(Zhou Bihua's blog)  June 18, 2007.

Last week, an extraordinary case occurred in a certain city.  Three rich ladies from a big corporation rented a room in a star-class hotel and hired a young man to have a good time.  They each put up 1,000 yuan.  In order to deal with the long and arduous campaign, the young man took 15 Viagra pills.  But he overdosed and died during the process.  The rich ladies each paid 50,000 yuan in compensation.


Note: This is just a blog post and not a news report.  The main point was to consider the relevant laws.  But a certain Changde reporter used this as a news lead and came up with the name of the corporation.  It was also claimed that my blog post has hurt the principals tremendously (even though I never named anyone).  Meanwhile in our city, two vile persons made posts on the government website to heap abuse me and demand legal sanctions against me, thus damaging my personal reputation.  Accordingly, I reserve the right to seek legal means of defending my rights against the irresponsible media as well as those who insult me.)

(EastDay)  July 11, 2007.

After the blog post appeared, fake news stories began to wreck havoc: Last month, several rich local ladies met with their regular "duck" in a certain hotel in Zhongshan city.  According to the service worker on duty, the unconscious "duck" was carried out of the hotel room six hours later.  He was dead 30 minutes after arriving at the hospital.

Next, fake eyewitnesses appeared: "I swear that this is true.  The public security bureau has investigated the case and imposed fines."  A Mr. Li who works at a certain government agency in Changde city swore to the reporter: "On the evening of June 15, Changde Tobacco Factory's three rich ladies rented a room at a star-class hotel and hired a young man ..."  The identities of the three "rich ladies" were ascertained, being 35, 45 and 48 years old respectively.  One of them is a well-known Changde private entrepreneur.

Meanwhile turmoil ruled within the families of these "rich ladies."

According to "rich lady" Zeng, she was watching television at home with her husband on the evening of June 15.  "When I heard the story of ' the three Changde rich ladies and the dead male prostitute,' I did not pay much attention because I thought it was someone else.  When a friend old me that it was me and two others, I exploded in anger.  But my husband has been very good to me.  Would I do something shameful like that?  It was a good thing that my whereabouts on that evening were known, otherwise I could never clear my name."

The rumor about "the three rich ladies and the dead male prostitute" drew the attention of the Changde police.  According to a Changde city public security bureau external publicity department worker: "Even though nobody has filed a police complaint yet, the rumor has been circulating in Changde.  We are paying attention and we are conducting an investigation."  Of course, this never led to anything.

The blogger Zhou Bihua explained to netizens: "I am fairly well-known in Changde and many people read my blog.  I wrote about 'the city where I live' and my Changde readers misunderstood.  I have no idea who made the leap from here to the three women at the Changde Tobacco Factory.  Even though the matter has been cleared up, I am sorry for the negative impact on them."

Fast forward to today ...

(Southern Metropolis Daily)  January 19, 2010.

Recently, the story of "Taishan rich ladies cause death of male prostitute" has been circulating in Taishan city, on and off the Internet.  According to the Taishan City Women's Association, the story is a rumor.  The rumormonger has broken the relevant state laws, and the police are now investigating the case.

The rumor said that three Taishan rich ladies went to Kaiping city to rent a male prostitute.  During the session, the male prostitute overdosed and died unexpectedly.  The Taishan City Women's Association stated that as many as 10 different women were 'identified' as the culprits.  The Taishan Women's Association leader contacted the Kaiping city public security bureau, and was informed that there has been no such case there.  Therefore, this was a rumor.

According to information, the "Taishan rich ladies cause death of male prostitute" story bears a great resemblance to the blog post <Reflections on the impossibility applying law in the case of three rich ladies causing the death of a male prostitute> made by a blogger in Changde city, Hunan province two years ago.  According to the Taishan City Women's Association worker, a Taishan netizen must have changed the  locations from Changde/Zhongshan to Taishan/Kaiping in the story and morphed it into the "Taishan rich ladies cause death of male prostitute" rumor.

At 11:00am on January 18, the Guizhou province Anshun city government held its second press conference on the case of policeman Zhang Lei shooting two villagers to death.  The government was represented by Pogong town mayor Wu Xin and Guanling county public security bureau deputy director Ran Taiyou (in charge of criminal investigations).  During the 30 minute conference, all sorts of amazing things were said.  The following are notes taken during the Q&A session.

Anshun Government Website: Did Zhang Lei have any prior conflicts with the people who were involved in the dispute?
Ran Taiyou: This is presently under investigation.  The testimony of the principals do not indicated any conflicts or other relationships between Zhang Lei and the two sides of the dispute.

Guizhou Daily: Why did the Pogong town government sign a compensation agreement with the families of the deceased.
Wu Xin: The town government worked hard to maintain social stability.  Since the families of the deceased indicated that they were economically strapped and requested compensation before they could have the autopsies and burials, the government studied the request.  Both families were found to be in economic hardship.  If the bodies were left in the strees of Pogong town, it would interfere with traffic and cause inconvenience.  Based upon humanitarian considerations and administrative responsibility, the town government gave compensation in the form of relief in order to insure stability.  The town government reached an accord with the families of the deceased who cooperated with the effort.  Everything is moving along smoothly, as the two deceased persons were buried on January 15 in accordance with local customs.
But you may have some questions.  The first is that why did the Pogong town government offer such a high compensation amount given that it is a poor county?  This is because the families of the deceased asked for a lot, and 350,000 yuan was the minimum that they would accept.  They were not going to cooperate with the autopsies and investigations otherwise.
Secondly, where is the money coming from?  The county treasury is footing the bill temporarily.
Perhaps you may have a third question: Will money be taken out of the civil affairs budget or treasury to pay the compensation?  We are footing the bill temporarily and we will study what to do afterwards.

Chongqing Morning News: Is Zhang Lei being investigated for crimes or discipline violations?  The official statement on Zhang Lei was that "he was inexperienced and he acted improperly."  What does that mean?  How shall we regard the actions of Zhang Lei?
Ran Taiyou: At the present stage, Zhang Lei is being investigated by the public security bureau.  He is temporarily suspected from duty.  He is under investigation.  When the investigation is complete, he will be dealt with according to the relevant rules and regulations.

Unidentified reporter: Why did Zhang Lei only fire lethal shots?  Is it possible that he shot and injured the man in the leg and then shot him again in the head to cause death?
Ran Taiyou: Based upon our investigation, we can say categorically that this view is not objective.  Two of the shots were fired into the air.  One shot hit a non-lethal part of the body.  There was no such thing as injuring Guo Yongzhi first and then going up to shoot him in the head.

Xiaoxiang Morning News: Guo Yongzhi was shot twice.  But you just said that there was no such thing as injuring GuoYongzhi first and then going up to shoot him in the head.  Does that mean that he was shot dead in the head first before being shot in the leg next?
Ran Taiyou:  There was no such thing either.

Xiaoxiang Morning News: So he was neither shot in the leg first nor shot in the head first.  Did Zhang Lei shoot Guo Yongzhi twice faster than the bat of an eye?
Ran Taiyou: You can ask again after we complete our investigation.

(chaos in press conference hall)

Xinmin Weekly: I protest!  This press conference has been rehearsed!

Huasheng News: Two shots.  Which was the first shot and which was the second shot?  How close?  How close was the gun from the gunshot wound?
Ran Taiyou: The provincial public security bureau is conducting the scene analysis and technical examination about the distance.  We will tell you the facts after the investigation has reached its conclusions.

Huasheng News: Guo Yongzhi was shot twice.  Which was the first shot and which was the second shot?
Ran Taiyou: We tell you after the technical examination of the provincial public security bureau is done.

