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Mum's the Word On Google Attack At Davos 217

Posted by timothy
from the still-deciding-on-culprit-perhaps dept.
theodp writes "BusinessWeek reports that the cyber attack on Google was the elephant-in-the-room at the annual meeting of world leaders in Davos. 'China didn't want to discuss Google,' Josef Ackermann, CEO of Deutsche Bank AG and a co-chair of this year's World Economic Forum, said in an interview. China's Vice Premier Li Keqiang made that clear, he added. Even Google CEO Eric Schmidt didn't bring up China, and Bill Gates was mum on the topic in an interview. The reluctance of companies to talk about China illustrates the pressure on them to protect their business in the country, while the US government doesn't want to upset Chinese investors, said Andy Mok of Red Pagoda Concepts LLC. 'People have their commercial interests,' explained Deutsche Bank's Ackermann."
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Mum's the Word On Google Attack At Davos

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  • Soooo.... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Kell Bengal (711123) on Sunday January 31, 2010 @06:31PM (#30974612)
    So they can just get away with it, right? Somehow I think what's -not- being said is far more interesting. I think the perpetrators will end up with more on their hands than they at first suspected when a bunch of IT powerhouses decide to start randomly hosing key pieces of their information infrastructure.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      The interests of capitalism and nationalism may overlap, but they are never the same.
      What may favor commercial interests may not work well for a given nation or nations.

      "Merchants have no country. The mere spot they stand on does not constitute so strong an attachment as that from which they draw their gains."
      Thomas Jefferson

    • by _Sprocket_ (42527)

      So they can just get away with it, right?

      This was not a military attack; it was espionage. These types of things have been going on for decades without direct, public reprisals.

    • Re:Soooo.... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Unoriginal_Nickname (1248894) on Sunday January 31, 2010 @09:59PM (#30976476)

      IT powerhouses decide to start randomly hosing key pieces of their information infrastructure.

      IT powerhouses are publicly traded: it will never happen. Eric Schmidt wants to keep doing business with China even though they were hacked. Walmart will keep buying Chinese baby formula. Toys R Us will keep stocking Chinese toys. Purina will keep buying Chinese dog food.

      American investment and corporate ownership is a maze. Ideally a corporation is directly liable to its shareholders - meaning that, if the shareholders didn't want to do business with China, they would be able to influence the company in that direction. However, in reality, the 'shareholders' of a major corporation are large holding companies and mutual funds, which are also publicly-traded and owned by other large holding companies and mutual funds. If an executive takes actions that do not maximize profits, they will be removed or possibly sued by the soulless corporate automaton that owns them.
      The fact that Google got the consent of its shareholders to take any action about China is *incredible*, but Google's a huge exception in the IT world for the share of the company that's self-owned or owned by its employees. The rest - Cisco, Microsoft, Apple - are all in for the long run.

    • by grcumb (781340)

      I think the perpetrators will end up with more on their hands than they at first suspected when a bunch of IT powerhouses decide to start randomly hosing key pieces of their information infrastructure.

      I suspect that exactly the opposite is more likely: The IT powerhouses will end up with more on their hands than they at first suspected when the perpetrators decide to start randomly hosing key pieces of their information infrastructure.

      ... Not that I think either outcome is a certainty, by the way. Nonetheless, perhaps the most interesting part about this whole episode (and I'm including the mass-attack against US military assets earlier in 2009 here) is that the effort was so brazen. And when someone (Go

  • Of course... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Darkness404 (1287218) on Sunday January 31, 2010 @06:34PM (#30974638)
    Of course no one wants to bring up politics in an interview. When companies do, or even have speculation about certain political affiliations usually they are boycotted by one group or another.
  • nerd? (Score:5, Funny)

    by MickyTheIdiot (1032226) on Sunday January 31, 2010 @06:38PM (#30974664) Homepage Journal

    Davros is attacking a meeting of world leaders?

    It seems like the Daleks are always doing that. That gods Jon Pertwee was there before. What are we going to do now?

  • by cosm (1072588) <thecosm3&gmail,com> on Sunday January 31, 2010 @06:38PM (#30974670)
    This just goes to show what levels of disclosure and topics of discussion will be sacrificed in the name of securing commercial and privatized interest. Business as usual, nothing to see here folks, move along...

