Friday, April 3, 2015

More on the GitHub Attack, a Breach of Trust, and Feminist Activists Detained: Assorted Links

Once again, here are some excerpts from pieces worth checking out, this time a mix of tech and non-tech:

1. Robert Graham further narrows the source of China's attack on GitHub:
Using my custom http-traceroute, I've proven that the man-in-the-middle machine attacking GitHub is located on or near the Great Firewall of China. While many explanations are possible, such as hackers breaking into these machines, the overwhelmingly most likely suspect for the source of the GitHub attacks is the Chinese government.
2. Dan Goodin explains a move by Google and Mozilla which will not thrill the Chinese government:
Google's Chrome and Mozilla's Firefox browsers will stop trusting all new digital certificates issued by the China Internet Network Information Center following a major trust breach last week that led to the issuance of unauthorized credentials for Gmail and several other Google domains.

The move could have major consequences for huge numbers of Internet users as Chrome and Firefox, the world's second and third most widely used browsers respectively, stop recognizing all or many website certificates issued by CNNIC. That could leave huge numbers of users suddenly unable to connect to banks and e-commerce sites.
3. In "Dark Days for Women in China?" ChinaFile hosted a conversation including 14 people about the recent criminal detention of five feminist activists. Here is a portion of Leta Hong Fisher's response:
The last time I met with Li Maizi (as Li Tingting likes to be called) at a small dumpling restaurant in Beijing, I asked if she was optimistic about the future of women’s rights in China. “I am an idealist, but I am not in a hurry to see real change,” she said. “It will require a long, drawn-out period of struggle to see any progress, especially when it comes to gender issues.” These are not the words of a dissident trying to challenge the Chinese Communist Party’s hold on power. Rather, Li and the other young activists she worked with went out of their way to avoid “politically sensitive” issues and chose causes that would resonate with the mainstream Chinese population. Take the “Occupy Men’s Toilets” campaign they organized in 2012, which called for more public toilets for women. “This issue isn’t that politically serious,” admitted Li, “but it’s a problem every woman has to deal with every day, so many women and men were able to see the inequality and to support the cause.” Little did I imagine that a year and a half later, Li Maizi and four other fun-loving feminists would wind up criminally detained, facing a possible jail term for planning to distribute stickers about sexual harassment on public transportation.

The fact that these young women—detained in three different cities on the eve of International Women’s Day—have still not been released suggests a disturbing escalation of Chinese government paranoia about public demonstrations and a chilling environment for Non-Governmental Organizations and non-profit groups.

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