Foreign Policy Blogs

Roses are Red, Violets are Blue, the Internet's Scary and China's a Target, Too.


A Valentigger.

The NYT decided to count the ways in which China is threatened by the Intertubes these days. The piece  combines the two major aspects of the Web’s foreign policy impact: online organizing as threat to authoritarian control, and cybersecurity data compromises.

… While much of the rest of the world frets about Chinese cyberspying abroad, China is increasingly alarmed about the threat that the Internet poses to its security and political stability.

While American business and government don’t do a sufficient job on network security, we’re far ahead of  most.

For all of China’s vaunted technical expertise, securing a vast, sprawling network infrastructure is as much a game of dollars (or yuan) as anything, and China remains a middle-income country.

The rest is boilerplate protests by Chinese authorities about how the Internet is really a tool of subversion for America. I missed a great People’s Daily editorial* from Jan 24th which was quoted in the Times:

How did the unrest after the Iranian elections come about? It was because online warfare launched by America, via YouTube video and Twitter micro-blogging, spread rumors, created splits, stirred up and sowed discord.

Pretty impressive form of warfare when you can apparently rig things like the tragic death of Neda Agah-Soltan, whose name became a rallying cry in Iran thanks to YouTube.

For any Chinese readers: Kick back and relax today! Xin nian kuai le – a very happy Year of the Tiger! Oh, and I guess it’s some other holiday, too. Enjoy the day!

* There’s a lot more from their op-ed pages regarding the Internet as well. I’d forgotten how poor the translation is in the People’s Daily English version.