(the reporter were clearly dissatisfied as chaos broke out again)

Xinmin Weekly: The police investigation report stuck to the "attacking a policeman" story on January 13 and the attempt to seize the gun.  How come none of the eyewitnesses interviewed by the media said so?  Many eyewitnesses did not even see any physical contact between the two sides.  At most, the principals said that they shoved and pushed the police.  I don't know how the police concluded that there was an attack on a policeman and an attempt to seize his gun.  Have you interrogated these eyewitnesses?  The police must reveal their procedures.
Ran Taiyou: As the reporter comrade said, the procedures must be revealed.  However, the case is still under investigation, including the scene analysis and technical examinations.  A lot of investigation is still going on.  When the investigation is completed ...

Huasheng News:  If the investigation is still ongoing, then wasn't it hasty to announce "the attack on a policeman" on January 13?
Ran Taiyou: No, no, that was not a result.  The true legal results will have to wait until the investigation is completed ...

Chongqing Morning News: A conclusion was drawn before the investigation was completed.  Do you feel that you were acting responsibly as a government worker?
Ran Taiyou: The state of our investigation ... the final results ... we will reveal the facts from the investigation to everybody ...

Xinmin Weekly: Do we understand that you mean mean to say that the "attack on the policeman" and the "attempted seizing of the gun" are not definitive but just certain testimonies that the police heard during their investigation?
Ran Taiyou: The final results will have to wait until the investigation is completed before being revealed to everybody.

Chongqing Morning News: Can you give us a time for the results of the investigation?
Ran Taiyou: This ... we can ... after this is over, we can set up a time together ... oh ... this ... exchange ... exchange together.

Xinmin Weekly: Is the press conference today a progress report on the investigation?  Or is it definitive?  Please answer directly!
Ran Taiyou: This is ... the situation of our investigation ... this is not the final state ...

Host: The Q&A is over.

(Instant chaos in the meeting hall.  The reporter are extremely unhappy and they protested loudly.  They shouted out more questions)

Chongqing Morning News: If you have defined that two villagers were shot because they attempted to seize the policeman's gun and the government paid 700,000 yuan in compensation, aren't you encouraging other people to do the same thing to a certain degree?

Host: A reply has already been given.

Jiangxi TV: Did the compensation to the deceased come from using the budget for civil affairs?
Wu Xin: It was only borrowed temporarily.

Jiangxi TV: Isn't this loan a form of transfer?  The civil affairs budget is used specifically for relief work.
Wu Xin: No, this comes from civil channels and it is only being temporarily borrowed.

(The mayor and the deputy director wanted to leave, but the reporters surrounded them.  The scene fell into chaos again.)

Host: We have prepared lunch for everybody.  Please go and eat lunch.
(The reporters said that they didn't want lunch and continued to surround the mayor and the deputy director, who were able to run off eventually.)

Link: QQ Video

But who cares about a real video?  Apple Daily's News-In-Motion is more exciting ...


On the evening of January 16, the netizen "huanwsy" made the post <The most awesome officialese statement of 2009: "Please write a positive news report, or else I won't talk to you">.  Over the past couple of days, this post has been drawing attention at KDNet, Daqi, etc.

The post said that in January 2010, Zhenjiang City (Jiangsu province) TV interviewed a housing department official who told them: "Please write a positive news report, or else I won't talk to you!"  The post also included a link to the video of the TV news report.  The video was about a local real estate development project which had buyers even though it never went through the legal procedures.  The reporter was trying to figure out what kind of supervision was exercised by the housing department, and got this answer from the official.

"It has to be mainly positive propaganda ..."

"In terms of your concepts about this type of propaganda reporting ..."

"... I can refuse to receive you."



[Note: This live broadcast was accompanied by the warning message: Bad model behavior -- do not emulate!]


<Oriental Sunday> is one of the top selling tabloid magazines in Hong Kong.  In the current issue, their paparazzis have managed to capture "post-80's" goddess Christina Chan Hau-man "demonstrating her buns."

Very quickly came a Facebook page titled: "Going too far!  We must protest!  <Oriental Sunday> took stealth photos of Christina Chan!  (How shall we respond!?)"

Yes, how shall we respond?  How about boycotting <Oriental Sunday>?  Unfortunately, supporters of Christina Chan are not <Oriental Sunday> readers before and therefore their boycott will have zero impact on the magazine circulation.  If anything, this is free publicity which <Oriental Sunday> will appreciate very much.

P.S. (Apple Daily)  The Television and Entertaining Licensing Authority announced on January 22 that it has received 119 complaints against <Oriental Sunday> by January 21, 2010.  The magazine has been referred to the Obscene Articles Tribunal for classification.  If found guilty of a publishing an indecent or obscene article, <Oriental Sunday> will be fined something like HKD 20,000 or so according to precedents.  This is peanuts compared to the revenue from the extra number of copies that they sell through this free promotion in <Apple Daily>.

Q1. After the government proposed the constitutional reform, some people think that Legislative Councilors should conduct a five-district resignation/by-election to express public opinion with respect to constitutional reform.  Do you support or oppose the action?
  9%: Very much support
16%: Somewhat support
12%: Half-half
24%: Somewhat oppose
26%: Very much oppose
14%: Don't know/no opinion

Q2. The Civic Party and the League of Social Democrats intend to hold a referendum for "achieving universal suffrage as quickly as possible" and "eliminating the functional constituencies."  They will send five candidates in the five districts, and the referendum will be considered a success if the sum total of votes for these five candidates is greater than the sum total of the five strongest opponents.  Do you support of oppose this proposal?
  8%: Very much support
23%: Somewhat support
12%: Half-half
20%: Somewhat oppose
21%: Very much oppose
16%: Don't know/no opinion

Recently a series of photos were popular at the Hong Kong Internet forums.  A scantily clad woman was doing pole dancing and other gymnastic feats in a Hong Kong MTR car.  This woman is not identified.  According to the Hong Kong police, it is illegal to take photos inside the subway system without the permission of the MTR.  An investigation is underway.

Q1. Do you think that you personally have adequate opportunities to develop?
17%: Adequate
41%: So-so
39%: Inadequate
  3%: No opinion

Q2. How do you feel about your own future?
24%: Optimistic
38%: So-so
32%: Pessimistic
  4%: Don't know
  2%: No opinion

Q3. Have you made a plan about your own future?
60%: Yes
25%: No
15%: No opinion

Q4. Some young people say that "they don't know what they want to do."  Do you feel the same way?
37%: Yes
47%: No
16%: No opinion

Q5. Do you think that you can become responsible for a family?
52%: Yes
34%: No
  7%: Don't know what family responsibility is
  7%: No opinion

Q6. Do you think that you can become responsible to society
53%: Yes
21%: no
14%: Don't know what social responsibility is
12%: No opinion

Q7. How do you feel about the overall performance of the government?
14%: Satisfied
39%: So-so
43%: Dissatisfied
  4%: No opinion

Q8. How do you feel about the overall situation in society today?
11%: Satisfied
42%: So-so
42%: Dissatisfied
  5%: No opinion

Q9. Do you accept the relatively extreme behavior of certain young people in social movements?
37%: Accept
39%: Not accept
24%: No opinion

[in translation]

Tengxian TV is supposed to serve as a window for a culture and a bridge for communication between the people and the government in Tengxian county.  This is supposed to promote communication and exchange.  But for some reason as of some moment in time, Tengxian TV began to fall into the trap of airing many fake and vulgar commercials.  It is deeply poisoned if it is not rescued soon.

In the evening, Tengxian TV runs aphrodisiac commercials during the evening while discussing male and female ailments during the day.  Video segments discussing conjugal relationships and exaggerating the efficacy of medicine can be seen at all hours.  Not only is the reputation of Tengxian TV ruined among the people of Tengxian (and they may not have any to begin with), the minds of the people of Tengxian are also seriously polluted.

