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Government Security United States Your Rights Online

Another Attack, On Law Firm Suing China 131

Posted by timothy
from the in-for-a-penny-in-for-a-pounding dept.
An anonymous reader writes "In the wake of the attack on Google, another company claims to be the victim of a similar attack. Gipson Hoffman & Pancione is a Los Angeles law firm whose client, CYBERsitter, is suing the government of China and several Chinese companies for using their intellectual property in the infamous Green Dam censorship filter. According to the firm, they have been targeted by a spear phishing attack from China." Relatedly, smartaleckkill writes with news that the US state department is to formally protest to China over the alleged cyber-attacks on Google, "likely early next week."
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Another Attack, On Law Firm Suing China

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  • by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Sunday January 17, 2010 @04:41AM (#30796984)

    I am actually glad to see that lawsuits over software patents aren't being used for silly purposes to remove competition. Cyber sitter could have put together this lawsuit long ago, but they go in on the heels of the google hacking fiasco they got caught in.

    What do software patents have to do with anything? This is a copyright infringement and trade secret misappropriation lawsuit and it was filed BEFORE Google went public with their issues.

  • Re:That's right.... (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 17, 2010 @07:07AM (#30797454)

    I've always wondered why people think the US is so indebted to China. Of the US debt, only 28% is held by foreigners, and only 23% of that is held by the Chinese (so 6% total). It's about $800 Billion, which is quit a bit, but only about 5% of the US's yearly GDP.

    Beyond that, why does it even matter? China would be hurt far, far worse than the US if there was a political breakdown between the two. 40% of the Chinese GDP comes from exports, so they'd suffer tremendously. The US imports the equivalent of about 2% of its GDP from China, so it'd about be like a mild recession. Probably not even that if Japan and Taiwan increased their exports.

    Obviously, China has one heck of an incentive to keep the US happy. Especially since there seems to be a growing anti-China sentiment in the US.

  • Re:Tread softly (Score:4, Informative)

    by TapeCutter (624760) * on Sunday January 17, 2010 @08:45AM (#30797834) Journal
    ."China now owns the US dollar

    You don't need to understand anything about the global economy [slashdot.org] to realise that's bullshit. All you need to do is ask yourself if China could gain an advantage by using it's holdings to manipulate the value of the dollar then why has it not done so already? Surely your not suggesting that China is currently propping up the US out of the goodness of it's heart?

    The fact is that the Chinese and US economys are like two drunks leaning on each other, if one stumbles they both fall. I put it to you that your link is little more than an advert for something called "China Investment Corp".
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 17, 2010 @09:10AM (#30798018)
    Are all of these attacks really a surprise? Remember that Microsoft gave China access to the Windows source code years ago. http://solarislackware.blogspot.com/2010/01/china-microsoft-and-why-you-should-be.html [blogspot.com]
  • Re:Sigh. This again (Score:5, Informative)

    by QuoteMstr (55051) <dan.colascione@gmail.com> on Sunday January 17, 2010 @10:58AM (#30798788)

    Yes, T-bills [wikipedia.org] are auctioned off in lots. That's how their price is set, actually: the US government actions off a batch of notes to paid off at a particular price after a particular time, (say, $1,000,000 after 30 years). Investors bid against each other, and the one willing to pay the highest price for the note wins.

    Of course, the price paid for a treasury ends up being slightly below the face value of the note. That's mathematically equivalent to the government paying interest on the loan when it's repaid. (Of course, individual investors usually don't hold treasuries to term themselves, but instead sell them to others.)

    That's where the interest rate on the US debt comes from: the higher the demand for US treasury securities, the higher the price, and the lower the government's effective interest rate.

    Since US treasuries are considered the safest securities around, because the US has never defaulted, demand for treasuries is usually high, and especially high in times of economic sluggishness like the present. During the worst of the financial crisis, the prices paid for treasuries exceeded their face value, which meant investors were literally paying the US government to hold onto their money.

    All this means that the US government can borrow very cheaply and in massive quantities. If China were to stop participating in treasury auctions, there are plenty of investors who would sake up the slack. The only effect would be that due to a reduction in competition, the bid price would be slightly lower, which would correspond to a slightly higher interest rate.

    No big deal.

  • Re:That's right.... (Score:4, Informative)

    by Solandri (704621) on Sunday January 17, 2010 @12:04PM (#30799252)
    China only holds about $800 billion in U.S. Treasury Securities [treas.gov]. U.S. GDP was about $14.2 trillion in 2008. U.S.imports from China were $338 billion in 2008 [census.gov]. Exports around $70 billion, so trade with China accounted for 2.9% of U.S. GDP. If China were to exercise the "nuclear option" and suddenly dump all the U.S. treasury securities it owns onto the market, and stopped all trade with the U.S., its financial impact would be about 8.5% of U.S. GDP.

    China's 2008 GDP was about $4.4 trillion. Their trade with the U.S.at $338+$70 billion accounted for 9.3% of their GDP. So if China were to dump all the U.S. securities and stop all trade with the U.S., they would be hurting their economy more than they would be hurting the U.S. economy.

    China needs the U.S. more than the U.S. needs China.

"There is nothing new under the sun, but there are lots of old things we don't know yet." -Ambrose Bierce

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