China: Enough said.
Seriously! We're not already used to China having no respect for facts or human rights? Why not?
One of the largest and most sophisticated distributed denial of service (DDOS) attacks has hit a controversial online democracy poll canvassing opinion on future Hong Kong elections. Over the weekend some 680,000 people cast votes in the unofficial poll that offered residents of special administrative region to highlight their …
China agreed in 1990 that Hong Kong would be able to elect its leader by universal suffrage, but is trying to weasel out by "approving" the candidates... which sock puppet do you want to vote for?
This poll is HK's response: we want a meaningful election with a real choice of candidates.
Also worth mentioning: Udomain and Amazon were also providing services for the poll, but dropped out when the DDoS happened. Kudos to Cloudflare for handling it.
Security outfit CloudFlare…/
While it's true that content delivery networks have to be security aware - and they can be very cost-effective in this respect - this doesn't make them security specialists.
300 Gbps is a hell of a lot of traffic, enough to disrupt whole internet interchanges. But this is still probably only the work of some of the hordes of nationalist script kiddies in China. If the Chinese government wants to shutdown something in Hong Kong it has other options. If it wants to DDoS somewhere, it would be probably start at 300 Gbps - though attack of that size will likely get the IETF coordinating sinkholes.
@Hans 1 - These days, the PLA is already here, (defending us against invaders?) in their barracks. They could remove their insignia and take to the streets, but the Police and/or the PLA would be expected to respond to unidentified gunmen roaming around, so really not deniable.
Beijing already has the physical power, but they promised to let HK run its internal affairs. The plan appears to be to appear to keep that promise, while fixing the elections so they have control. They can't do that if enough people say it's a sham.
So, this is a ballot for 'real' democracy -- allowing people to vote whether they'd like to nominate the candidates for chief executive in 2017, rather than get candidates approved by the Chinese government -- by giving people a ballot where all three proposals involve allowing the public to nominate the candidates for chief executive in 2017. So impossible to vote against. Real democracy?
There is an "abstain" option. The other three options are proposals by different pro-democracy groups. I suppose a pro-Beijing group could have made a proposal and demanded it should be added to the list, but they were all too busy saying (shouting outside the polling stations in some cases) the poll was "illegal". Unofficial, yes; not legally binding, yes, but Illegal? Why?
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