    This is the nature of the beast, and the trend in globalization. I am seeing countries continually regressing in the moral and ethical obligations, a degradation of honesty, transparency, and openness all in the name of making more money. Will we ever see the end of these practices? I don't believe in my lifetime, if ever.
    • by the eric conspiracy (20178) on Sunday January 31, 2010 @06:42PM (#30974696)

      A fundamental question here is whether or not commercial interests will also influence political decision making to the point where war becomes untenable because of the disruption it will cause to commerce.

      • by furbyhater (969847) on Sunday January 31, 2010 @07:21PM (#30975042)
        Waging war is like continuously hitting the jackpot for the part of the economy profiting from the vastly increased military spending.
      • by PopeRatzo (965947) *

        A fundamental question here is whether or not commercial interests will also influence political decision making to the point where war becomes untenable because of the disruption it will cause to commerce.

        A more fundamental question is whether or not commercial interest will also influence political decision making to the point where politics, free speech, free thought and any public protest becomes untenable because of the disruption it will cause to commerce.

        I don't think the biggest corporations worry t

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        It should be painfully obvious by now that war is good for some businesses. There are numerous industries which profit directly. Also, can you imagine what it would be like if one corporation could simply attack another with weapons instead of having to do it through the market?

    • by Paktu (1103861) on Sunday January 31, 2010 @06:54PM (#30974794)
      I am seeing countries continually regressing in the moral and ethical obligations, a degradation of honesty, transparency, and openness all in the name of making more money. I hear this mantra repeated on /. and elsewhere that the whole world is in moral and ethical decline. Really? Please give me a time period, anytime in world history, where nations were upstanding, moral, open, and fair to everyone. It's fine if you want to argue that globalization has negative consequences that outweigh its positive effects. But don't act like there was some bygone golden age in the past where everything was awesome. Societies act solely in their own self interest, always have, always will.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by cosm (1072588)
        I had a feeling I would get at least one response along these lines. Let me clarify the situation, IMO.

        "continually regressing in the moral and ethical obligations"
        I am not proclaiming that there was a bygone golden age where everything was awesome. The word "regress" was chosen carefully for the sole fact that, yes, in this year 2010, there has been significant progress made in the United States and across the world in regards to the treatment of humanity on an ethical and moral scale. Each year that
        • by ajs (35943) <ajs@@@ajs...com> on Sunday January 31, 2010 @08:21PM (#30975636) Homepage Journal

          there has been significant progress made in the United States and across the world in regards to the treatment of humanity on an ethical and moral scale.

          No, there has not.

          I just don't buy it.

          the fact remains that countless individuals and organizations refine and better our understanding of sociological problems on a yearly basis, yet world governments pay little to no regard to these developments.

          As far as I can tell, this is a null statement. You've actually made no claim here that can be proved or disproved. Care to try again?

          In a world that is always increasing its intellectual capabilities through technology, increasing its ability to disseminate academic information, increasing its ability to research, study, examine, and postulate different solutions to different problems, there is a moral and ethical decline in part of the governments, and it is in fact a regression, a back tracking, a one-step-forward-to-steps-back, because it seems regardless of any ideological developments being made, their implementation is residually ignored over time in leu of the motivation of profit.

          Your thesis here seems to be "we can communicate better, so the fact that the world hasn't become a better place is an ethical regression." Unless I've misunderstood what you were trying to say, I think you've just re-defined all of your terminology in ways that are not compatible with English.

        • The word "regress" was chosen carefully for the sole fact that, yes, in this year 2010, there has been significant progress made in the United States and across the world in regards to the treatment of humanity on an ethical and moral scale.

