about a crisis hotline might seem an obvious first step in improving relations. But if it's a sign the Chinese government is beginning to think about how to coordinate a rapid, unified response to cyber emergencies, then it is an extremely important one."
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China Wants Cyber Crisis Hotline

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  • Why? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jgotts ( 2785 ) <jgottsNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Wednesday November 30, 2011 @06:27PM (#38220090)

    Why should the US government aid the Chinese surveillance state any more than it already does? If there is hacktivism going on against China then so be it. China would do well freeing its political prisoners, such as the Nobel Prize winner Liu Xiaobo, and then it can ask for cyber help from the US.

  • by sethstorm ( 512897 ) on Wednesday November 30, 2011 @06:35PM (#38220222) Homepage

    ...their government departments(including nominally private organizations like Huawei [businessweek.com]) and any company's assets within China all deserve to be compromised.

    Of course, this won't sit well with the China apologists that will (inevitably) modbomb this - just that China gets too many passes than it really deserves.

  • One-way traffic (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Nidi62 ( 1525137 ) on Wednesday November 30, 2011 @06:39PM (#38220278)
    All the calls would be coming from the US, and China would just deny them anyway. If a global cyber attack starts affecting Chinese systems, then the PRC government just has to call down to whichever department or military unit is pulling off the attack, and tell them to cool it a bit. This is like a police department setting up a system to investigate robberies by talking with the pawn shop that happens to be the local fence. Not much is going to get done,
  • by LordLucless ( 582312 ) on Wednesday November 30, 2011 @06:56PM (#38220492)

    just that China gets too many passes than it really deserves.

    Depends what you mean by "deserves". It get passes because it's large, rich, and still growing. It gets them because the US is afraid of pissing it off. It's pretty much the same reason the US has received special consideration from so many other governments in the past. As far as "deserves" (a subjective judgement) can be objectively analyzed, it deserves them because it is sufficiently large and powerful to demand them - which is all that matters when it comes to international politics.

  • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by timeOday ( 582209 ) on Wednesday November 30, 2011 @08:35PM (#38221226)
    I don't see why you interpret this as a US-based helpdesk China could call for assistance.

    I interpret it more like the cold-war Moscow/Washington "red telephone," the idea being that if bilateral conflict seems at risk of spiraling out of control, there is some mechanism to communicate and hopefully pull back from the brink of mutual harm.

  • Ok (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ShooterNeo ( 555040 ) on Wednesday November 30, 2011 @08:57PM (#38221456)

    Is "cyberwarfare" even technically or practically POSSIBLE? Or does it depend on the side being attacked being a total moron? I've never quite gotten my head around this : if you isolate the systems that can actually do bad things in the real world from external network access, for the most part the enemy can't do shit to you. As long as you keep those power stations and water pumps and all the other useful infrastructure, both civilian and military, on air gapped internal networks, it's going to be darn hard to sabotage them from across the globe.

    Not impossible, I suppose...could fake a phone call. But cold war saboteurs could do the same thing, so nothing has changed there.

    Now if you start connecting all your critical systems to the internet, and you don't use firewalls or they have security flaws, and you frequently stick thumbdrives full of possible viruses into your air gapped computers...well...I suppose you get what you deserve, then.

  • by ShovelingSnw ( 2521642 ) on Wednesday November 30, 2011 @09:48PM (#38221916)
    China suppresses the response to its aggressions using passive aggressive tactics. Like someone bumps into you, that could be a fight, but instead they smile. And then the next time they see you, they bump into you again, and again they smile and pat you on the back. It gives you a weird feeling, but you aren't willing to start a fight over a misunderstanding. And yet again, it keeps happening. Then, emboldened by your lack of response, they tell you you bumped into them.

    China uses human psychological manipulation tactics to suppress the normal response to their provocations. It's like the AIDS virus, they suppress the immune system's defensive response, and that's why it's successful. Until we see this for what it is. Until we turn around one day and bruise our knuckles on their face, with no remorse, it will continue to happen. That is a certainty. They are new to technology, but old to human manipulation like the above.

    Luckily, humans have a natural defense against tactics like these. It's called rage. Our technology and philosophies will fail us here, we need to look into our humanity and use the tools we have.

A committee takes root and grows, it flowers, wilts and dies, scattering the seed from which other committees will bloom. -- Parkinson