• U.S. enables Chinese hacking of Google
    Schneier points out that the feature China hacked in GMail was only there because the US government demanded it "for security", and that building trapdoors for use by spooks is an invitation for bad guys to hack them. They are another example of why security through obscurity is an anti-pattern.

    Another question this raises is whether Google's position is truly defensible. They say they will only obey Chinese law if the Chinese government does too. Does the same apply to other governments? What about US government use of the same trapdoor?

    To criticise here is not to defend China's execrable record on human rights. Rather, it is to note that China defends itself internationally by saying it is just doing publicly what other governments do secretly (while overlooking the fact its own use is usually tyrannous). Once again that defense is theirs.
    (tags: Security Hacking Transparency Google BruceSchneier China surveillance USA privacy)
  • Video, Freedom And Mozilla
    Excellent explanation of why Firefox has no H.264 support and why it won't be getting any. This is exactly the right position to be taking and I think it's a crying shame that major traffic drivers like YouTube aren't taking the same approach. [Is there also some rule that demands that the better the article, the more stupid the comments?]
    (tags: mozilla firefox standards patents video h.264 Ogg Codec freedom rights FOSS opensource)