Some humor Web site puts up a fake press release in which I endorse the concept of censorship and restricting information. The truth is, what really gets me on this whole China thing is the complete hypocrisy of everyone in the United States. Hillary Clinton gives them shit about hacking into our government servers and Google servers? Please. Do you realize how much hacking our own government does? Do you realize how much is going on all the time, and not just on our own citizens via the Patriot Act but also on foreign governments? We’re constantly cracking into everything. These black market sites where hackers sell whatever new exploits they’ve discovered in Internet Explorer — who do you think is the biggest customer on those sites? It’s our government, operating through fronts. Trust me, when they buy an exploit in IE, it’s not so they can alert Microsoft and get it fixed. Um, no. Quite the opposite. Part of the reason IE continues to suck so much, in fact, is that fronts working for the CIA and NSA buy up all the exploits and keep them secret.
As for Google suddenly growing a conscience, come on. You know why Sergey freaked?
It’s because he found out that his own employees in China were actually working for the Chinese government, and were using their access to Google’s internal systems to steal information about Google’s precious little search algorithm. How can you do business in China if everyone you hire is going to steal from you? That’s why Google is backing out.
Of course, the Chinese steal from all of us. It’s understood. It’s a cost of doing business, and their pitch goes like this: Yes, we’ll let you do business here and gain access to the world’s biggest untapped market; but in exchange, we are going to steal some of your IP, little bit little. Western companies make the calculation that whatever IP they lose can be more than offset by the value of the market share they gain.
Google’s vulnerability here is that its own real product is code. That’s all they have. And code is the easiest thing in the world to steal. Plus, all their code is secret. It’s not stuff that touches a consumer. Which means you can steal their code and use it and nobody can tell. It’s all under the covers. The only way Google can prove that its code has been stolen is to file a lawsuit and show their own code to a court, lined up next to the other guy’s code. But that means exposing their code in court, which means potentially to the entire outside world. Especially if that court is in China and the people you suspect of stealing from you are working for the same government that runs the court. So, yeah. Awkward.
We, on the other hand, sell hardware. Yes, the Chinese can and do make clones and knock-offs. But a fake iPhone is never going to be quite the same as the real one. And if they steal our software, it’s extremely obvious that they’ve done this, and we can track them down and
kill them and make it look like suicide sue somebody. Sure, it’s a pain, and professional assassins lawyers aren’t cheap. But it can be done.
Anyway, here’ the money quote from the fake press release where I express my support for China:
The Apple statement goes on to laud China’s other communistic tactics, including the government’s secrecy and frequent dissemination of misleading information. Such moves are needed to “protect a regime,” Jobs says, and “pretending the decisions are made for the people’s benefit is often the best way to avoid dissent.”
Well, it’s a fake, but the sentiment is, and I won’t apologize for it. If Eric and his idiot helpers want to bail out of the world’s biggest market, great. They won’t be missed. And by making all this noise about it they’ve just exposed their Achilles heel and told the whole world how vulnerable they are. Smooth.