I am a Tengxian resident.  Each evening, I am lucky enough to watch the "exciting" programs and the "exaggerated" acting on Tengxian TV.  Who is backing this TV station?  How can they be showing such awesome commercials?  What are the unspeakable secrets behind these commercials?  Is the TV station is such desperate straits?  Are they economically viable only if they air these vulgar commercials?  Are the sexual performances of Chinese men so poor that they need medicine to enhance themselves?  After watching so much of this, I want to puke but I also begin to think that "our government officials in Tengxian must no longer be manly, whereas the rich women must all be sex-starved."  This is pathetically funny.

As a county mouthpiece, Tengxian TV should consider the social impact of their broadcasts even if they are in financial trouble.  They should be able to see which commercials can be shown and which ones cannot be.  Our leaders must be N times more aware of this than we do.  I don't know if the leaders have thought about how to build a strong media.  Have they led and guided public opinion?  How much did they care about people's livelihood issues?  Please do not spend all on time on thinking what kinds of commercials will reap big revenues.

The audacity of Tengxian TV did not come overnight.  The relevant departments were lax in their supervision for a long time before things come to this stage.

Average length of erection:
Europe/USA: 18 to 22 cm
China: 9 to 14 cm

He is dissatisfied with his size and he wants to become longer and bigger

More than sixty minutes each time

He is usually done before I feel anything

(China Post)  Female police officer tries to commit suicide.  January 15, 2010.

A female cop in Taipei County attempted to kill herself with a gunshot and was still in emergency room as of last night, local media reported.

The police officer, Tsai Shih-wen (蔡世雯), 27, carried her gun back to her dorm room when she was on duty during the shift from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m, said United Evening News. She shot her right face while sitting on the edge of her bed, and the bullet passed through her left face, said the report.

The gunshot shocked one of her roommates, another female cop who was asleep before the incident occurred. Tsai was rushed to Mackay Memorial Hospital's Danshui branch, and was still in emergency room as of yesterday.

(Apple Daily)

Apple Daily News-In-Motion

Click on the Apple Daily News-In-Motion and the first thing that appears is the photo of the female police officer.  This photo was placed on the front page of the newspaper.  But there is a big problem here.


The front page was supposed to be about the female police officer Tsai Shih-wen who attempted suicide.  But this turned out to be scandalous as the photo on the front page is not Tsai Shih-wen.  Rather it is Tsai Pei-hua, a classmate of Tsai Shih-wen and a practicing lawyer in Kaohsiung.  Both women studied law at Kaohsiung.  Both woman wear glasses and they look alike.  When the Apple Daily photographer filmed the classmate album, the wrong photo was used.  Apple Daily has issued a correction/apology and the front page has been removed from its website.  Tsai Pei-hua has been in hiding from reporters for the past two days.

If you have any doubts about the following truth or if you think that there are other versions out there, then you need to explain the following fact:

When Google headquarters announced their withdrawal from China, they immediately canceled the rights of all Chinese engineers to access the servers on which their program codes reside.  The engineers only found out when they showed up for work that they could not longer enter the home page of their server.  There was no pre-notification.  Many people were halfway through their coding when they were frozen out.  They will have to wait for weeks when they are transferred to the United States before they can continue to write.

If Google had planned to leave beforehand, why would they do this?  They could have continued to let the workers work and clean up.  For example, the Chinese company does Google Music differently than the US (music.google.cn and music.google.com).  If Chinese Google Music is canceled, the Chinese engineers can do the code migration.

But all Chinese engineers were placed on paid leave while that work is being taken over by foreigners.

Why did Google suddenly distrust its Chinese team?  After all, they developed their own codes and they should be more efficient in making the migration.

The only reason is that the Chinese Communist Party must have inserted special agents inside Google (specifically in the Shanghai office of Google).

The truth of the matter is that this person was sent by the Chinese Communist Party.  After being hired by Google, this person copied down the critical program code and handed it over the the Chinese Communist Party.

The purpose of this action was to gain access to the email of the "human rights organizations."  Google's official statement noted this.

The flaws of the Gmail system became exposed.  Google could not officially acknowledge this, or else their reputation would suffer internationally.  All Google could do was to stop all work in China.  All engineers in China were not allowed to access the program code server.  Then they seized the opportunity to correct their Gmail code over the next few days.

So the whole truth is simply this emergency incident.  You can read the original Google statement.  It was written in haste, but you can sense the shock among their top leaders.  The three top managers of Google held an emergency meeting and came to a unanimous decision.  How could they have reached an agreement with the United States government to do this beforehand?  Do you feel that an official Google announcement would be so crudely written unlike any official document?

Google's withdrawal was not because of the Internet censorship.  While that was something that Google felt uncomfortable about, they had put up with it over the past few years.

But the code theft this time caused Google to face a total collapse crisis.  (The official Google blog said that this involved an intellectual property theft problem).  To put it bluntly, the survival of the entire company would be threatened if they stayed in China.  Therefore, they put a stop to all work at their China company.

While Google planned to negotiate with the Chinese government at first, they have given up the effort today.  Even if the government makes concessions, Google does not plan to stay.  If they stay, they risk their lives.  This is not a question of making money in the China market or not.  The risk is too high to make a little money but losing the entire company.

As for limiting the access rights of the Chinese engineers to the program code, it should that said that Google trusts its technical staff.  Even an intern can access more than 99% of the program code.  Google has only one program code database.  Each person who enters learns the first law of development: Search!  Search for similar code in the program code database and then email the original author.  By sharing the program code across the entire company, they were able to achieve tremendous coding efficiency.  The Google program code, comments and technical description are open to every engineer.

You can criticize me, or you can offer other explanations.  But please read my whole essay and then see if you can justify your own version!!

I can only say that the Chinese Communist Party has gone too far and made it impossible for Google to go on.

P.S. This case is still under investigation.  There is a person who is a Chinese Communist Party member.  After arriving in Google, he downloaded the core program code of Gmail.  This person has vanished now.  But we know the above.  As to who sent him, we can only guess.  Over the past couple of days, Google headquarters people have interviewed every engineer in China to see if this person has collaborators.  At the same time, Google headquarters is accessing how much program code has been leaked and how much of it has to be re-written.  When this is done, they will begin to transfer the Chinese engineers (if they didn't investigate and transfer them immediately, they would be bringing the moles to the United States).  At that time, Google headquarters will state the truth.  You can wait a month and come back to re-read this post.

P.P.S.  Forget it, let me explain this.  There were three moles, one of whom was the Chinese Communist Party branch secretary.  This party secretary was set up four years ago by the National Security Ministry.  This guy studied at Jiaotong University and then jointed Computer Security Department.  The department sent him to study computers at the Computer Security School in Jiaotong University.  He programmed every day.  When he graduated, he joined Google.  There, he recruited two more insiders.  One of them was the insider who broke into the source code for Gmail and gave it to the Chinese government.
The government wanted this mainly to monitor the anti-Communist persons who use Gmail.
So this was sensationalistic, because of the involvement of the Chinese Communist Party branch.
This guy got a 1,000,000 yuan reward, plus public servant status.
These people used to sneak over to Lujiazui after work to attend Chinese Communist Party branch meetings.

How did Google that their code was obtained by the agents?
Unless Google installs surveillance software on the computers of all the workers.
To access the program code, one must log into the only program code server at Google.  The server will keep a record of your visits.
It is only known now that this person is a Chinese Communist Party member and he reviewed a lot of program code within a short time.  This person has now vanished.  Based upon this, I conjecture that he turned the code over to his organization.
Firstly, he clearly attacked many servers that carried source code.
Secondly, he clearly obtained it illegally.
Let us continue to watch this.  My mobile phone will be ringing ...
Right now, most of the colleagues are prepared to leave.  A small number of technical people and the legal department will stay.  Everybody is depressed.  Nobody thought that this was how this would end.

