Facebook gave user data to 'at least 4 Chinese companies,' including tech giant ID'd as security threat by U.S. intel

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/06/05/facebook-china.html


I can’t but laugh…


Only if you believe that rivals of the US government are automatically “the bad guys”.

Have you noticed who is running the US government today? Unexamined nationalism is not a virtue at the moment.


Given that Trump has now alienated all of the US’s allies, “rivals of the US government” doesn’t mean much, but that doesn’t mean that security threats don’t exist. That is, just because the president of the US is now a national security threat to the US of A, it doesn’t mean Huawei stopped being one as well.


Much of the espionage undertaken by the Chinese government appears to be focused on commercial rather than military concerns.

Given the history of the last fifty years, the possibility of unprovoked Chinese aggression towards the USA seems very low. OTOH, the possibility of unprovoked US aggression towards just about everyone seems pretty high. Even higher than usual.

In spying terms, everything that the Chinese are doing to the USA is also being done by the USA to the Chinese. Remember the stories about American spooks intercepting computers and implanting spyware?

Are the Chinese authorities “bad guys” in the sense of being an oppressive government? Yes, much like the US authorities.

Are the Chinese “bad guys” in the sense that we should be cheering for US dominance over them? No.

The broader point I’m getting at is that if folks are still operating with the default assumption of “USA = Good, Countries that the USA declares as enemies = Bad”, they need to get their shit sorted ASAP.

That mental schema has never been true, but in the current context it is immensely fucking dangerous.


But that doesn’t mean they aren’t a problem - not just in terms of industrial espionage, but for anyone involved with, or writing about/interacting with those involved in, human rights issues, especially if they’re related to China. Anyone in that position should be seriously concerned about Facebook giving away data because it’s a big fucking deal. The Chinese government has done some pretty nasty shit to those people, including in the US. The problem is not just the espionage itself but how China acts on that data - people could literally end up being imprisoned, tortured and/or dying as a result of this.


Have I mentioned…


And yet the BBS still has a FB account… just say’n


Which does not notably differentiate them from the USA. Haspel was confirmed to the CIA just last week.

My argument here is not “defend the People’s Glorious Revolution!”. It’s “nationalism sucks, and there are no good guys in this contest”.


But it’s not because of nationalism that Huawei is being identified as a problem - it’s because they’re a problem (e.g.for people in the US and their friends/family in China).
If Facebook is sharing data with the CIA which they use to identify “terrorists,” then that’s also a (similar) problem. But Y also being a problem isn’t necessarily relevant to a discussion of X being a problem (and certainly doesn’t mean that X isn’t a problem). I mean, yeah, shittiness abounds…but each instance is still shitty on its own.
It’s shit-turtles all the way down.


If BB ever decides to take a poll about whether to continue using mouth-eye photos, I would tick “Nay”, just sayin’.


Well since the Chinese government already has the contents of the security clearance forms and interviews for everyone who has a US security clearance, I wouldn’t be too worried about this.



I’m a little touchy regarding Sinophobia at the moment, as this exchange happened just yesterday:

…and its not as if anti-China politics have ever needed any help in the USA.


Indeed I would say the one on this thread is especially horrifying. But maybe that’s just because of who it is.


We’d need to find Rob a new hobby first.


The eyes are mirrors mouths of the soul.


We have to stop saying “our data” or “your data” is being sold by Facebook.

Once you put it on there, it’s their data.

Had deleted Facebook months-ish ago, but not Instagram—-really loved Instagram—but now it has to go as well. R.I.P.

I gave up on FB an extremely long time ago, I have live in Toyko and a picture of a 16 year old me on there lol, I only use it to link my nerd accounts and things of that nature

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Hmmm… I’m conflicted because I actually like my Huawei products. Maybe there’s a good reason for that… uncomfortable but not really scary. Maybe I just haven’t woken up enough yet today. Where is caffeine…