          The same can be said for nation in the center of this -- China. It may sound like news to you given that you only have censored front-page news [slashdot.org]. No matter how bad you think China's human rights situation is today, it is still much much better than 30 years ago or earlier, comparing to periods like Cultural Revolution or Great Leap Forward or the Qing Dynasty. It may not be up to the American standard (which wasn't that good either before the 1960's); but calling it regressive is simply ignorant. And most of

      • by Nerdfest (867930)
        Personally, I would have hoped that humanity would get better. We seem to be staying the same at best, with even that being questionable.
      • Ok, then let's maybe say they're regressing in honesty. At least the emperors and kings didn't claim they gave half a shit about their people's opinion, and exploiting colonies was fair game, after all, we gave them civilisation (we call it freedom today, but it's still the same BS).

        • by drinkypoo (153816)

          At least the emperors and kings didn't claim they gave half a shit about their people's opinion,

          That's a load of dingo's kidneys. No king ever ruled long solely through fear. If your supporters are wondering who's next, things go to hell very quickly. And you get levies from lands, and the lands are worked by peasants, so if you want to collect levies, you need productive peasants. Kings pretended to care about people all the time.

      • by iammani (1392285)
        Its like claiming ignorance was bliss. :)

        When people grow up they become more and more aware of inethical behavior happening in various parts of the world (including the ones happening at their own country/neighborhood). They have an uneasy feeling about these and wish the world was as good as before (ie, wish the world would be as they imagined when they ignorant).

        I bet if given the option, quite a lot of people will prefer ignorance to awareness/knowledge.
        • by RLiegh (247921)

          I bet if given the option, quite a lot of people will prefer ignorance to awareness/knowledge.

          No bet. The popularity of outlets such as Fox "News" proves you right.

      • I hear Atlantis was pretty sweet.
    • by TheNarrator (200498) on Sunday January 31, 2010 @07:53PM (#30975342)

      China's strategy for regaining it's hegemonic strategy is pretty simple and utilizes a basic weakness in American democracy.

      U.S Corporate lobbyists command massive influence politics in the united states.

      U.S lobbyists are controlled by U.S corporations.

      China can easily exert influence over U.S corporations by giving them preferential or non-preferential treatment with their China operations. They can even tell them to get their lobbyists to tell the politicians in Washington to do what China wants.

      Therefore China can easily exert influence on Washington.

    • by ajs (35943)

      This just goes to show what levels of disclosure and topics of discussion will be sacrificed in the name of securing commercial and privatized interest. Business as usual, nothing to see here folks, move along...

      Google has been very vocal and very public about this. If they were staying mum to secure their business interests, then they really, really screwed up.

      Only in the politics of global business news would holding a press conference that triggered comments from both your own Secretary of State and China's official news outlet and then letting that play out rather than continue to rant, be considered "staying quiet."

    • by salesgeek (263995)

      I am seeing countries continually regressing in the moral and ethical obligations, a degradation of honesty, transparency, and openness all in the name of making more money.

      You've obviously skipped political science and political philosophy courses. There are a few things that have not changed since man started scraping symbols on stone tablets:

      * Justice rarely triumphs over power.
      * The victor writes the history books.
      * Self interest is the only value that matters to nation-states.

      Don't plan on it changing

    • That's because he who pays the piper calls the tune. I'm sure you didn't miss the part of the article that states that China holds $789.6 billion in US Treasuries. Whatever moral authority the US had has been traded for cold hard cash. Debt truly is equivalent to slavery in some ways. Governments have to ignore some of their transgressions in order to have access to their cash, and corporations ignore them because they want to market to their large populace. Since you can't trust either to take a stan
  • by OpenSourced (323149) on Sunday January 31, 2010 @06:44PM (#30974712) Journal

    People have their commercial interests

    Well, yes, I guess that's what was missing in the Cold War. If Russia was making cheap plastic toys for Wal Mart, perhaps the US would have permitted the placement of missiles in Cuba, in order not to make people nervous. Dumb Russians, they really lost the Cold War because of Communism. Chinese are seemingly smarter, and have understood that they can do anything as long as they provide with cheap labor to the West's consumers. I guess in a couple of years they'll be able to invade Taiwan with no more consequences than some really stern speeches from various so-called world leaders.

    • by couchslug (175151) on Sunday January 31, 2010 @07:02PM (#30974874)

      If Russia had been making plastic toys instead of trying to export Stalinist revolution, there WOULDN'T have been anything to fight about.