[ESWN Comment:  Due to the many links that are coming into this story, I deem it necessary to comment.  Firstly and most importantly, I do not think that this is true based upon the internal contents of the story.  I referred to the author as 'omniscient' because this person appears to have the knowledge of a Google worker (such as network access privileges) but is also privy to information within the Chinese Communist Party (such as the mole receiving 1,000,000 yuan in reward money).  In practice, this is extremely unlikely.

More importantly, this story misses the details about the hacking breach that David Drummond referred to.  This story is just about a mole downloading code from inside the company.  There is nothing about hacking.  There is also nothing to jump from Google to the 32 companies that were attacked by the hacker(s) based solely upon the above story.  The following story is completely orthogonal to the above story.

(WIRED)  Google Hack Attack Was Ultra Sophisticated, New Details Show  Kim Zetter.  January 14, 2010.

Hackers seeking source code from Google, Adobe and dozens of other high-profile companies used unprecedented tactics that combined encryption, stealth programming and an unknown hole in Internet Explorer, according to new details released by the anti-virus firm McAfee.

“We have never ever, outside of the defense industry, seen commercial industrial companies come under that level of sophisticated attack,” says Dmitri Alperovitch, vice president of threat research for McAfee. “It’s totally changing the threat model.” Google announced Tuesday that it had been the target of a “highly sophisticated” and coordinated hack attack against its corporate network. It said the hackers had stolen intellectual property and sought access to the Gmail accounts of human rights activists. The attack originated from China, the company said.

The attackers used nearly a dozen pieces of malware and several levels of encryption to burrow deeply into the bowels of company networks and obscure their activity, according to Alperovitch.

“The encryption was highly successful in obfuscating the attack and avoiding common detection methods,” he said. “We haven’t seen encryption at this level. It was highly sophisticated.” The hack attacks, which are said to have targeted at least 34 companies in the technology, financial and defense sectors, have been dubbed “Operation Aurora” by McAfee due to the belief that this is the name the hackers used for their mission.

The name comes from references in the malware to the name of a file folder named “Aurora” that was on the computer of one of the attackers. McAfee researchers say when the hacker compiled the source code for the malware into an executable file, the compiler injected the name of the directory on the attacker’s machine where he worked on the source code.

Minutes after Google announced its intrusion, Adobe acknowledged in a blog post that it discovered Jan. 2 that it had also been the target of a “sophisticated, coordinated attack against corporate network systems managed by Adobe and other companies.” Neither Google nor Adobe provided details about how the hacks occurred.

In the wake of Threat Level’s Thursday story disclosing that a zero-day vulnerability in Internet Explorer was exploited by the hackers to gain access to Google and other companies, Microsoft published an advisory about the flaw that it already had in the works.

McAfee has added protection to its products to detect the malware used in the attacks.

Although the initial attack occurred when company employees visited a malicious website, Alperovitch said researchers are still trying to determine if this occurred through a URL sent to employees by e-mail or instant messaging or through some other method, such as Facebook or other social networking sites.

Once the user visited the malicious site, their Internet Explorer browser was exploited to download an array of malware to their computer automatically and transparently. The programs unloaded seamlessly and silently onto the system, like Russian nesting dolls, flowing one after the other.

“The initial piece of code was shell code encrypted three times and that activated the exploit,” Alperovitch said. “Then it executed downloads from an external machine that dropped the first piece of binary on the host. That download was also encrypted. The encrypted binary packed itself into a couple of executables that were also encrypted.” One of the malicious programs opened a remote backdoor to the computer, establishing an encrypted covert channel that masqueraded as an SSL connection to avoid detection. This allowed the attackers ongoing access to the computer and to use it as a “beachhead” into other parts of the network, Alperovitch said, to search for login credentials, intellectual property and whatever else they were seeking.

McAfee obtained copies of malware used in the attack, and quietly added protection to its products a number of days ago, Alperovitch said, after its researchers were first brought in by hacked companies to help investigate the breaches.

Although security firm iDefense told Threat Level on Tuesday that the Trojan used in some of the attacks was the Trojan.Hydraq, Alperovitch says the malware he examined was not previously known by any anti-virus vendors.

iDefense also said that a vulnerability in Adobe’s Reader and Acrobat applications was used to gain access to some of the 34 breached companies. The hackers sent e-mail to targets that carried malicious PDF attachments.

Alperovitch said that none of the companies he examined were breached with a malicious PDF, but he said there were likely many methods used to attack the various companies, not just the IE vulnerability.

Once the hackers were in systems, they siphoned off data to command-and-control servers in Illinois, Texas and Taiwan. Alperovitch wouldn’t identify the systems in the United States that were involved in the attack, though reports indicate that Rackspace, a hosting firm in Texas, was used by the hackers. Rackspace disclosed on its blog this week that it inadvertently played “a very small part” in the hack.

The company wrote that “a server at Rackspace was compromised, disabled, and we actively assisted in the investigation of the cyber attack, fully cooperating with all affected parties.” Alperovitch wouldn’t say what the attackers might have found once they were on company networks, other than to indicate that the high-value targets that were hit “were places of important intellectual property.” iDefense, however, told Threat Level that the attackers were targeting source-code repositories of many of the companies and succeeded in reaching their target in many cases.

Alperovitch says the attacks appeared to have begun Dec. 15, but may have started earlier. They appear to have ceased on Jan. 4, when command-and-control servers that were being used to communicate with the malware and siphon data shut down.

“We don’t know if the attackers shut them down, or if some other organizations were able to shut them down,” he said. “But the attacks stopped from that point.” Google announced Tuesday that it had discovered in mid-December that it had been breached. Adobe disclosed that it discovered its breach on Jan. 2.

Aperovitch says the attack was well-timed to occur during the holiday season when company operation centers and response teams would be thinly staffed.

The sophistication of the attack was remarkable and was something that researchers have seen before in attacks on the defense industry, but never in the commercial sector. Generally, Alperovitch said, in attacks on commercial entities, the focus is on obtaining financial data, and the attackers typically use common methods for breaching the network, such as SQL-injection attacks through a company’s web site or through unsecured wireless networks.

“Cyber criminals are good … but they cut corners. They don’t spend a lot of time tweaking things and making sure that every aspect of the attack is obfuscated,” he said.

Alperovitch said that McAfee has more information about the hacks that it’s not prepared to disclose at present but hopes to be able to discuss them in the future. Their primary goal, he said, was to get as much information public now to allow people to protect themselves.

He said the company has been working with law enforcement and has been talking with “all levels of the government” about the issue, particularly in the executive branch. He couldn’t say whether there were plans by Congress to hold hearings on the matter.

The reason I translated the story above was not because it was truthful.  Rather, the story had wide circulation in China because it was just the kind of thing that Twitter users like to tweet and re-tweet without having to think about the veracity of the contents.  It was translated here for English-only readers to read and think about, or to stay abreast of what the Chinese people might know or think.]

(South China Morning Post Foreign student held for attacking cabbie     City Digest    January 14, 2010.

A 26-year-old taxi passenger – a university student from Denmark – was arrested for assaulting the cab driver, trying to steal his bag, breaking the vehicle's windscreen and for possessing a controlled drug in Yau Ma Tei early yesterday. The Dane, who is studying at a Hong Kong university, appeared to have been drunk when he was arrested, police officers said.

(Apple Daily Action News)


Q1.  Do you think that the discussion on the Express Rail Link in Hong Kong has been adequate or inadequate so far?
38%: Adequate
  5%: Half-half
50%: Inadequate
  7%: Don't know/hard to say

Q2. The government is seeking Legislative Council funding for HK$ 66.9 billion, which is equivalent to HK$10,000 per Hong Kong citizen, for the Express Rail Link construction project.  Do you think the price is reasonable, too low or to high?
26%: Reasonable
  1%: Too low
59%: Too high
14%: Don't know/hard to say

Q3. Do you lean towards supporting, opposing or postponing the allocation of funds?
50%: Support fund allocation
20%: Oppose fund allocation
24%: Postpone fund allocation
  6%: Don't know/hard to say

So does mainstream Hong Kong public opinion support or oppose the Express Rail Link?  Q3 has three possible answers (support, oppose, postpone), so it can be interpreted as you please.

