International Agreement for Control of Cyber Weapons

Category: Chinese Hacking

China’s National Strategy for Cyberspace (Pt. I)– Vocabulary

Part I – Vocabulary

China’s national strategy for cyberspace is breathtaking in its comprehensiveness. It recognizes the importance of the Internet in all domains of human activity (education, science, business, communications), but also acknowledges what it views as being major problems with the Internet as it operates now.

Notable Quotations

没有 网络 安全 就 没有 国家 安全 (méiyǒu wǎngluò ānquán jiù méiyǒu guójiā ānquán)
Without cyber security, there is no national security.
网络空间 是 国家 主权 的 新疆域 (wǎngluòkōngjiān shì guójiā zhǔquán dí xīn jiāngyù)
Cyberspace is the new territory of national sovereignty. (Lit. Cyberspace is national sovereignty [of] new territory.)
网络 攻击 威胁 经济 安全 (wǎngluò gōngjī wēixié jīngjì ānquán)
Cyber attacks threaten economic security.
网络 有害 信息 侵蚀 文化 安全 (wǎngluò yǒuhài xìnxī qīnshí wénhuà ānquán)
Harmful online information corrodes cultural security.

Chinese Cyberspace Terminology

NB: Many of the terms are more or less the same as in English, others are different for two reasons: First, there is an inherent ambiguity in the Chinese language that makes it possible for a work (or character combination) to have a number of meanings in English, some narrow some general; Second, even though some of the terms translate into English, the context of the Chinese text indicates that their meaning actually is slightly different or may have a specific Chinese context.

In addition, a few terms are used in a way that indicate the overall policy thrust of the Chinese government both internally and in international fora, and this is noted.

We have inserted spaces into the Chinese phrases to separate the characters into words, usually two-characters in length. In written Chinese, there is no spacing between words. After the characters, we have inserted the romanization of the characters with the Mandarin 4-tone accent marks, and also clustered together these into words with spaces.

The order is according to the romanization of the Chinese. This is because there are numerous variations in the english equivalents (or semi-equivalents).

安全 (ān quán)

暴力 (bàolì)
Violence. This refers to content. (It is peculiar that violent gaming is very popular in China.) We can conclude that this refers to the use of the Internet to provoke or condone violence or political upheaval.

颠覆 (diānfù)

多边 国际 互联 网治 理体 系 (duōbiān guójì hùlián wǎngzhì lǐtǐ xì)
Multilateral (international) network governance system.

道德 失范 (dàodé shīfàn)
Moral anomie; moral degeneracy.

分裂 国家 (fēnliè guójiā)
Split the country; separatism. This refers to any communications on the Internet that discuss the break-up of China. Examples would be Tibet, which was occupied by China in the 1950s, and also Occupied East Turkistan, which is occupied by China. It is specifically prohibited to communicate information that would suggest any change in current political arrangements.

国家 关键 信息 基础 设施 (guójiā guānjiàn xìnxī jīchǔshèshī)
National critical information infrastructure. This definition appears to be the same as in the West.

公众 监督 (gōngzhòng jiāndū)
Public supervision. This refers to government “control” of the Internet and its content, but also control over all aspects of the technology, including standards, governance procedures, domain name registration, and so on.

国家 网络 安全 保障 体系 (guójiā wǎngluò ānquán bǎozhàng tǐxì)
National network safety protection system; national network security system.

规则 制定 权 (guīzé zhìdìng quán)
Right to make rules; Internet governance.

关键 信息 基础设施 (guānjiàn xìnxī jīchǔshèshī)
Critical information infrastructure.

计算机 病毒 (jìsuànjī bìngdú)
Computer virus; malware.

迷信 (míxìn)
Blind faith; superstition. This refers to what the West would call “religion”. In other words, the spreading of “superstition” is considered to be a danger on the Internet. It is in the class of information that must be controlled and weeded out.

渗透 (shèntòu)
Penetration. This term is used for hacking, that is, the illicit access to an information system through the Internet.

数字 鸿沟 (shùzì hónggōu)
Digital divide. This is the standard terminology used to express the difference in access to information technology between the developed and developing countries. It is a holdover from the New World Information Order that was started originally in UNESCO as an anti-Western movement seeking government control over mass media.
社会 主义 核心 价值 观 (shèhuìzhǔyì héxīn jiàzhí guān)
Socialist core values viewpoint. This term is used to express what China believes should be a guiding principle in content available through the Internet. The other side is that is that information without this viewpoint is officially not welcome.

颓废 文化 (tuífèi wénhuà)
Decadent culture; dispirited culture. This term refers to content on the Internet that does not have the correct and acceptable point of view or theme.

网络 (wǎngluò)
The internet.