      "I guess in a couple of years they'll be able to invade Taiwan with no more consequences than some really stern speeches from various so-called world leaders."

      Who the fuck wants to die for Taiwan (excepting bunch of geezers nostalgic for bar girl poonannie) now that the mainland isn't supporting regimes that endanger the West, and why shouldn't the strong in Asia be its masters?

      Do YOU want to die for the Kuomintang? If so, share why, and share why Americans should want their sons and daughters to die too?

      Fuck them. If they wanted to be separate from Beijing they'd acquire nukes instead of consumer goods. The cult of US suicide for Chinese needs to have a stake driven through it's heart. The US has an obligation to AMERICANS it forgot during the fascination with Madame Chiang and Pearl S. Buck propaganda (youngsters, look it up for some fun).

      Time to let Asians run Asia and concentrate on problems we neglected near to home, such as Mexico, and Latin and South America.

      • by Opportunist (166417) on Sunday January 31, 2010 @07:59PM (#30975404)

        Do YOU want to die for the Kuomintang? If so, share why, and share why Americans should want their sons and daughters to die too?

        Nope. But maybe you could shed some light on something, being a foreign politics expert. Why again was it allright for the US sons and daughters to invade Iraq and die there too?

      • by Afforess (1310263)
        Actually, the US has a legal obligation due to a treaty with the Chinese Nationalists to defend Taiwan. If they get in trouble we HAVE to help them, or no one will ever trust us as a country.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by evilviper (135110)

        Time to let Asians run Asia and concentrate on problems we neglected near to home

        Ah yes, good old isolationism. Because that's worked out so incredibly well throughout history, right??? Am I right???

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        Fuck them. If they wanted to be separate from Beijing they'd acquire nukes instead of consumer goods.

        Riiiight, with all the world's current nuclear powers doing their level best to prevent it? Think again.

      • If Russia had been making plastic toys instead of trying to export Stalinist revolution

        What the hell is a "Stalinist revolution"? The one in 1917 in Russia sure as hell wasn't that, since Stalin played a very minor role in it, and policies that came out of it was very different from the direction Stalin took the country once he got to power.

        Who the fuck wants to die for Taiwan (excepting bunch of geezers nostalgic for bar girl poonannie) now that the mainland isn't supporting regimes that endanger the West

        Do you seriously believe that PRC is not a credible long-term threat to the West? How about the fact that it cooperates in development of military technology with such Western-friendly countries as Pakistan and Iran?

  • Get used to it. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Gorobei (127755) on Sunday January 31, 2010 @06:46PM (#30974736)

    The extent of this attack was unclear, but figure every major US corporate/government net was at risk. Figure any intranet relying exclusively on firewall rules was penetrated (1 man on the inside with a USB rootkit and you are compromised.) Compare the cost of one M1A1 tank to an intern at a US company.

    If this was a government sponsored attack, figure half the major US intranets are now compromised to some degree.

    • Careful! (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      > The extent of this attack was unclear

      If you were dislexic, a faux pas could start a unclear winter...

    • Re:Get used to it. (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Yvanhoe (564877) on Sunday January 31, 2010 @07:11PM (#30974954) Journal
      Imagine also the impact as an economical attack of Google saying "China won't let foreign companies do profit against local competitors, that's why we pulled up."
      • by Sique (173459)

        And imagine how thoroughly bugged anything in China has to be right now, or are you thinking any secret service worth its salt would sit idle and not trying to figure out what's really going on in China?

    • Sending interns to US companies? Are you nuts, why the expense? Those saps let you produce their hardware and increasingly their software too. They'll even pay you to infect them!

  • by russotto (537200) on Sunday January 31, 2010 @06:48PM (#30974756) Journal

    ...by the fact that China had to request that they not talk about it. China had to acknowledge the "elephant in the room" even to avoid talking about it.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 31, 2010 @06:50PM (#30974778)

    China is already manufacturer to the world, and within a few decades they will lead *everything* - scientific research, they'll be the biggest economy, the biggest market, and the most powerful military.

    It's idiocy to get on their bad side or lock yourselves out of their market. Smart players will play by China's rules and not try to upset them.

