Confucianism and Trade Imbalances

The enlightened dictatorship of money

A hacking culture

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We keep hearing these refrains from China’s foreign ministry that China is a frequent victim of hacking.  The foreign media I read typically repeat this point without examining it.

A new report by a Chinese organization, the Data Center of China Internet (DCCI), illustrates how big a problem this is.  I had some idea this was an issue, but the news was still shocking to read.  The report finds that over 1/3 of mobile apps are tracking data that have nothing to do with the functioning of the app.  13% of apps examined are accessing telephone records, 7.5% are reading text messages, and around 4% are actually making text messages and/or phone calls (all of which have nothing to do with the functioning of the app.)

Chinese programmers simply have no idea about the differences between a legitimate computer program and a virus.  I downloaded some Chinese programs a couple of years ago, before swearing never to do so again, and I am reminded of this fact every time I start up with some messages in Chinese.  Even though I suspect that these messages are probably the extent of the problem, the fact that there is no easy way to delete them makes them more like malware than anything else.

In my last post, I suggested a somewhat confrontational approach to this problem.  After thinking about it further, I wonder if it might be more effective to simply strengthen standards to differentiate ‘badware’ from real software on a very low, operational level.  This would be analogous to my view that financial repression should be dealt with on the lowest levels possible, by strengthening  the accounting practices of individual firms.

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Written by Maofucious

March 17, 2013 at 10:58 PM

Posted in Uncategorized

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