Exclusive: Eric Schmidt Unloads on China in New Book
二 ○一○年一月，Google成為第一家自願揭露遭中國駭客入侵的美國大型企業。其執行董事長施密特在預定於四月發行的新書「新數位時代」（The New Digital Age）中指出，中國是最多駭客攻擊外國企業、最積極過濾資訊的國家。在數位新世界中，中國是強大且危險的力量。該書共同撰文者為美國國務院前顧問柯恩， 但該書也預測，中國將在未來數十年內爆發某種革命，人民以數位時代的設備當做武器，挺身反抗政府管制。
推 特表示，上週稍早監測到意圖獲取用戶資料的不軌行動，雖然立即阻擋了該攻擊，但發現駭客或許已竊取了廿五萬名用戶的個資及密碼，推特已重設遭竊的密碼，並 通知受影響的用戶，推特每月用戶高達兩億人。推特並未提供攻擊來源與方法的細節，不過推特表示︰「駭客手法極度精密，我們認為其他公司與機構近來也遭類似 攻擊。」推特說，已與當局合作追查駭客。
華 郵與紐時都聘請Mandiant維護其網路系統安全，該公司副總裁桑默斯不願對華郵的遭駭評論，不過表示，總體而言，中國政府的駭客「想知道新聞消息來 源，在中國誰與這些媒體接觸，他們想了解媒體如何描繪他們。」知情人士透露，駭客攻擊華郵主要的資訊伺服器以及數台電腦，敏感的權限密碼可能遭竊。華郵二 日報導說，根據遭駭密碼，駭客可能早在○八年、○九年就入侵華郵。Mandiant於二○一一年解除相關惡意程式，這些程式發送訊號給一個與中國駭客團體 有關的伺服器。
By Tom Gara
Corporate Intelligence reviewed preliminary galleys of Schmidt’s new book, “The New Digital Age,” (Random House) which debuts in April. And Schmidt’s views on China stand out the strongest amid often predictable techno-utopian views of the future.
Some of these views are both cliched and camera-ready . He imagines that soon an “illiterate Maasai cattle herder in the Serengeti” will use a smartphone to “inquire the day’s market prices and crowd-source the whereabouts of any nearby predators.”
Other parts of the book are a much darker take on how authoritarians, extremists and rogues of all varieties are becoming just as empowered as that Maasai herdsman. And the good guys, whoever they are, have yet to work out how to properly defend themselves.
The new book is co-written by Jared Cohen, a 31-year old former State Department big shot who now runs Google Ideas, the search giant’s think tank.
The Schmidt and Cohen partnership has at least one other impressive credit to its name. The two wrote a long essay,“The Digital Disruption,” published in November 2010. In its opening paragraph, it predicted that “governments will be caught off-guard when large numbers of their citizens, armed with virtually nothing but cell phones, take part in mini-rebellions that challenge their authority.”
A month later, a wave of popular uprisings began across the Arab world. As the Egyptian revolution kicked off in January 2011, Cohen, so the story goes, was not only in Cairo: he shared dinner with Google executive and high-profile activist Wael Ghonim just hours before he was snatched from the streets by security forces.
With the Arab uprisings rolling onward, “The New Digital Age” picks up where that previous essay left off, taking a big-picture view on how everything from individual identities to corporate strategy, terrorism and statecraft will change as information seeps ever deeper. And in this all-Internet world, China, the book says again and again, is a dangerous and menacing superpower.
China, Schmidt and Cohen write, is “the world’s most active and enthusiastic filterer of information” as well as “the most sophisticated and prolific” hacker of foreign companies. In a world that is becoming increasingly digital, the willingness of China’s government and state companies to use cyber crime gives the country an economic and political edge, they say.
“The disparity between American and Chinese firms and their tactics will put both the government and the companies of the United States as a distinct disadvantage,” because “the United States will not take the same path of digital corporate espionage, as its laws are much stricter (and better enforced) and because illicit competition violates the American sense of fair play,” they claim.
“This is a difference in values as much as a legal one.”
The U.S. is far from an angel, the book acknowledges. From high-profile cases of cyber-espionage such as the Stuxnet virus that targeted Iranian nuclear facilities, to exports of surveillance software and technology to states with bad human rights records, there is plenty at home to criticize.
And those criticisms will become louder and more politically resonant, Schmidt and Cohen claim, as the distinctions between states that support freedom online and those that suppress it become clearer. The pair even speculate that the Internet could eventually fracture into pieces, some controlled by an alliance of states that are relatively tolerant and free, and others by groupings that want their citizens to take part in a less rowdy and open online life. Companies doing business with the latter could find themselves shunned from the former, the book suggests.
In this roundabout way the pair come close, on occasion, to suggesting western governments follow China’s lead and form closer relationships between state policy and corporate activity.
