Preston Clive
All posts from Preston Clive
Preston Clive in Preston Clive - THE IRRITATED AMERICAN, Wielding The Digital Hatchet,


Mr. Obama taking a social walk with all of his true, real, friends. (IMAGE CREDIT: 

By Preston Clive


These just a few of the terms that the Chinese cabinet have used when describing Barack Obama vis a vis his response to their proposed anti-terrorism law, with its embedded requests to the United States for access to surveillance tools. Using the organ of the Xinhua official news service as its conduit into the media, the government released the following:

 US president Barack Obama's criticism of the upcoming counterterrorism law of China is utterly groundless and another piece of evidence of arrogance and hypocrisy of the US foreign policy.

Although the enactment of a Chinese law is an entirely internal affair of China, Obama insisted that the measure, which would require technology firms to give Chinese authorities surveillance access in order to collect intelligence about terrorists, is "something they are going to have to change if they are to do business with the United States."

The comment is a direct reflection of a specific statement that Mr. Obama made two days ago when discussing the request exclusively with a Reuters wire staff reporter:

In an interview with Reuters, Obama said he was concerned about Beijing's plans for a far-reaching counterterrorism law that would require technology firms to hand over encryption keys, the passcodes that help protect data, and install security "backdoors" in their systems to give Chinese authorities surveillance access.

"This is something that I’ve raised directly with President Xi," Obama said. "We have made it very clear to them that this is something they are going to have to change if they are to do business with the United States."

The Chinese are calling Mr. Obama a hypocrite specifically because of the dust-up around the end of the summer of 2014, when the federal organs of law enforcement began leveling bitter spears at Apple and Google specifically, for the practice of embedding their mobile operating systems with encryption protocols that were not breakable by the FBI and other intelligence services. 

The Xinhua article elucidates the following:

 FBI director James Comey publicly warned companies like Apple and Google in 2014 against using encryption that the law enforcement authorities cannot break.

While defending the legitimacy and necessity of similar behaviors in his own country, Obama's criticism of Chinese counterterrorism law obviously shows selfishness and hypocrisy of the US foreign policy.

Secondly, the surveillance of terrorism actions on equipment of the internet and telecommunication companies in China will be carried out strictly in accordance with the law.

Regardless of the direction that these heated words push the US President's thoughts, it's remarkable the amount of public ire that the man is cultivating; yesterday Israel's Bibi Netanyahu--leader of one of the USA's biggest allies-- came and tried to undermine the President right in his own backyard... today the Chinese are openly lambasting him. In the overall scheme of things, the ongoing dust-ups over Ukraine with Putin are not much to make political hay over in strictly political terms of leader versus leader. But the point is that Obama is not the most loved man on the planet at the moment when it comes to international relations. 

It may or may not have something to do with the fact that the man is losing sight of the boundaries between himself and the office of the presidency, and the incredible power inherent in that office. Like a youthful Queen Elizabeth II remarking that the televising of her coronation invaded on the sacredly religious nature of the ceremony. . . believing she became subject to the transference of a holiness of some kind. I've already written about Mr. Obama the fact that we've not seen a man so thoroughly transformed as a human being by the seductive power of the presidency and all of its trappings. It may be that it has turned him into an unlikable human being behind closed doors.

This is not to cast aspersions on, for example, Mr Obama's efforts with Iran; I think his tactics for dealing with Iran on the nuclear subject are far more realistic than those of Netanyahu. 

As for an anti-terrorism bill, much of its meat and potatoes are likely classified, and concern classified mechanisms of surveillance and information delivery, so it's difficult for me to comment.

Preston Clive