[FoRK] Truth (?) about the Google Affair (translated from a Chinese blog)

Bill Stoddard wgstoddard at gmail.com
Mon Jan 18 10:39:21 PST 2010

This is translated from a Chinese blog.  Of course, there is no way to 
'prove' this accusation; inner workings of the CCP is a black box and 
there are no civilized tools available to break that black box open.   
However, you can still reasonably ask 'Does this pass the 'sniff 
test''?  You decide...


http://www.zonaeuropa.com/201001b.brief.htm  (scroll down to article (012)

The Truth About The Google Affair (01/15/2010)  (Douban) This is a 
translation of an anonymous blog/forum post by an omniscient person who 
is somehow privy to confidential information from all sides.

         If you have any doubts about the following truth or if you 
think that there are other versions out there, then you need to explain 
the following fact:

         When Google headquarters announced their withdrawal from China, 
they immediately canceled the rights of all Chinese engineers to access 
the servers on which their program codes reside.  The engineers only 
found out when they showed up for work that they could not longer enter 
the home page of their server.  There was no pre-notification.  Many 
people were halfway through their coding when they were frozen out.  
They will have to wait for weeks when they are transferred to the United 
States before they can continue to write.

         If Google had planned to leave beforehand, why would they do 
this?  They could have continued to let the workers work and clean up.  
For example, the Chinese company does Google Music differently than the 
US (music.google.cn and music.google.com).  If Chinese Google Music is 
canceled, the Chinese engineers can do the code migration.

         But all Chinese engineers were placed on paid leave while that 
work is being taken over by foreigners.

         Why did Google suddenly distrust its Chinese team?  After all, 
they developed their own codes and they should be more efficient in 
making the migration.

         The only reason is that the Chinese Communist Party must have 
inserted special agents inside Google (specifically in the Shanghai 
office of Google).

         The truth of the matter is that this person was sent by the 
Chinese Communist Party.  After being hired by Google, this person 
copied down the critical program code and handed it over the the Chinese 
Communist Party.

         The purpose of this action was to gain access to the email of 
the "human rights organizations."  Google's official statement noted this.

         The flaws of the Gmail system became exposed.  Google could not 
officially acknowledge this, or else their reputation would suffer 
internationally.  All Google could do was to stop all work in China.  
All engineers in China were not allowed to access the program code 
server.  Then they seized the opportunity to correct their Gmail code 
over the next few days.

         So the whole truth is simply this emergency incident.  You can 
read the original Google statement.  It was written in haste, but you 
can sense the shock among their top leaders.  The three top managers of 
Google held an emergency meeting and came to a unanimous decision.  How 
could they have reached an agreement with the United States government 
to do this beforehand?  Do you feel that an official Google announcement 
would be so crudely written unlike any official document?

         Google's withdrawal was not because of the Internet 
censorship.  While that was something that Google felt uncomfortable 
about, they had put up with it over the past few years.

         But the code theft this time caused Google to face a total 
collapse crisis.  (The official Google blog said that this involved an 
intellectual property theft problem).  To put it bluntly, the survival 
of the entire company would be threatened if they stayed in China.  
Therefore, they put a stop to all work at their China company.

         While Google planned to negotiate with the Chinese government 
at first, they have given up the effort today.  Even if the government 
makes concessions, Google does not plan to stay.  If they stay, they 
risk their lives.  This is not a question of making money in the China 
market or not.  The risk is too high to make a little money but losing 
the entire company.

         As for limiting the access rights of the Chinese engineers to 
the program code, it should that said that Google trusts its technical 
staff.  Even an intern can access more than 99% of the program code.  
Google has only one program code database.  Each person who enters 
learns the first law of development: Search!  Search for similar code in 
the program code database and then email the original author.  By 
sharing the program code across the entire company, they were able to 
achieve tremendous coding efficiency.  The Google program code, comments 
and technical description are open to every engineer.

         You can criticize me, or you can offer other explanations.  But 
please read my whole essay and then see if you can justify your own 

         I can only say that the Chinese Communist Party has gone too 
far and made it impossible for Google to go on.

         P.S. This case is still under investigation.  There is a person 
who is a Chinese Communist Party member.  After arriving in Google, he 
downloaded the core program code of Gmail.  This person has vanished 
now.  But we know the above.  As to who sent him, we can only guess.  
Over the past couple of days, Google headquarters people have 
interviewed every engineer in China to see if this person has 
collaborators.  At the same time, Google headquarters is accessing how 
much program code has been leaked and how much of it has to be 
re-written.  When this is done, they will begin to transfer the Chinese 
engineers (if they didn't investigate and transfer them immediately, 
they would be bringing the moles to the United States).  At that time, 
Google headquarters will state the truth.  You can wait a month and come 
back to re-read this post.

         P.P.S.  Forget it, let me explain this.  There were three 
moles, one of whom was the Chinese Communist Party branch secretary.  
This party secretary was set up four years ago by the National Security 
Ministry.  This guy studied at Jiaotong University and then jointed 
Computer Security Department.  The department sent him to study 
computers at the Computer Security School in Jiaotong University.  He 
programmed every day.  When he graduated, he joined Google.  There, he 
recruited two more insiders.  One of them was the insider who broke into 
the source code for Gmail and gave it to the Chinese government.
         The government wanted this mainly to monitor the anti-Communist 
persons who use Gmail.
         So this was sensationalistic, because of the involvement of the 
Chinese Communist Party branch.
         This guy got a 1,000,000 yuan reward, plus public servant status.
         These people used to sneak over to Lujiazui after work to 
attend Chinese Communist Party branch meetings.

         How did Google that their code was obtained by the agents?
         Unless Google installs surveillance software on the computers 
of all the workers.
         To access the program code, one must log into the only program 
code server at Google.  The server will keep a record of your visits.
         It is only known now that this person is a Chinese Communist 
Party member and he reviewed a lot of program code within a short time.  
This person has now vanished.  Based upon this, I conjecture that he 
turned the code over to his organization.
         Firstly, he clearly attacked many servers that carried source code.
         Secondly, he clearly obtained it illegally.
         Let us continue to watch this.  My mobile phone will be ringing ...
         Right now, most of the colleagues are prepared to leave.  A 
small number of technical people and the legal department will stay.  
Everybody is depressed.  Nobody thought that this was how this would end.

     [ESWN Comment:  Due to the many links that are coming into this 
story, I deem it necessary to comment.  Firstly and most importantly, I 
do not think that this is true based upon the internal contents of the 
story.  I referred to the author as 'omniscient' because this person 
appears to have the knowledge of a Google worker (such as access 
privileges) and is also privy to information within the Chinese 
Communist Party (such as the mole receiving 1,000,000 yuan in reward 
money).  In practice, this is extremely unlikely.

     For importantly, this story misses the details about the hacking 
breach that David Drummond referred to.  This story is just about a mole 
downloading code from inside the company.  There is nothing about 
hacking.  There is also nothing to jump from Google to the 32 companies 
that were also attacked by the hacker(s).  The following story is 
completely orthogonal to the above story.

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