Sunday, October 7, 2018

Are our computers spying on us?

Bloomberg has reported that secret "spy chips" have been detected on Chinese made server motherboards. Naturally the affected server manufacturer have issued denials that you can accept or think "Of course they would say that" as you like.

 Remember a few years back when the Americans were frothing at the mouth about Chinese routers? I was cynically thinking that it was because they wanted American tapping of the backbone, or even kill switches when the revelations about PRISM & other massive American spying on the Internet came out and it was even worse than I imagined.

Lets assume that secret spy chips (or more likely & harder to detect, expected chips with extra logic to spy) will be inserted by one side or the other or both. Except for a few big businesses like Fonterra that compete directly with Chinese businesses, New Zealanders have a lot less to fear from Chinese spying than from American. A lot more NZ businesses compete against American businesses than Chinese ones. New Zealand is an  American ally & if our government is considering not following the US line, America is more of a threat to them than China. China does not expect us to follow their political line.

The Chinese are most welcome to spy on me. I'll even help them do it. I'm happy to list all my blogs to bore their security analysts to death. My email is already processed on American servers & I've always assumed that Google / Yahoo / Hotmail could be required to turn all my records over to the NSA at any time. Again, my protection is that I doubt I'm doing anything that would interest anyone over there in the slightest.

Even as a comedian I don't do jokes about China. Not that I have anything against it in principle, I just can't find a decent premise & twist to make a joke.

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