    The thing a lot of people don't get is that morals don't matter in international politics and business. "Might makes right" *does* matter. It's nice to have warm fuzzy morals, but when those morals come up against reality, that and fifty cents will get you a cup of coffee. It's not the "right" side that wins, it's the most powerful side. China knows this - they're nothing if not smart and forward thinking.

    The only question is whether the USofA will fall from its position as the world's superpower with any kind of grace, or whether it'll make life hard for everyone else as it falls.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      The only question is whether the USofA will fall from its position as the world's superpower with any kind of grace, or whether it'll make life hard for everyone else as it falls.

      Sorry, no. The real question is whether or not your new Chinese overlords will put up with the same silly European bullshit the US has. I seriously doubt they will.

      • Precedent (Score:3, Interesting)

        by copponex (13876)

        I'd say the US will have hung itself with it's own rope. All China will have to do is claim that the United States has the capacity to conduct terrorism, and then if it has the means, China can setup a blockade, wage a currency war, or invade under the precedent we set a few years ago. Since we've destroyed the power of the UN and the World Court, we won't even have symbolic legal recourse.

        The Golden Rule ain't for nothing. You can call it silly European bullshit I guess, but you also seem like the sort of

        • Re:Precedent (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Bartab (233395) on Sunday January 31, 2010 @09:50PM (#30976412)

          Since we've destroyed the power of the UN and the World Court, we won't even have symbolic legal recourse.

          Neither of those entities have ever -had- real power. The UN has had some very minor paper power - that which people like to point to and mumble about "international law" (a non-existent fallacy) - but the world court is nothing.

          There is no legal recourse at the sovereign level. That's the meaning of the word. The only recourse is militaristic, and China will not be invading the US. Nor will the US be invading China. Both are sad, pathetic, fantasies of bizarrely twisted and broken minds.

          • The UN has had some very minor paper power - that which people like to point to and mumble about "international law" (a non-existent fallacy) - but the world court is nothing.

            The UN and World Court do exist when they agree with the United States. Isn't that peculiar.

            There is no legal recourse at the sovereign level. That's the meaning of the word. The only recourse is militaristic

            So, the trade agreements around the world are a figment of my imagination? Trade embargoes don't exist, multi-party talks to persuade foreign governments exist entirely in my imagination. It is fascinating how insane I am.

            and China will not be invading the US. Nor will the US be invading China.

            And you'd base this on what fortune telling ability? I'm glad simple assertions are gaining traction here on slashdot. By this time next year we can all be Brothers in Christ.

            Both are sad, pathetic, fantasies of bizarrely twisted and broken minds.

            What do you think the r

            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by Neoprofin (871029)

              The UN and World Court do exist when they agree with the United States. Isn't that peculiar.

              No, it makes perfect sense when you have bodies that require their supporters to bear the weight of every decision they make that are frequently run by a bloated and corrupt bureaucracy. There's a reason that the 17,000 U.S. troops in Haiti weren't donated to the U.N. mission there just like there's a reason why the only action taken against Sudan has been an arrest warrant in Europe. It's unfortunate that the UN security council is a reminder to so many other countries about their comparative lack of powe

              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by copponex (13876)

                There's a reason that the 17,000 U.S. troops in Haiti weren't donated to the U.N. mission there

                It was more likely the same reason a UN mission didn't kidnap the democratically elected President of Haiti, Jean Bertrand Aristide, into exile in 2004. There have been 8,000 UN troops fighting in Haiti since then.

                just like there's a reason why the only action taken against Sudan has been an arrest warrant in Europe. It's unfortunate that the UN security council is a reminder to so many other countries about their comparative lack of power.

                The UN lacks power because the US, currently the only world superpower, has steadily decreased its credibility, cut funding, and defied nearly every vote critical of the US with its permanent veto power. Trying to say that the only action taken by the UN is an arrest warrant is simple dishonesty.

    • Indeed... (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      While it is certainly true that might makes right, as you also said, in the not too distant future they'll also have the most powerful military.

      Fact of the mater is, there are quite a few of their rules that I don't really care to be subjected to and the more complacent we are here and now, the more dismal the future may well become.