Interpretation #1: 50% support and 20% oppose.

Interpretation #2: 50% support and (20%+24%) = 44% do not support

Interpretation #3: (50%+24%) = 74% do not oppose and 20% oppose

(South China Morning Post)  Two arrests over Causeway Bay acid attack.  Fox Yi, Austin Chiu and Danny Mok.  January 14, 2010.

Two young men were arrested yesterday in connection with the Causeway Bay acid attack last month - the first arrests following a spate of such attacks across Hong Kong since December 2008. The men, aged 23 and 18, were arrested in Yuen Long, and police said they were friends. Officers took the 23-year-old to his home in Yiu Fu House on the Yiu Tung Estate in Shau Kei Wan for further investigation last night. Officers removed items from the flat including clothing. The younger man was freed on police bail.

The above article does not address the question "How did the Hong Kong police track down the acid attackers?"  For the answer(s), you would have to read the Chinese-language newspapers.

(Apple Daily)

23-year-old male named Lu was believed to be responsible for throwing the acid bomb into the streets.  He is said to be an unemployed male living in Shau Kei Wan.  His boyfriend is the 18-year-old male named Law with nickname "Fatso," a student in a design school and a residnet of Yuen Long district.

According to information, the Criminal Investigative Division officers picked up more than 70 surveillance videos from the neighborhood.  Upon viewing the videos, the officers spotted a strangely dressed male holding a Staccato shoe store shopping bag before the attack but empty-handed after the attack.  The police had also found a similar Staccato shopping bag on the stairwell next to a bottle of drain cleaner.  Thus, they determined that this male was a likely suspect.

The police spent another five days viewing the tapes to look for the presence of this male.  They spotted the male entering the MTR station and using an Octopus card to pay for the fare.  They tracked the card usage and noted that the male had exited at the Shau Kei Wan MTR station.

The police also inputted photos of the male from the videos into their computer system and compared them against the database of Hong Kong ID's.  Once they found likely matches, they also compared fingerprints found at the scene to the database entries.  They were able to identify the male.

In addition, police officers also determined from the videos that the suspect had purchased two bottles of Flying Fish drain cleaner on the day before the attack.

The Criminal Intelligence Team then followed the suspect for two weeks.  They found that the suspect visited his boyfriend in Yuen Long once every few days.  Last Saturday, there was another acid attack in Temple Street, Yau Ma Tei district.  However the suspect was nowhere near Temple Street.  Failing to catch the suspect in the act, the police finally decided to make the arrest.


(This Apple Daily Action News report goes even further to suggest that the police followed the suspect and picked up his DNA traces after he dined at a restaurant to match against dandruff found in the black shopping bag at the crime scene.)

(South China Morning Post)  Police nail acid-attack suspect thanks to a black paper bag  By Clifford Lo.  January 16, 2010.

The only clue the detectives had to go on was a black paper bag.

Officers investigating the Causeway Bay acid attack last year found it on a staircase in a building near Sogo department store. Inside was a bottle of corrosive fluid.

It was their only lead. Yet a month later, after painstaking detective work around the clock, officers had traced the suspect, trailed him around the city, and finally made their arrest.

The attacker was carrying the bag when he walked into the six-storey building in Lockhart Road on December 12. It originally contained two bottles of acid. One of them was thrown from a staircase between the second and third floors into the crowded street below, causing panic, and burning six passers-by.

Officers interviewed numerous people - passers-by and shop assistants - and collected more than 50 surveillance-camera tapes from shops in Lockhart Road and Causeway Bay MTR station.

About 30 detectives from Hong Kong Island regional crime unit pored over the tapes looking for one vital clue. Then they got their breakthrough. Footage showed a man leaving Causeway Bay station on the day of the attack carrying a black paper bag.

The investigation team moved swiftly. Officers collected the Octopus card data of commuters who passed through that turnstile, matching times with footage, to identify the suspect. The Octopus card management company provided transaction records of the card, allowing police to study the suspect's movements.

The net was tightening. Officers lay in wait at a number of the locations regularly visited by the card holder. After spotting him, officers tailed him day and night. They were certain of one thing: The man did not carry out the latest attack in Yau Ma Tei last week because he was under police surveillance at the time.

Investigators also knew the suspect bought the bottles in a shop in Shau Kei Wan on the day of the attack, an officer said. "The acid was sold hours before the attack."

After following the suspect for about a week and securing evidence, police moved in and arrested him in Yuen Long on Wednesday. That night they took the clothes he is believed to have worn on December 12 from his flat in Shau Kei Wan.

The officer said sweat on the paper bag could be used as evidence to prove the suspect had used the bag.

On Thursday, Senior Superintendent Yu Tat-chung, head of Hong Kong Island regional crime unit, said that they had grounds to believe the suspect was responsible for the crime.

The case - the first attack on Hong Kong Island - had similarities to four other attacks, in Mong Kok and Yau Ma Tei, in which corrosive liquid was thrown on to busy pedestrianised areas from old buildings with lax security.

But there was a difference, the officer said. "Unlike the other four cases, the two bottles of acid involved in the Causeway Bay cases were wrapped with paper."

Google is really upset this time!  Yesterday at 3pm, the official Google blog published a post titled "A new approach to China."  The content included "... this may well mean having to shut down Google.cn, and potentially our offices in China."  The sense of anger and frustration was clear in the words.

It would be the first time in Google's history that they walked out.  The upset Google chose to tell the world about a total withdrawal from the China market in a public manner.  Many people don't understand, even thinking that this was just a show  But more stunning events would ensue.

On the morning of January 13, the day after Google made its statement, the Google search engine began to provide full visiting rights.  All the banned keywords and contents were available for searching.  This was clearly coordinated with their statement before departure, in order to say, "Google is really leaving.  The consequences of upsetting Google are extremely serious!"

Speaking of Google in China, we must review the unfortunate history of the global portal Google in China!

As early as September 2000, Google began to provide Chinese-language search services to the Chinese-language world.  But whether because they were concerned more about the competition from the American portals such as Yahoo! at the time, or because they did not perceive the potential of the Chinese Internet users and the China market, Google's senior manager did not pay sufficient attention to China.

In contrast, the main competitor of Google (Baidu) began to to provide Chinese-language search services more than one year later than Google.  But because Baidu concentrated on the China market and Chinese-language search engine, it was able to quickly leapfrog over Google to become the number one brand in the Chinese-language search engine market.

In March 2004, the Internet research company iResearch found that after four years, Baidu had 48.5% of the search engine market while number two Google only had a 19.8% share.

"Most of the activities of Google's Chinese-language services were 'in response' to what others did."  iResearch CEO Yang Weiqing once said.

Google's passiveness is more its own doing than market-driven.  As the kingpin of the global search engine market, English-language Google paid scant attention to the Chinese-language China market until Baidu began its unstoppable rise.  To engage in battle only after finding out that the cake has already been divided meant that Google was doomed to tragedy in China.

The failed romance between Google and China had another key ingredient: culture.  "Baidu understands the Chinese language better."  To swap a word, "Baidu understands China better."  This is the reason why Google lost.  In a country such as China with its special characteristics, Google was destined to fail.

The special characteristics of China have stumped many multinational companies, and Google was no exception.  Of course, we also have many successful examples, such as Volkswagen.  But the problem was that Google couldn't do it, because of its own special characteristics.  First of all, Google is an Internet company.  Regardless of their assertion that they are not a media company, they have the characteristics of media.  This explained why Google fumbled in China.  Which foreign media company has ever succeeded in China?  At least I have not found any examples.