文化 安全 (wénhuà ānquán)
Cultural security. This term refers to a vulnerability caused by the Internet, by Cyberspace. There is a fear that without appropriate control, the Internet will harm “cultural security”. This term is alien and more or less unknown in the West.
网络 安全 (wǎngluò ānquán)
Cyber security, network security; network protection.

网络 安全 防御 (wǎngluò ānquán fángyù)
Network security defense; cybersecurity defense. This term is general in nature and does not specifically refer to actions of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA).

网络 安全 审查 制度 (wǎngluò ānquán shěnchá zhìdù)
Network security review system. This term refers to a national program or set of policies that will enforce security checks on the Internet, that is, on the entire Internet within China. By necessity, it is a centrally directed effort of the government.

网络 空间 冲突 (wǎngluò kōngjiān chōngtū)
Cyberspace conflict. There is no specific example of this. For example, it is not clear if it applies to only the technology and network level or also includes information operations. Within the context of the overall policy, it would include information operations. Therefore, we can conclude that providing unacceptable information into China is a form a aggressing leading to cyberspace conflict.
网络 空间 (wǎngluò kōngjiān)

网络 空间 国际 规则 (wǎngluò kōngjiān guójì guīzé)
International rules for cyberspace. In the Chinese point of view, this term refers to a negotiated set of treaties and international agreements that will govern the Internet. These rules and norms will be negotiated by countries. This model of Internet Governance is not compatible with the Western point of view which emphasizes a multi-stakeholder approach.
网络 空间 国际 反恐 公约 (wǎngluò kōngjiān guójì fǎnkǒng gōngyuē)
International convention against terrorism in cyberspace; (Lit. Internet (cyber) international against terrorism convention). There is no such convention, but it is interesting that China is interested in the negotiation of such a treaty.

网络 空间 军备 竞赛 (wǎngluò kōngjiān jūnbèi jìngsài)
Cyberspace Arms Race; Internet space arms competition. Although China recognizes there there is a cyber arms race, there is no discussion we have seen of a desire for an international treaty to limit the proliferation of cyber weapons.

网络 空间 秩序 (wǎngluò kōngjiān zhìxù)
Cyberspace order. This term to refer to internal Internet conditions (within China), and also internationally. It reflects the China ideal notion of a type of stable and “ordered” international information system of Internet and “cyber space”.
网络 空间 治理 (wǎngluò kōngjiān zhìlǐ)
Cyberspace governance; internet governance.
网络 空间 主权 (wǎngluò kōngjiān zhǔquán)
Cyberspace sovereignty. This is a broad concept. In general, it considers that Chinese networks are integral to the nation and themselves are connected with national sovereignty. Therefore, an attack on Chinese cyberspace is the same as an attack on the landmass of China.
网络 空间 战略 资源 (wǎngluò kōngjiān zhànlüè zīyuán)
Strategic resources of cyberspace. This concept does not appear in Western thinking and may be a unique perspective in China. It considers that cyberspace is a type of territory in which there are various “resources” that can be acquired and controlled. In the Chinese view, it is an important aspect of national cyberspace policy to acquire and control these resources.

网络 伦理 (wǎngluò lúnlǐ)
Network ethics. Behavioral aspects of citizen activities online.

网上 思想 文化 (wǎngshàng sīxiǎng wénhuà)
Online ideology and culture. This refers to type of values and behaviors of people that spend much time online, and to expected behavior and cultural norms presented.

网络 窃密 (wǎngluò qièmì)
Cyber espionage; Using the Internet to steal secret information. China does not specifically define “secret” information, but in practice has a very broad definition. Chinese rules concerning cyber espionage are similar to other countries.

网络 威慑 战略 (wǎngluò wēishè zhànlüè)
Cyber deterrence strategy. There is no specific discussion of this in the cyber context. However, it presumably means that it is official Chinese policy to develop cyber weapons that can be used to counter-attack in case China itself is attacked in cyberspace.

网络 谣言 (wǎngluò yáoyán)
Network rumors; Fake news and false information spread through social media. This is another class of prohibited information. The Chinese government spends significant resources on monitoring and controlling rumors.

信息 传播 秩序 (xìnxī chuánbō zhìxù)
Information dissemination order. Here the term “order” refers to a state in which everything is under strict control. So this implies that how information is distributed, and what the information is, should be under strict control. This, of course, is incompatible with Western thinking. It also may be incompatible with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

淫秽 (yínhuì)
Obscenity. Same meaning as in the West, but obscene information is specifically prohibited by national policy. There is no exact definition of obscenity.

应急 响应 (yīngjí xiǎngyīng)
Emergency response. This has the same meaning as in English, and in the West. It refers to quick response in case of a computer network emergency, such as a massive denial of service attack.
有害 信息 (yǒuhài xìnxī)
Harmful information.
有害 信息 (yǒuhài xìnxī)
Harmful information (harmful to national security or national interests). Chinese doctrine defines large classes of harmful information, and there is a specific policy to prevent this harmful information from spreading.

