Information Warfare: Secret Police Become One With The Internet


July 23, 2007: China is now sponsoring advanced research in how to track down what people do on the Internet, and who they are. For over a decade, China has bought Internet security and analysis software from Western firms. China uses all this stuff to monitor the use of the Internet in China, and to deter Chinese from looking for anti-government material, or engaging in anti-government activities. China is still a police state, and the government does not want people reporting corruption, or even crime or natural disasters. No anti-government discussions either. The government wants to control the news, and unrestricted use of the Internet makes it difficult to do that. Now China is reaping benefits from years of subsidizing Internet security research by Chinese scientists and academics.

One of the new techniques revealed is software that will search the Internet to identify who is looking for what, and when. China is looking for "anti-government" behavior. China no longer cares if the offenders are even Chinese. China is increasingly using its embassies to enlist local Chinese citizens, or ethnic Chinese (especially if they have kin back in the old country) to harass, or worse, those who are doing things the Chinese government finds uncomfortable. The Chinese can also trace who took photos that are posted on the net. Digital cameras all leave a unique electronic "fingerprint" that can be identified and traced. China has no trouble getting most camera manufacturers to cooperate, whether the camera is made in China or not.

Some of these police state tactics are raising alarms in Western nations. But the Chinese don't care, and just deny everything. So far, they are getting away with it.


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