    • by SuperBanana (662181) on Sunday January 31, 2010 @07:53PM (#30975336)

      and the most powerful military.

      The US spends more money in total than the next dozen or so nations combined: http://www.globalissues.org/article/75/world-military-spending#InContextUSMilitarySpendingVersusRestoftheWorld [globalissues.org]

      Note how the US is just slliiiiiiiightly less than half of that pie chart, and the United states spent 5.8 times what China did in 2008. Let's also not forget who is embroiled in two wars- Iraq and Afghanistan.

      Per capita for the US, looks to be about $2500 in 2004, now $3200: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:PerCapitaInflationAdjustedDefenseSpending.PNG [wikipedia.org]

      Why not have a look at where that places us relative to everyone else? For some reason "Nationmaster" doesn't list the US, but here you can see that figure is $1000 more than the next-highest, Israel (all the figures are from 2004): http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/mil_exp_dol_fig_percap-expenditures-dollar-figure-per-capita [nationmaster.com]

      GDP-wise, America outspends at a percentage twice the world average; Russia actually beat the US relative to GDP on a couple of occasions, but that probably has more to do with Russia's GDP being in the toilet.

      http://www.google.com/publicdata?ds=wb-wdi&met=ms_mil_xpnd_gd_zs&idim=country:USA:CHN:GBR:RUS&tdim=true&tstart=567993600000&tunit=Y&tlen=20

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by eggnoglatte (1047660)

        The US spends more money in total than the next dozen or so nations combined: http://www.globalissues.org/article/75/world-military-spending#InContextUSMilitarySpendingVersusRestoftheWorld [globalissues.org]

        Note how the US is just slliiiiiiiightly less than half of that pie chart, and the United states spent 5.8 times what China did in 2008. Let's also not forget who is embroiled in two wars- Iraq and Afghanistan.

        And just how much longer do you think the US will be able to afford that? What happens when China stops financing the US deficit by buying up all the US bonds? US citizens are too much in the hole themselves to be able to afford buying those bonds.

        This is the crucial mistake the US has made: it has blown its wealth on two wars that mean nothing. Those made a few people with Haliburton shares filthy rich, but the country is in real trouble for it now.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by janimal (172428)

      It's idiocy to get on their bad side or lock yourselves out of their market. Smart players will play by China's rules and not try to upset them.

      The thing a lot of people don't get is that morals don't matter in international politics and business. "Might makes right" *does* matter.

      So, by your logic, the appropriate response to Hitler's Germany was to keep mum, because it was a superpower? By what most commenters to this article in general, it seems it was OK for IBM to supply Hitler the machines for the German census as well. History repeats itself indeed.

    • It's idiocy to get on their bad side or lock yourselves out of their market. Smart players will play by China's rules and not try to upset them.

      You mean, China is the new USA? Because 'til now it was "play by the US rules or be shut out of the world economy, look at Cuba for reference".

      • by Bartab (233395)

        You mean, China is the new USA? Because 'til now it was "play by the US rules or be shut out of the world economy, look at Cuba for reference".

        You mean the Cuba that regularly exports its only product to the max of its production capacity? Where non party members are not allowed to partake of that product?

        Cuba's economic problems stem from poor economic meddling by a gov't that is also too costly. The US (and ONLY US) embargo doesn't even touch it on a worldwide scale. Dropping that embargo would do nothing

  • You don't bad-mouth your friends or people you need.

    Why would business be any different?

    • by ajs (35943)

      You don't bad-mouth your friends or people you need.

      Why would business be any different?

      Ah... so your claim, here, is that someone stayed silent? Didn't Google hold a press conference and threaten to pull out of China? Isn't that the ONLY reason we know this happened?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    USA - 4
    Germany - 1
    India - 1
    UK - 1

    China - 0

    http://www.weforum.org/en/events/AnnualMeeting2010/Sun31/index.htm

  • Elephant in the room (Score:3, Interesting)

    by solferino (100959) <hazchem@NOSPAm.gmail.com> on Sunday January 31, 2010 @07:09PM (#30974938) Homepage
    Elephant in the room [wordpress.com] by Banksy.
    Elephant in the room [pbase.com] by The New Yorker.
  • not to discuss this story after today's story about evidence the chinese government has been hacking britian government and companies [timesonline.co.uk] for some time.
  • Josef Ackermann, CEO of Deutsche Bank AG

    How exactly is that criminal a world leader? What is he doing there?
    I guess we’re really in a industrial feudalistic global system already...