Take the equipment and software that comprises the Internet. Most of the world’s IT systems were once based almost entirely on Western infrastructure, but as Chinese firms get more competitive, that is changing, and not necessarily for the better, they say:
In the future superpower supplier nations will look to create their spheres of online influence around specific protocols and products, so that their technologies form the backbone of a particular society and their client states come to rely on certain critical infrastructure that the superpower alone builds, services and controls.Chinese telecom equipment companies, rapidly gaining market share around the world, are at the front lines of the expansion this sphere of influence, they say: “Where Huawei gains market share, the influence and reach of China grow as well”. And while western vendors like Cisco Systems CSCO +1.26% and Ericsson are not state controlled, the will likely become closer to their governments in the future, Schmidt and Cohen say:
There will come a time when their commercial and national interests align and contrast with China — say, over the abuse of their products by an authoritarian state — and they will coordinate their efforts with their governments on both diplomatic and technical levels.But for all the advantages China gains from its approach to the Internet, Schmidt and Cohen still seem to think its hollow political center is unsustainable. “This mix of active citizens armed with technological devices and tight government control is exceptionally volatile,” they write, warning this could lead to “widespread instability.”
In the longer run, China will see “some kind of revolution in the coming decades,” they write.
Update: Looking for more Schmidt? See our next post - The Future According To Eric: 7 Points
The Future According To Google’s Eric Schmidt: 7 Points
By Tom Gara
But there’s more! Aside from promising a future with “integrated clothing machines (washing, drying, folding, pressing and sorting) that keep an inventory of clean clothes and algorithmically suggest outfits based on the user’s daily schedule,” and — drumroll — “haircuts that will finally be automated and machine-precise,” the book share’s Schmidt’s take many other hot-button online issues.
Here’s a lines we thought were notable:
Anonymity: “Some governments will consider it too risky to have thousands of anonymous, untraceable and unverified citizens — “hidden people”; they’ll want to know who is associated with each online account, and will require verification at a state level, in order to exert control over the virtual world
Search engines: “Within search results, information tied to verified online profiles will be ranked higher than content without such verification, which will result in most users naturally clicking on the top (verified) results. The true cost of remaining anonymous, then, might be irrelevance.”
The Next EU?: ”States like Belarus, Eritrea, Zimbabwe and North Korea — authoritarian, with strong personality cults and a pariah status elsewhere in the world — would have little to lose by joining an autocratic cyber union, where censorship and monitoring strategies and technologies could be shared.”
Tech companies: “Thick skin will be a necessity for technology companies in the coming years of the digital age, because they will find themselves beset by public concerns over privacy, security and user protections…They’ll also have to hire more lawyers. Litigation will always outpace genuine legal reform, as any of the technology giants fighting perpetual legal battles over intellectual property, patents, privacy and other issues would attest”
Electronic conflict: ”It’s fair to say we’re already living in an age of state-led cyber war, even if most of us aren’t aware of it.”
Journalism: “The effect of having so many new actors involved, connected through a range of online platforms into the great, diffuse media system, is that major media outlets will report less and validate more…. In fact, the elite will probably rely more on established news organizations simply becayse of the massive swell of low-grade reporting and information in the system.”
Twitter: “Twitter can no more produce analysis than a monkey can type out a work of Shakespeare.”
《華 爾街日報》的“Corporate Intelligence”欄目預覽了施密特的新書《新數字時代》(The New Digital Age﹐蘭登書屋出版)的內容。該書將在4月出版。在通常意料之中的對未來的眾多技術烏托邦式看法之外﹐施密特對中國的見解最為突出。
新書是施密特與31歲的科恩(Jared Cohen)合寫的。科恩曾是美國國務院要員﹐目前負責谷歌的智庫Google Ideas。
施 密特與科恩至少還有過另外一次重大合作。兩人曾合寫了一篇長篇文章《數字化破壞》(The Digital Disruption)。文章發表於2010年11月。文章開篇便預測﹐當除了手機之外身無一物的大量公民參與小型反抗活動、挑戰當局的權威時﹐政府會被 弄得措手不及。
施 密特和科恩說﹐隨著支持網絡自由的國家和壓抑網絡自由的國家的分野變得更加清晰﹐這些批評的聲音會被更多的人聽到﹐並在政治上引發更多回響。二人甚至預計 ﹐互聯網最終將會分裂成一些碎片﹐相對包容和自由的國家聯盟控制其中的一部分﹐而希望其公民的網絡生活不那麼吵鬧、開放的國家聯盟控制另一部分。書中暗示 說﹐與後一類國家打交道的企業將與前一類國家漸行漸遠。
中 國的電信設備公司正在全世界迅速獲得市場份額﹐它們正處於這一勢力範圍擴張行動的前沿。他們說﹐華為在某個地方的市場份額出現增長﹐中國在那裡的影響力和 覆蓋範圍也將擴大。儘管思科系統(Cisco Systems)和愛立信(Ericsson)等西方生產商不是由國家控股﹐未來它們與政府的關係可能會更加緊密﹐斯密特和科恩說：