Next, Google has its own corporate concepts, such as "Don't do evil."  It does not matter whether we agree with this concept, or whether our understanding of this concept might be the same as theirs, Google has firmly insisted on this position.  In China, this "Don't do evil" concept will inevitably lead to clashes with the supervisory departments.  In other words, I believe that the Google managers were tormented by their concepts of corporate ethics until it became intolerable now.

Also, Google faced a number of seemingly inexplicable accusations in China.  For us, these accusations may seem right, but Google didn't think so.  But Google persisted for the sake of the market or possibly other reasons.  Over the years, this trend (which may be called "oppression") did not lessen but actually increased.  Meanwhile, things that Google regarded as wrong continued to exist safely.  For example, Google spent a great deal of effort on Google Music, but the clearly illegal Baidu mp3 downloads continue unabated.  As another example, Google Books encountered strong official resistance.  If we were Google ourselves, we would find these things incomprehensible as well.

At a time when a market carries huge policy and business risks, Google chooses to quit.  This is a reasonable thing to do.

The news that Google has threatened to withdraw from the China market has become a hot discussion topic among Chinese Internet users.  Some people felt sorry that Google may leave; some people are concerned that the China market will no longer be competitive; others welcomed the departure of Google.  The online survey conducted at the Huanqiu website showed that more than half of the respondents did not think that the departure of Google will affect their Internet usage.  About 70% of the respondents said that the Chinese government should not accept the conditions offered by Google.

According to reports, there were two main reasons offered by Google for why they want to depart: First, they detected sophisticated technological attacks against their system infrastructure coming from China.  Secondly, they are unwilling to continue to censorship of search results by Google.cn.  Google stated its conditions by saying that they will discuss with the Chinese government over the next few weeks about how to have a search engine without censorship under the existing legal framework in China.

Since the search engine services provided by Google has direct relations with many Internet users, their potential withdraw drew the attention of Internet users.  On the day of the announcement, Huanqiu ran an online survey with enthusiastic participation.  As for 18:30pm, more than 10,000 netizens have voted.  With respect to "Does the withdrawal of Google from China have any impact on your Internet usage?" 9767 persons (55.6%) said no, while the other 7801 persons (44.4%) said yes.  With respect to "Which search engine do you use most frequently on the Internet?" 12901 persons (73.2%) chose Baidu, 4153 (23.6%) chose Google while less than 5% chose one of the five other search engines (such as Tencent's SoSo, etc).  This may be the reason why more than half of the Internet users say that they won't be affected by the departure of Google.  With respect to the survey question "Do you think that the Chinese government should accept the conditions of Google?" 1449 persons (70.4%) said no while 610 persons (29.6%) said yes.

With respect to the Google statement, Internet users had different reactions.  Some people were sorry that Google might leave, because Google has formidable technologies while carrying fewer advertisements.  Its departure will cause inconvenience for some Internet users.  The China market will also become less competitive, which would not be good for the development of the Chinese search engine industry.  But many people also welcomed the departure of Google.  These netizens said that Google is not a purely commercial company, because they have many ties and connections to the American government.  Some people said, "They describe themselves as a company all the time, but they are serving as the advance party for the American government in the political gambit."  "The withdrawal of Google from China is more like something that the American government is doing.  Recently, so many things are happening between the Chinese and American government ... Iran, North Korea, selling arms to Taiwan, trade ... more importantly, even as Google issued the blog post, American Secretary of State Hilary Clinton is summoning the senior managers of the Internet companies and bringing out new laws and regulations."  Other netizens said that Google is not just a search engine company in the United States, because they also provide data services to the American government (and the military in particular).  Many of the Internet security experts and technicians at the National Security Agency come from Google and other big Internet companies, and the Google servers are now all located on American soil.  This netizen said: "This means that all the search records of Chinese netizens can be monitored by Google as well as the government departments that are tied in with Google."

Google announced that it will withdraw from China.  This does not show that Google is a "human rights warrior" as promoted by their fans.  It proved precisely that Google is a profiteer.

The tone of the top Google legal advisor disgusts me.  He could have said that they are withdrawing for economic reasons, plain and simple.  Instead, they have to make themselves look good by saying that Google was attacked by Chinese people, that Gmail accounts of Chinese dissidents were attacked, and so on in order to explain why they are withdrawing from China.  This type of tone is an insult to the intelligence of the ordinary Chinese citizens.  But it may just appeal to certain supercilious westerners who have never been to China, know nothing whatsoever about China but like to criticize China all the same.

I will simply offer one hypothesis.  If Google holds a 80% share of the search engine market in China, will the Google senior managers announce that they will withdraw from China because they "do no evil" in a high profile manner like this?

The only feeling that I get out of the whole affair is disgust.

The above comments are written by a former loyal Google user, and it has nothing to do with Baidu.  The so-called Google fans who know a bit about Google technology and think that Google is an ethical model shouldn't bother to comment.  You don't know what search engines are about and you don't know what freedom and human rights are.

By the way, comments are closed here.  If you want to whine, go to Twitter.  You are not welcomed to my turf.

Early this morning, Google announced on its official blog that it is considering shutting down its Google business in China and website Google.cn.

With respect to Google's announcement, I basically think that it is a form of psychological warfare.  It is unlikely that they will go through with this.  If they go through with it, it will be their loss.  Most Chinese Internet users will forget the entire affair within three months.  A few Internet users may occasionally reminisce about it, but that would be just a few ripples in a pond.

The Google announcement is largely related to the clash of concepts and management philosophy.  For the longest time, Google did not think that they are media.  Instead, they think of themselves only as a search engine whose results are derived by technology and for which they bore no administrative responsibility.  Thus, even if there are personal attacks against leaders in the United States, Google will only offer an explanation and nothing else.

When Google came to the China, they had no intent to adapt to the situation in the market there.  They simply continued the same concepts.  Therefore, when the media exposed them for purveying pornography and illegal content, Google could only respond hurriedly, including changing leaders.  Even so, Google is still facing the pressure to take on more administrative responsibility.

Google also failed to understand the recent issue of writers' copyrights.  In their view, they think that they are not scanning entire books for readers to read.  Instead, they only scan parts of a book which act like quotations that help readers to enquire and understand the book.  To a certain extent, this should help the writers in getting greater exposure and understanding.  They could not understand why it drew so much blowback in mainland China.

For the Chinese people, we are more sophisticated in our thinking and we can appreciate what different segments of people think.  But this is hard for Americans to deal with.

Will Google really withdraw from the China market?  I personally think that this is merely psychological warfare.  For the global Internet industry, a huge part of the market would be missing without China.  The future development of the Internet is towards 3G with many services.  It will be a huge blow to Google's global strategy if it did not have the China market.  In the long term, it will have problems with its mobile phones, mobile operating systems and related services.

More importantly, will the Chinese government departments come under pressure if Google withdraws from the China market?  Not a single government department will be held responsible or come under pressure if Google withdraws.  The majority of Internet users will not experience any material impact.  The only people who will feel the pain are the Google workers in China.  The result will be that the Chinese companies will become stronger in China, in search engines and in the future 3G-based industry.  If one day Google should think about re-entering China, they will find that they have become totally uncompetitive.  It is also uncertain whether their action here may affect any future collaboration with Chinese companies on Google Android.

I think that China and the United States are strategic competitors, but also cooperative partners in many areas as well.  It is the same with Google.  They must realize that China and the United States are different, and they must find more channels for exchange and communication.  They must also be forward-looking.  Withdrawal is not a good choice for Google.

According to foreign media reports, at 15:00 on January 12 USA local time, Google senior vice president and Chief Legal Officer David Drummond made a post at the official Google blog to say that Google is considering shutting down the Google.cn website and its China office.