    • by Sique (173459)

      He controls money. That's what he's doing there. And he is a Swiss citizen, so he has all the rights of Switzerland to be in Davos, Switzerland.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Opportunist (166417)

      Didn't you get the memo? The new definition of a world leader is "a criminal with corporate backing". They struck the "politician" between criminal and with, because they ain't really important anymore, you can move and replace them as you see fit.

  • by janimal (172428) on Sunday January 31, 2010 @08:02PM (#30975434)

    Not to be the devil's advocate here, but wasn't it also extremely profitable to be helping out Hitler once upon a time? Are commercial interests really a good justification for what's going on?

    This is not an area for business to make judgements on. Business will do what is legal, and no more. This is an area for governments to step in. Why not make it illegal for corps to engage in business practices that would be considered unlawful outside the jurisdiction? That would fix a lot of these ethical problems. The way it is now, a moral corp cannot afford to be outdone in China by an amoral one.

    Corps should not be left alone in making judgements on ethics. The most recent lesson on that isn't Nazi Germany, btw. It happened as recently as this decade, when Mr. Greenspan trusted banks to make the right decisions.

    As far as I can see, there is no grey area here.

  • It makes sense (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Dr. Hellno (1159307) on Sunday January 31, 2010 @08:26PM (#30975690)
    not to challenge China, an important global market, about cyber-attacks on google when there's no significant evidence that they were responsible. The first thing we did was accuse them, but since they deny culpability, and there isn't any evidence [slashdot.org] to contradict them, bringing it up again is at least arrogant and probably xenophobic too. If proof of their involvement surfaces, maybe then we'll have something to talk about.
  • by geoffrobinson (109879) on Sunday January 31, 2010 @09:29PM (#30976222) Homepage

    It truly is a back-handed complement that people have no qualms trashing America in their public comments. It's as if they are saying "we don't like you or some of the things you do, but you aren't truly big enough bastards to retaliate against us."

    Truly evil regimes like China and Russia get different treatment.

    And if you are truly idiotic like Hugo Chavez, you get visits from Sean Penn and kudos from Oliver Stone.

    • by hyades1 (1149581)

      Pure, unadulterated horse shit! I've been as hard on Communist China as anybody...and I haven't been shy about expressing my contempt for the US when it deserved it, either. And, yes, that includes on the record under my real name (which is weird enough that I'm instantly findable).

      I'm not alone, either. China has had lots of bad press. The main problems with China have come up because corporate America would murder their mothers to get access to the rising Chinese middle class, and they'd rather gua

  • For decades USSR exported communism, and US try to export democracy, but we really export capitalism. The offspring is China, a single party empire that knows how to take advantage of capitalism and is more ruthless than anything witnessed in the West. China will run into problems, but mostly it will not be from external pressures, but as a result of trying to bring Western consumer standards to their entire populace. So I supposed we'll still have the last laugh, but I wonder if Google will still be signif
  • Maybe it's just a personal, private argument, and does not need to be brought up here? Granted a major argument, but still, no one likes their thread to be derailed.

  • Apologies if anyone finds this term offensive - I'm using it for historical significance.

    So, after all the decades of US posturing on the evil communists, including using Roland Reagan to warn the US public that "socialized medicine"
    would cause the downfall of the great capitalist nation, THIS is what it has become? The Western World, essentially the defendants of personal
    freedom are now so craven that they kowtow to China - a country that has largely become a dominant force through enslavement of its peopl

  • Another long discussion about "freedom", and white man's burden.

    The elephant in the room is that those attacks are as much "Chinese" as 2009 H1N1 flu is "swine".

  • by mbone (558574) on Monday February 01, 2010 @01:00AM (#30977510)

    Oh, you can bet it's being discussed. Just not publicly. That's why people go to Davos in the first place, to have the ability to discuss things privately.

We can predict everything, except the future.

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