Something that never ceases to amaze me is how the US government gets very frightened about Chinese backdoors and spyware but turns a blind eye when US companies providing the same products do the same thing.

See also: Huawei security issues and Cisco security issues.

Cisco has multiple hardcoded backdoors in their corporate networking hardware? Must be a mistake.

Huawei has a security vulnerability in their networking hardware? Must be an anti-American plot.

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It's also suspicious the US never seems to disclose the alleged security issues.

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"China could be weakening encryption standards intentionally!"

Oh, you mean like the NSA and eliptic curve?

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How is that amazing?

It's nation-state vs nation-state stuff. Each side uses similar weapons. It is not a matter of hypocrisy to fear an adversary's weapons even while armed with essentially the same weapons.

As it happens, the US is pretty susceptible to its own weapons and to really harden against adversaries would necessitate losing use of those weapons on their own populace, which policing institutions loathe happening.

I understand. It's more just incredible to watch politicians scream and wine about security while also supporting the undermining of security.

I understand their real motivations, it's just very interesting to see them mask their real motivations and pretend that these security issues pose a threat to citizens while excluding the fact they almost certainly pose more of a threat than a national several thousand km away.


They're not really masking the motivations. Foreign adversaries having backdoors into civilian infrastructure is what they make noise about. Within that framing, the national government having backdoors into the civilian infrastructure is fine (if we ignore that these backdoors sometimes get found and exploited by adversaries).

Politicians, mainstream American ones at least, don't admit the state is a threat to the citizenry, and when they do, treat it as aberrant, not fundamental.


(At least the security state parts of the government. Any part of the government that reigns in capital gets categorically pointed at as an abberation that threatens citizens that must be excised irrespective of how that part actually impacts people's lives. That then gets distilled into a weird "minarchist" strain that essentially says the government is just there to enforce property rights.)

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