The sensationalism caused by this piece of news was no less than that for the story of the hacking of Baidu.  Various people spoke up, mostly in regret or wishing that Google would stay as if Google had really left already.  I disagree.  I don't believe for a moment that Google will withdraw.  Even if it did withdraw, it will only be temporarily so.  Even if it is really withdrawing, it may decide to return some day.  Therefore, this so-called withdrawal is just Google's hissy fit.

Compared to the local Baidu, Google is not faring as well in its business.  "During the third quarter of 2009, Baidu has a 63.8% share of the China market compared to Google's 32.8%.  At the end of 2008, the two companies began their first change of fortune after a long period of stability when Baidu and Google got 63.5% and 27.3% market share respectively."  Although Google is not hugely successful, it is not failing or undistinguished.  We must also note that the number of Internet users has been continuously growing along with the market.  Therefore, Google's business volume must be increasing as well.

If Google really withdraws, they will lose the China market.  Can they bear it?  I don't think that a big multi-national company can really abandon the largest market with infinite growth potential.  Will Coca Cola leave China?  No.  Will Pepsi Cola leave China?  No.  Will Microsoft give up the China market?  No.  Would Google be the only one to give up?  I don't think so.

Google is not a child who can do anything that he wants; Google is not any individual's Google;  Google is the capitalists' Google.  Capital will do everything possible to maximize profit, even things that it does not like.  This is the power of capital and the power of profits.  You san see how the capitalists reacted after Google hinted that it might withdraw from China: "As a a result of the news, Google's share price dropped 1.3% in after hours trading to USD 583.05 from the Tuesday closing price of USD 590.48."  If the capitalists disapprove of Google's withdrawal, it may not have a choice.

From last year on, Google has been treading the red line of Chinese law.  Therefore, Google has not been having an easy time.  Should they withdraw from the China market as a result?  That would be too naive.  If they try to adapt to the China market, they could have a decent time.  Will Google really act "impulsively"?  Unlikely.  It is easy to withdraw, but it will be hard to re-enter.

Google is not a simple-minded boor or else they could not be successful to date.  Microsoft never complained in spite of being sued all over Europe.  Could Google be even more impatient than Microsoft?  Ho ho, Google is just throwing a "hissy fit" now!  Even if they withdraw in form, they will leave much behind in case they have to come back.

At around 10pm on the night of October 29, the villager named An and his family were ready to go to bed.  Suddenly they heard loud noises coming from the mountain slope above them, as if something was rolling down.  They stepped out and saw a car with headlights on tumbling down.

"I yelled that 'There's been an accident' and everybody hurried over to the car with flashlights in our hands.  There was nobody inside the car.  Then we heard a woman crying for help further up the slope.  So we climbed towards her.  We saw a middle-aged couple there.  The middle-aged man was Zhushi town party secretary Chen Yaodong, who had served previously as our town party secretary and therefore we recognized him.  He was in reasonable shape and he could still walk on his own.  But the woman was injured more severely and covered in blood.  She also did not wear any pants.  When she saw us, the first thing that she said was: "Do not shine the flashlights -- I am very embarrassed."  So I told my nephew to take off his pants and put them on her.  Then we carried the female down the slope to level ground."  Villager An said.

The rescuers asked the couple, "What are you doing on the hill in the middle of the night?"  No direct answer was offered.  The man told the villagers that "there was a driver."  When the villagers heard that, they wanted to search for the driver.  The man said, "The driver has run off."  "We were very perplexed.  When we saw the car tumble down, we immediately climbed up the hill.  We did not see anyone other than Chen Yaodong and the woman."

The villagers also said that Chen claimed that he was a businessman at first.  But because Chen had worked in their town before, they immediately recognized him.  The woman is a school teacher in Zhushi town, and is married to the town school affairs office director.

The villagers said that this road was narrow and beaten up.  Very few cars passed through as it is not the road from the town to the county city.  Most perplexing was the fact that the woman did not wear pants.  "This was too weird.  Something is fishy here."

On the afternoon of December 22, this reporter decided to interview the principal Chen Yaodong in order to verify the facts.  The reporter called up Chen Yaodong.  As soon as he learned that the caller was a reporter, he immediately released a torrent of curses: "Your mother's cunt!  You were fucked by a stinking dog!  How dare a lousy newspaper reporter hassle an important person like me!  Your daddy me is going to call up the Telecommunications Ministry about you ..."

The telephone call lasted more than 3 minutes.  During the call, the reporter identified himself as a reporter no less than six times.  But Chen Yaodong continued to curse.  After one minute or so into the conversation, the reporter recorded the ensuing conversation.  Chen Yaodong used just about every obscenity that is in the language.  It would be hard to imagine any citizen could say such things, much less than a town party secretary.

The reporter then proceeded to the county party office to follow up.  The county party disciplinary committee director Chen Shiguang said: "We have spoken to Chen Yaodong, and we have relieved him of his duties as town party secretary."  When told of the abusive telephone call, Chen Shiguang promised to speak to Chen Yaodong again.  The reporter asked to see the documents about the disciplinary actions against Chen Yaodong, but Chen Shiguang kept saying, "There is no need to report this since it has been dealt with."

The county party publicity department Li Wenjun told the reporter that the county disciplinary committee interviewed more than 50 villagers, most of whom did not know what happened.  They also spoke to the principals Chen Yaodong, the woman and her husband and all three denied anything unbecoming had occurred among them.  Chen Yaodong said that he had been asked to attend a meeting in the county city the next day and therefore he drove late in the night from the town to the county city.  Along the way, he met the female school teacher and offered her a ride.  The woman said that she asked Chen Yaodong to give her a ride to her relative's home which was near the village where the accident occurred.  Given these statements, the county disciplinary committee could not go any further.

However, the county disciplinary committee determined that Chen Yaodong was ready to get a third person to admit to be driving at the time and therefore taking the blame.  As a result, the committee decided to relieve Chen Yaodong of duties as party secretary, place a major warning into his file, demote him to become a rank-and-file worker and make him pay for the economic damages from the accident.

The reporter asked to see the relevant documents.  The publicity department director called the party committee office director and then told the reporter that the documents have not been signed.  Even when signed, they cannot be shown because they have to kept on file.  Thus, the reporter never got to read the relevant documents in the case.

But Li Wenjun said that although Chen Yaodong has his flaws, he is still a dutiful cadre with good accomplishments over the years.  The reporter was perplexed at how a cadre who heap verbal abuse on others can be a decent cadre.  If he had such a bad attitude towards a reporter on the phone, how arrogant and overbearing might he be against an ordinary citizen?  How can people like that be kept in the ranks?

(Apple Daily)

No sooner than Hong Kong University female student Christina Chan was arrested by the police in "retaliation" than she was threatened and sexually harassed by by a netizen who called himself a "former senior Hong Kong Police officer" at the Hong Kong Police Discussion Forum."  This netzien made a post titled "Sexy wild kitten Christina Chan has been arrested!..." in which he wrote: "If I were dealing with her, it would be big trouble.  There could easily be a baby ..."  This affair upset netizens who condemned him at the discussion forums.  Christina Chan said that she found this threat frightening: "The police should be protecting the people, not just 'bullying' girls all the time."

[So far, the Hong Kong Police has taken no action with respect to this case.  The first hurdle is whether the statement constitutes a crime.  In previous cases, a netizen threatening to blow up Disneyland was arrested and another netizen recruiting others to form a flash gang to rape women was also arrested.  But is this case the same as those precedents?

The statement here based upon a supposition, "If I were X, then I might do Y."  If this is criminalized, so will many more similar statements such as: "If I were legislator Raymond Wong and Chim Pui-chung spoke to me in that manner, I would punch his teeth out"; "If I were Obama, I would nuke China"; "If I were Nicholas Tse, I would kill Edison Chen"; etc.  Be careful, because you may get what you don't wish for.]

