back to article US cyber ambassador says China knows how to steal its way to dominance of cloud and AI

China has a playbook to use IP theft to seize leadership in cloud computing, and other nations should band together to stop that happening, according to Nathaniel C. Fick, the US ambassador-at-large for cyberspace and digital policy. Speaking at an event hosted by think tank Hudson Institute, Fick said 30 years ago democratic …

  1. ChoHag Silver badge

    China steals stuff so let's regulate AI? Altman is that you?

  2. sarusa Silver badge
    Devil

    They certainly know how to steal

    This is true - they're great engineers but only mediocre at fundamental science (that requires too much creativity and rule breaking, which are cultural taboos). But they have an IP theft program completely unrivaled in the history of mankind that's been running for decades. From random citizens at every university and tech firm and world class hacking into every university and tech firm, they're completely unmatched. It's breathtaking, like a shorn scrotum. Their space program, for example, is the best of NASA and the EU's stolen tech with engineering improvements. They've really innovated at quantum communication after stealing the base tech then improving it to a remarkable extent. They can certainly do the same with cloud... AI is a bit more wobbly, because I really doubt that ChatGPT4 is the endgame (things are changing too fast, and China is incapable of making fundamental advances to it), but they can certainly exploit what there is to the max.

    Now, the whole part about other nations banding together to regulate and prevent that... all I can say is LOL. The other thing you can completely count on is that greedy bastards in every nation will continue to give China whatever they want in exchange for access to their manufacturing.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: They certainly know how to steal

      Whereas the US space program was totally legit kickstarted by honestly captured Nazi technology and scientists.

      And France didn't have to expel US agents spying on its telecom tech very often.

      One might think those whining about stealing and spying aren't exactly holding the high ground.

      https://www.liberation.fr/evenement/1995/02/23/des-diplomates-americains-sont-accuses-d-espionnage-paris-tente-d-eviter-une-crise-avec-washington_122297/

      https://www.francetvinfo.fr/monde/espionnage-d-internet/la-nsa-enregistre-des-millions-de-donnees-en-france_440016.html

      1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

        Re: They certainly know how to steal

        True that.

        And let's not forget that the USA practically invented IP theft.

        1. Tom 38

          Re: They certainly know how to steal

          And even earlier, Britain had an "unassailable global advantage in" textiles till some scrote stole the designs and ran off to America

          1. Arthur the cat Silver badge

            Re: They certainly know how to steal

            Basically the US spent the entire 19th century stealing IP from the UK and Germany. Victorian manufacturers rapidly learnt not to allow visiting Merkins to tour their factories.

          2. Yes Me Silver badge
            Flame

            Re: They certainly know how to steal

            Only because they knocked off Jacquard looms invented in France.

            Everybody does it. The whole Industrial Revolution depended on technology transfer. Only when the transfer is from the USA, it suddenly becomes unfair.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: They certainly know how to steal

        And one might think there was a point to whataboutism.

    2. ChoHag Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: They certainly know how to steal

      How dare the underdog try to catch up!

      Down boy!

      (I mean yeah, sure, they can be arseholes about some things on an international machiavelian scale. But still ... don't we all have bad days?)

    3. martinusher Silver badge

      Re: They certainly know how to steal

      A casual list of authors of academic papers might suggest that just maybe the Chinese are actually quite good at inventing and discovering stuff. They also don't suddenly become 'other' when they leave the mainland to work overseas as ell. so this assertion that "they're great engineers but only mediocre at fundamental science" may not be entirely accurate.

      The reason they're doing well is that they're putting the work in. We can do as well -- and better -- but we need the investment and organizational will to keep up. Just bleating that we invented something half a century ago that got widely adopted isn't going to work, you're only as good as your latest output.

      FWIW we used to say exactly the same about the Japanese.

  3. fg_swe Bronze badge

    Nr 1 Right, Nr 2 Wrong

    Indeed it is very dangerous to be dependent on a military-political adversary/enemy for your communications system. They can turn it off any time and only they have the expertise to turn it on again. Also they can and will use it as a spying and person-tracking system. A clear national security issue, given that the Chicoms can roam freely inside NATO.

    Details regarding terminology here: https://www.bundeswehr.de/de/organisation/luftwaffe/team-luftwaffe-auf-uebung/rapid-pacific-teil-4-die-besuche

    Mr Finck is wrong on AI machines, though: only trivial code can be properly coded by ChatGPT. All the tough problems still require meatsacks to do the heavy lifting. I asked ChatGPT to code an Enigma cipher machine and it failed spectacularly. Then there are AI controlled Tesla cars which crash into parked trucks...

