Sundar Pichai, chief executive of Google and parent company Alphabet Inc., said the U.S. government should take a more active role in policing cyberattacks and encouraging innovation with policies and investments.
In the wake of recent cybersecurity breaches attributed to Chinese and Russian hackers, Mr. Pichai said the time had come to draft the equivalent of a Geneva Convention for technology to outline international legal standards for an increasingly connected world.
“Governments on a multilateral basis…need to put it up higher on the agenda,” Mr. Pichai said in a recorded interview for The Wall Street Journal’s Tech Live conference on Monday. “If not, you’re going to see more of it because countries would resort to those things.”
China has the world’s largest digital surveillance system. The state collects massive amounts of data from citizens in an effort to control behaviour. Critics call it “the most ambitious Orwellian project in human history.”
In the so-called “brain” of Shanghai, for example, authorities have an eye on everything. On huge screens, they can switch to any of the approximately one million cameras, to find out who’s falling asleep behind the wheel, or littering, or not following Coronavirus regulations. “We want people to feel good here, to feel that the city is very safe,” says Sheng Dandan, who helped design the “brain.” Surveys suggest that most Chinese are inclined to see benefits as opposed to risks: if algorithms can identify every citizen by their face, speech and even the way they walk, those breaking the law or behaving badly will have no chance. It’s incredibly convenient: a smartphone can be used to accomplish just about any task, and playing by the rules leads to online discounts thanks to a social rating system.
The saber rattling happening in the Tsugaru Strait which lies between Japan’s main island of Honshu and the northern island of Hokkaido. This is the first time that Chinese and Russian warships are known to have passed the strait together.
The warships sailed eastward toward the Pacific Ocean, likely as part of “Naval Interaction 2021,” a joint maritime exercise the two navies are conducting this month.
The narrowest point of the Tsugaru Strait is 19.5 km, or 12.1 miles, but the center part of the strait is designated as international waters — a Cold War relic that let American vessels carrying nuclear weapons pass through.
The group consisted of five Chinese vessels — one Renhai class destroyer, one Luyang-III class destroyer, two Jiangkai class frigates and one Fuchi class replenishment oiler — and five Russian vessels, which were two Udaloy class destroyers, two Steregushchiy class frigates and one Marshal Nedelin class missile-tracking ship.
DW’s TO THE POINT ask: Dangerous territory: Is Taiwan next on China’s list?
Deutsche Welle colleague Melissa Chan, who presents DW’s News Asia show. She says: “Xi Jinping has gone after China’s Uyghur minority, then Hong Kong, and even its tech billionaires. So, why wouldn’t he go after Taiwan?”
Gudrun Wacker, an Asia expert from the German Institute for International and Security Affairs, who believes that: “China’s saber-rattling is a message to Taiwan that the balance of power between the two sides makes unification inevitable and resistance pointless.”
Felix Lee, from the Berlin-based daily the TAZ, or Tageszeitung, spent many years as a correspondent in Beijing. And Felix asks: “Will China go for the military option? That depends on the US and its allies. Certainly, Xi Jinping will not risk a full-blown conflict with the West.”
One day in August 2021, Zhao Wei disappeared. For one of China’s best-known actresses to physically vanish from public view would have been enough to cause a stir on its own. But Zhao’s disappearing act was far more thorough: overnight, she was erased from the internet. Her Weibo social media page, with its 86 million followers, went offline, as did fan sites dedicated to her. Searches for her many films and television shows returned no results on streaming sites. Zhao’s name was scrubbed from the credits of projects she had appeared in or directed, replaced with a blank space. Online discussions uttering her name were censored. Suddenly, little trace remained that the 45-year-old celebrity had ever existed.
She wasn’t alone.
Wang Huning much prefers the shadows to the limelight. An insomniac and workaholic, former friends and colleagues describe the bespectacled, soft-spoken political theorist as introverted and obsessively discreet. It took former Chinese leader Jiang Zemin’s repeated entreaties to convince the brilliant then-young academic—who spoke wistfully of following the traditional path of a Confucian scholar, aloof from politics—to give up academia in the early 1990s and join the Chinese Communist Party regime instead. When he finally did so, Wang cut off nearly all contact with his former connections, stopped publishing and speaking publicly, and implemented a strict policy of never speaking to foreigners at all. Behind this veil of carefully cultivated opacity, it’s unsurprising that so few people in the West know of Wang, let alone know him personally.
Instead, she spent her time traversing Ukraine, purporting to visit far-flung family members, but in fact working as a fixer for visiting journalists from Canada, Britain and the United States, for example taking a BBC film crew to Lviv to meet leaders in the Ukrainian Catholic Church. Countless “tendentious” news stories about life in the Soviet Union, especially for its non-Russian citizens, had her fingerprints as Ms. Freeland set about making a name for herself in journalistic circles with an eye to her future career prospects.
Col. Stroi certainly objected to what Ms. Freeland was doing in Ukraine, but the KGB officer could not help but be impressed. She was “a remarkable individual” with “an analytical mindset.” The young Canadian was “erudite, sociable, persistent, and inventive in achieving her goals,” nefarious as they may have been in the eyes of Soviet intelligence.
The student causing so many headaches clearly loathed the Soviet Union, but she knew its laws inside and out – and how to use them to her advantage. She skillfully hid her actions, avoided surveillance (and shared that knowledge with her Ukrainian contacts), and expertly trafficked in “misinformation.” The conclusion is inescapable: Chrystia Freeland, this KGB officer was saying, would have made an excellent spy herself.
I doubt Vladimir Putin will like Ms. Freeland more when she becomes Prime Minister of Canada.
Taiwan has reported the largest ever incursion by the Chinese air force into its air defense zone, with Beijing sending 38 aircraft into the island’s airspace.
Taipei says Chinese jets and bombers crossed zone as Beijing marked the anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic
A record 38 Chinese military jets crossed into Taiwan’s defence zone as Beijing marked the founding of the People’s Republic of China, officials in Taipei have said.
The show of force on China’s national day on Friday near the self-ruled democratic island, which Beijing claims as part of its territory, came in the same week it accused Britain of sending a warship into the Taiwan strait with “evil intentions”.
Taiwan sharply criticised China on Saturday after Beijing marked the founding of the People’s Republic of China with the largest ever incursion by the Chinese air force into the island’s air defence zone.