However, netizens have their brand of justice through the almighty human flesh search engine (Hong Kong Golden Forum):

First, netizens looked up other posts made by the same person.  Back on March 24, 2009, this person posted an open letter to legislator James To and Human Rights Monitor director Law Yuk-kai.

The letter was signed under the name Lee Chi-fai.  Once there is a name, it was easy to find out why he is an ex-policeman.

In HKSAR v Lee Chi-fai and Others (DCCC 275 of 2001), the prosecution alleged that a senior police inspector and his two sergeants fabricated allegations against the manager of a discotheque in an attempt to cover up an assault on him by police. They were convicted after trial of offences of doing an act intended to pervert the course of public justice and common assault. The accused were imprisoned for terms which ranged from 1-1/2 years to 2-1/2 years.

Is this the same Lee Chi-fai, given that it is a rather common name?  Nobody cares about these details ...

(South China Morning Post)  Return of the radicals.  By Gary Cheung and Tanna Chong.  January 10, 2010.

On June 4, 1990, more than 100 university students protested outside the Xinhua branch in Queen's Road East, after a candle-light vigil in Victoria Park. Students scuffled with police stationed outside the building when they made a failed attempt to storm a police cordon.

On June 4, 1992, more than 100 university students staged another protest outside the Xinhua office. Some were angry that police stopped them from approaching the front door of Xinhua and broke through a police cordon. Several students were arrested during the scuffle.

In June 1993, student activists Richard Tsoi Yiu-cheong and Andrew To Kwan-hang, who organised the protest, were found guilty of unlawful assembly and ordered three months later to undertake 160 hours of community service. To is now vice-chairman of the League of Social Democrats.

Tsoi says they charged the police cordon because they were advocates of civil disobedience. "We believed there was no ground for police to block us from demonstrating in the area outside Xinhua and it was an opportunity to challenge the Public Order Ordinance," he recalls.

"We had a thorough discussion before the protest and what we did was basically non-violent. Nobody was injured during the incident."

But he says the protest was organised and led by people who could put the situation under control if necessary.

A few years later Tsoi was back in the thick of the action as convenor of the Civil Human Rights Front which organised the 500,000 strong July 1 march in 2003 against government plans to introduce national security legislation. He was also convenor of Power for Democracy, which organised the January 1 march for universal suffrage.

Unlike these veteran activists, the new generation of protesters may not be able to keep a cool head. Two policemen and a protester were slightly injured when a small group of activists broke through a police cordon and charged towards the liaison office at the end of the January 1 march.

Professor Ma Ngok, a political scientist at Chinese University, says the students who charged towards the Xinhua office in the early 1990s were able to tell the public what they were fighting for.

"But I can't see the activists who charged toward the liaison office on January 1 give a clear rationale for their actions. What is worrying is those activists appeared to be unorganised and nobody would be able to control the situation if things went wrong," Ma says.

Some local media attributed the radical actions of some young activists to the lack of social mobility in Hong Kong and the sense of powerlessness among the "post-80s generation". The demonstrations during the World Trade Organisation meeting in Hong Kong in 2005, protests against the demolition of the Star Ferry clock tower in 2006 and Queen's Pier the following year also witnessed the rise of a few hundred new-generation activists who pursue post-material values such as heritage preservation and fair trade.

Tong Ying-tung - a 26-year-old activist who recently took part in a city-wide walk in protest at the construction of the high-speed rail link to Guangzhou - complains that Hongkongers are under-represented in the political system.

"The government only heeds the voice of the rich and powerful. It doesn't take public opinion seriously even when hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets several years ago," she says. "That's why I chose this method this time to express my views."

Lawrence Tsoi, a Form Seven student who joined Friday's protest against the proposed express rail link, disagrees that the actions of the activists are radical. "Young people should fight to get their voices heard," he says.

Ma agrees that some young people, including some of his students, have become impatient with conventional ways to express their views. "They may think it's meaningless to disperse after a march and prefer staying on the spot until they are removed by police," he says.

But he believes that some media may have blown the discontent out of proportion. And perhaps overgeneralised the grievances of a small group as the overall sentiment of twentysomethings.

(Hong Kong Economic Journal)  Lau Nai-keung's column: Planet Mars collides with Earth and other lessons.  (Note: Lau Nai-keung is a member of the Hong Kong Chinese People's Consultative Conference)

All of a sudden, the post-80's have become the talk of town in Hong Kong ... I have spent a lot of time listening to them.  Recently, they have been verbally abusing me on the Internet and therefore I should listen to them even more carefully.  I have figured out some truths.

First of all, most of the angry young people on the Internet are not very good at expressing themselves.  Most of their reflections are emotionally driven short phrases such as: "Eat shit!" "Game over for you!" "Shut up!" "Score!"  "Good game!" plus a lot of foul language that is inappropriate to print here.  I even learned one of their newly fashionable phrases that have not yet entered mainstream society: "fifty cents."  Don't ask me what this means, but I think it will become popular soon.

I call this mode of expression "animal language."  I don't imply anything derogatory here.  This mode of expression is like dog barking or cat meowing and can communicate a simple emotion in a very direct manner.  But it conveys very little rational thinking.  Instead, it is more like animal instinct.  When someone is immersed in this kind of environment where you praise me for being "cool" and I praise you for being "awesome," it is natural to have a type of herd instinct.  Everyday, they are forming groups to support this or oppose that.  By pressing the ENTER key, they join a group concerned with a particular issue.  If an issue touches a chord somewhere, they can package it to get thousands to sign up.  If one of them says, "Go get them!" they will take action.

Of course, there are longer expressions above the level of "animal language."  Here are some samples from HK Golden Forum, the largest home base for angry young people:

The police force the people to go into the streets through their actions ...

The police ... infernal affairs ...

I just listened to the RTHK training class for political newbies.  I listened to Ms. Chan spoke for the first time.  She spoke very well.

Support Ms. Chan.  Do not be afraid of police dogs.

There is no need need to be afraid if she is not angry.

I don't know how many times she has been arrested before.

In the absence of existing terms, let us call this "baby hooligan talk" for the moment.  We observe certain embryonic ideas, but the foci of the discussions are constantly shifting without any in-depth exploration of any issues.  The effect is basically the same as the aforementioned "animal language."

Therefore, it is a hopeless task to decipher what the angry young people want or their reasons on the basis of their own words.  Our present understanding of them comes mainly from their online discussions of the commentaries coming from mainstream media commentators.  This is problematic in terms of methodology, because these spokespersons for the angry young people are not just simply presenting the opinions and demands of the angry young people, but they are injecting their own agenda and exploiting the situation to their own advantage.  The cases of the Express Rail Link/land acquisition in Choi Yuen Village and the opposition against the functional constituencies are illustrative.

There is never any youth problem -- there are only adult problems.  The angry youth phenomenon is only a symptom of the sickness of Hong Kong society as a whole, in the manner of a fever being the symptom of an underlying ailment.  For now, our system has suddenly discovered the not exactly novel post-80's generation.  Soon there will be no doubt be a whole bunch of youth policies to deal with the problem.  But just as antipyretic medicine reduces fever but does not deal with the underlying ailment, the young problem will blow up again as long as the underlying social problems exist.

Therefore, we must discover the deep structural reasons for the phenomenon of angry youth people.  The angry youth do not know how to express themselves.  For example, they say that Hong Kong should go back to farming instead of developing economically.  These rash words of ignorance should not be taken seriously.  One of their frustrations is the lack of opportunity.  But if we shut off the channels to mainland China, the opportunities will be even fewer, or even non-existent.  When that time comes, there will be more frustrations and even more demonstrations.  They are only saying that if Hong Kong continues to develop, the opportunities will always be yours.  So let us not develop anymore.  We won't get any advantages but neither will you.  Nobody gets anything.  An unstable society means nothing to angry young people who don't have anything anyway, but the establishment fat cats will be scared of even the mildest disturbance.