    1. vtcodger Silver badge

      Re: Nr 1 Right, Nr 2 Wrong

      "Then there are AI controlled Tesla cars which crash into parked trucks..."

      Yeah, but if one believes Elon the Cagefighter, all Tesla AI needs is one or two more fixes. Then it'll be awesome.

  4. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Arthur the cat Silver badge

      Re: Controlling The Fire

      Has amanfromMars taken on an apprentice?

      1. Claptrap314 Silver badge

        Re: Controlling The Fire

        Years ago.

  5. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Meanwhile, Elsewhere ..... Testing Prime Ministries and Presumptive Departments of Defence ...

    "The most dangerous course of action is the application of these technologies in lethal terms – so autonomous weapons biotechnology, to some extent cyber security, and the applications of AI to do really nefarious things using kind of existing lethal stuff."

    The clear secret then to ensure the most dangerous courses of action are avoided or prevented would appear simply to be .... Do not invite their presence because of that which you do ...... and pay up promptly to sysadmins guardians should you ever be responsible for those most dangerous courses of action being necessary or possible? Sounds like perfect common sense to me. What about thee? And it is not without its extremely rewarding opportunities ... for those who know what needs to be done and how to do it before it be done, either alone or in consort with A.N.Others. Consider the following Greater IntelAIgent Gamesplay ......

    Remote Weapons of Mass Virtual Destruction

    Darktrace PREVENT helps here, playing the role of an attacker looking for weak points in a system. It's a powerful tool that gives defenders a much better understanding of how they are exposed to potential wrongdoing, says Lewis. "It's more than a simple vulnerability scan," he explains. ....... https://www.theregister.com/2023/06/22/the_log4j_vulnerability_how_can/

    That is all very well, and it may be very helpful, but ...... whenever playing the role of an attacker/legitimate penetrations tester has one discovering/uncovering wilful systemic wrongdoing by that which is being betatested/penetrations tested, is the powerful tool morphed into an almighty problematic status quo dilemma rendering effected systems vulnerable to insider trading/vulnerability export attack.

    Log4j and ransomware have brought home to everybody that there are some risks you don't control but which nonetheless you can't ignore. As a result, we may be seeing a more pragmatic approach to managing security risk amongst organisations which have moved on from seeing it as a line in a budget and a regulatory box to be ticked.

    Lewis concludes: "At Darktrace we want to ensure the least possible disruption to see to it that everybody keeps their job."

    That pragmatic approach may have to accept and make adequate provision for the payment of Danegeld to discoverers/holders/guardians of Remote Weapons of Mass Virtual Destruction.

  6. CowHorseFrog Silver badge

    The US government should be putting all those ceos that send manufacturing and expertise over to China in the past 30 years for the biggest examples of traitors in human history.

    1. Yes Me Silver badge
      Headmaster

      No, they should be thanking the President that started it

      Don't be absurd. Richard Nixon started things off by talking to the Chinese and encouraging trade and cultural exchanges. US (and other Western) industry simply followed his lead. So what if there was a bit of IP leakage? Did we ever pay royalties to the Chinese for inventing gunpowder and printing? This is how human economic development has always worked: copying and improving on somebody else's inventions. Patents and copyrights are a modern invention, and if you're an open source software user you already know that they are mainly a tool to make the rich richer. Who can blame China for sidestepping that?

    2. martinusher Silver badge

      (Oh, the old "Lock 'em up!".)

      Too bad you haven't figured that the government *is* those CEOs and what-have-you. Our economic system and so government is totally geared to what makes the most money -- that's 100% what capitalism is about, its directing the flow and deployment of capital to where it gets the best Return on Investment. There's no notion of social purpose, much less subsuming the activities of money making to the needs of society as a whole. That's actually a Chinese thing which we're brought up from birth to reject.

      FWIW -- I've been grumbling about offshoring for decades since it always ends up as my job that's being offshored (directly or indirectly). Nobody listens. You lot keep voting for governments that are all about the money and as ever always seem so surprised and hurt when they deliver exactly what they promised. Time to read the fine print more carefully?

  7. Charles Bu

    Divide and conquer

    Trying to isolate the USA by making out they are the only ones who'll lose if China wins is a good ruse.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    As fair-and-square as dumpster diving!

    Yeah, the fact that Huawei got a hold of 20M lines of Cisco IOS operating system (for routers) code was done totally fair and square. totally. no stealing go on there. They must have found it in a dumpster somewhere. Yeah. Like that listing of the DEC Basic Interpeter that Bill Gate found in the dumpster near Harvard. Totally fair and square !!

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