China doesn't trust Windows, Europe might not trust Google, and nobody trusts the phone giants [Government IT Week]

China doesn't trust Windows, Europe might not trust Google, and nobody trusts the phone giants [Government IT Week]

Summary: China seems to think Windows 8 is a threat (no news on whether they're trying to run Metro). Europe demands Google delete some of our data, and Snowden is still in the news.


ZDNet's worldwide team provides global 24/7 technology news and analysis. In addition to my own coverage analysis here in the ZDNet Government column and on ZDNet's DIY-IT, every week I'll bring you a selection of the best government-related articles posted by our intrepid reporters and analysts. Here are some of the most interesting from the last week.

Top stories this week

One year after Snowden, phone giants' privacy policies are laughable at best
The US government relies on intelligence from an unknown number of US telecoms for its mass surveillance programs. What's the state of phone privacy in the post-NSA world?

Vodafone: Here's how (and where) governments are spying on your calls
Mobile operator reveals scale of government surveillance, and says that speaking out is "not without risk."

Chinese state media labels Windows 8 a 'potential threat'
The Chinese state media attack on US software and hardware continues, with China’s CCTV state network broadcasting a critical report suggesting that Windows 8 is being used to harvest data about the country’s citizens for use by the US government.

The right to be forgotten: Can we really trust Google to decide when our data should die?
A recent 'right to be forgotten' case at the European Court of Justice has opened up the floodgates for requests to bury data. Who should decide when those demands are legitimate?

Other government coverage around ZDNet

EU mandates Facebook, Google to abide by its privacy rules
The mandate dropped amid revelations about government surveillance on UK-headquartered mobile provider Vodafone.

New OpenSSL breach is no Heartbleed, but needs to be taken seriously
While the newest OpenSSL security problems are troubling, and you should address it, it's nothing as bad as Heartbleed.

Australian data laws to mirror the UK, Germany: Fieldfisher
Data protection laws in Australia could soon mirror those in Germany and the UK, according to a new report by European law firm, Fieldfisher.

Turnbull flags trial NBN nodes for 1,000 premises
Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has said NBN Co and Telstra are planning a wider trial of fibre to the node technology that will cover up to 1,000 premises.

Turnbull may soften Brandis' hard line on copyright infringement
There are hints in emails obtained by ZDNet that Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull may help soften any hard line copyright infringement schemes Attorney-General George Brandis wants to implement, and force companies to meet demands for fair pricing and availability.

NICTA appoints Russell Yardley to the board
Australian IT research agency NICTA has appointed Russell Yardley to the board, despite axing 30 research positions earlier this year.

Big data to deliver NZ Budget shake-up
New Zealand's Minister of Finance says open data and big data analytics will reshape the way government produces its annual Budget.

Visionary award winner Tim O'Reilly calls on techies to help local government
The founder of computer book publisher and events organizer O'Reilly Media received Silicon Valley Forum's 2014 Visionary award.

Productivity Commission criticises NZ Government cloud programme
In a report on productivity in the services sector, New Zealand's Productivity Commission says the Government cloud computing programme is "highly risk averse" and may send a poor signal to private firms.

Brandis and Turnbull working on joint piracy crackdown policy
The Australian Department of Communications and the Attorney-General's Department have been collaborating in secret on an online copyright infringement policy that looks to include a graduated response scheme, ZDNet can reveal.

Armidale to pay for NBN fibre extension to airport
Armidale council has voted to spend up to AU$250,000 extending the fibre network in the town out to the airport and the new industrial land development using existing sewer trenches.

Topics: Government US, Government, Government Asia, Government AU, Government UK, Privacy, Security, Windows


David Gewirtz, Distinguished Lecturer at CBS Interactive, is an author, U.S. policy advisor, and computer scientist. He is featured in the History Channel special The President's Book of Secrets and is a member of the National Press Club.

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  • Trust, or rather the lack thereof...

    there are two fundamental changes in thinking needed in the IT industry, if there is any wish to establish trust.

    First, it must be understood that the software must be protected from un-authorized modifications before there can be any meaningful discussion of encryption or protecting transactions and data-bases. This is noted in Phil Zimmerman's original documentation on PGP back in 1992. It's not something I made up.

    Second the pen&ink process we have used for authentication of documents in our paper based systems does not work in a digital network environment. we must learn to use PGP and to establish trust models using public keys. again this is not something i made up. it's mentioned by Whitfield Diffie in his testimony for New Egg in their proceedings v TQP Holdings
  • Anything going on with the SELinux layer?

    It's my understanding that that was contributed by NSA. Has there been any industry buzz that if an organization is using the SE layer it should stop doing so? Has anyone given the code a detailed examination considering the NSA revelations?
  • I like Tom Lehrer too

    Thanks for the laugh.
    John L. Ries
  • Not an essential issue

    Windows OS may have some back doors, but China can use it for general purpose such as the general market/users. For govenment departments, they can choose others such as Unix.

    There should not complains from Microsoft, USA and China.
  • Same old Cold War propoganda

    The thing the Chinese government doesn't quite understand is a propaganda war against a US company doesn't really work. I can only assume it's because government controlled industry is so embedded in their way of thinking.
    Buster Friendly
    • It's especially ineffective...

      ...if you're so cheap you don't bother to pay for it.

      At least the Soviets fully funded the US Communist Party that was so helpful in promoting their positions.
      John L. Ries