Odd Citizen

Odd Citizen
An Odd Citizen’s Search For Vanishing Freedoms

Google & The Internet Sewer

January 13th, 2010

Today we have news that Google is threatening to end its internet operations in China. The reason given is that the company has experienced a high level of cyber-attacks against its headquarters operations, such attacks originating in China. Google says that some of these attacks succeeded in stealing valuable information from the company’s computers. And reading between the lines, Google has been justifiably criticized for going along with the Chinese government’s censorship regime, which is undoubtedly a constant administrative pain in the butt as well.

Let’s face it. The internet is a sewer, and the fact that we can get anything useful from this sewer is something of a miracle. Over 90% of all email traffic is spam. The vast majority of non-email traffic is criminal activity designed to steal software, music, and personal data, or alternatively, to destroy the ability of servers to provide web sites and other services.

Several years ago, after I had invested over a year of effort and thousands of dollars of my personal capital in a software venture, the software’s keys were quickly cracked by numerous Chinese-based software piracy web sites. The web site marketing my software got lots of business, nearly all of it from people using the pirated keys. This traffic was 100% theft, generating no revenue for me. Most of this traffic was Chinese.

Then, just about a year ago, my server was experiencing a large increase in traffic designed to bring down the server, a large number of so-called “denial of service” attacks. It was large scale and ugly. Analysis of the traffic indicated that it originated in China. So now my server blocks all Chinese originated traffic. This has left me with a much quieter, more peaceful environment, though the denial of service attacks continue intermittently from other sources — probably bot-nets.

Parenthetically, many of the latest probes originate in the Amazon “clouds” located in both the U.S. and Europe. I wonder if the Chinese are renting “cloud-time” for their attacks? Oh well.

The lesson here is that the internet sewer is receiving a lot of its pollution from China. The Chinese people care nothing for intellectual property and apparently consider theft to be an honorable occupation. The Chinese government cares a lot about controlling information and from many reports engages in cyber-thuggery, theft and attack as a matter of policy.

Google would be right to pull the plug on China. The internet would be a cleaner sewer without any Chinese participation.

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