依法 治理 网络 空间 (yīfǎ zhìlǐ wǎngluò kōngjiān)
Governance of cyberspace according to the law; (Lit. According to the law govern cyberspace). This concept sounds neutral, but actually it is a more limited concept than found in the West. In the Chinese view, the “law” will be determined by governments and multilateral institutions without significant input from multi-stakeholder groups. So what this phrase means is something like “government monopoly on Internet governance”.

政治 安全 (zhèngzhì ānquán)
Political security. This term is unique to China. It has no equivalent in the West. In general, it refers to political stability or the credibility of the political system. Within the context of cyberspace doctrine, “political security” is a risk factor. That is, there is a fear that content transmitted on the Internet will generate or magnify dissent against the political system. In the Chinese context, it is government policy to censor or otherwise prevent such information from being transmitted through the Internet.





2016 The Year of Cyber War 0.7

Is Interference in Campaigns “Cyber War”?

2016 was the year of cyber war, and we will call it “cyber war 0.7” because it not a complete cyber war in the proper sense of the word. The most incredible event was the role of WikiLeaks in the election for the president of the United States. WikiLeaks was able to publish a large number of emails from the Democratic National Committee. These emails indicated a certain level of untoward behavior on the part of the leadership of the Democratic committee. As a result of this, there were various personnel changes in the Democratic National Committee.

The emails seem to indicate a number of activities that were considered by the opposition to be improper. Although these activities or not reported upon widely in the mainstream media, nevertheless, they seemed to have a decisive effect on the election. The connection between the leak of these emails and the election found it’s nexus in the investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. In particular, only about one week before the vote, the FBI announced that it was re-opening its investigation of the Clinton emails. According to most commentators on the Democratic side, this specific action by the FBI was responsible primarily for the loss of Hillary Clinton in the election. The opposition claimed however that the real reason why she lost the election had to do with her policies regarding industrialization and foreign trade policy for the United States. It is difficult to know what all of the reasons were, but this discussion regarding the role of WikiLeaks, and the role of cyber warfare in the election has continued.

US Retaliation Against Russian Diplomats

After the election for the president but before the inauguration of the new administration, President Obama announced that the United States would be taking retaliatory action against the Russian Federation. This retaliation involves the expiration of 35 diplomats and their families from the United States within 72 hours. That’s at the same time, the Russians or forced to abandon two facilities that they have been operating for more than a quarter of a century. And additional hardship imposed upon the Russians was that this expulsion came only a few days before the New Year’s celebration which in Russia, like in so many other countries, is a major celebration. The representative of the Russian Federation in San Francisco stated that the cook for the New Year’s festivities had been expelled from the United States. He lamented publicly on television that because of this it would not be possible for the consulate to invite the large number of American guest as was customary.

This time, it still is not clear exactly what role the Russian Federation had in the release of the Clinton emails. For example, Julian Assange, the head of WikiLeaks, as stated on numerous occasions, including today in a live interview on the Fox news Channel, that the Russian Federation government had absolutely no connection to the release of the emails. In spite of these numerous denials, many still argue that it was the intervention of the Russian government in the presidential election that was responsible for the election of Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States.

During this past week, there also was a report that malicious code from the Russian Federation had been injected into the electrical supply control mechanism for the state of New Hampshire. This news item turned out to be false.

The Chinese Office of Personnel Hack

There were many other significant events involving cyber warfare or cyber espionage during the year 2016. One of the most significant incidents was when a group operating from the People’s Republic of China managed to hack into the personnel records of more than 2 million employees of the federal government. They took a large amount of extremely confidential information including background investigation and security information regarding these government employees. What is peculiar about this incident is that the Obama administration did not take the type of harsh countermeasures that it has taken in the case of the legend Russian hacking of the US election.

Terrorists Use of Social Media

A third major theme of cyber warfare during the year 2016 involved the role of I S I S in it’s propaganda efforts to recruit terrorists around the world. These recruitment efforts have been very successful, particularly in Europe. During this year, Europe has seen a dramatic increase in terrorism and has lost a large number of people. In general, the situation seems to be getting much worse in Europe. In spite of this rise in the number of deaths originating in terrorism, Europe still seems to be refusing to place any controls on the propaganda coming from the Middle East. Placing controls on information is very difficult because it is a direct contravention of the international law regarding freedom of speech and freedom of communication. These principles were incorporated into the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Unfortunately, we can see that international declarations are not to the same as international law.

We can say confidently that the year 2016 was one in which all aspects of the cyber issue came to the forefront in the international news. We can also say that during the coming year we should continue to see an escalation of problems in the cyber domain.

This blog continues to maintain the position that until there is a very significant outage or Internet crisis which affects a number of countries at the same time there will not be any recognition of the need for an international agreement to limit the proliferation and development of cyber weapons.