View Full Version : Any folks here with China experience?

29-07-2007, 04:50:17
It seems that in 18 months I'd might move to Hong Kong for one year to continue my research and hook up with our Chinese counterparts and establish cooperation between our institutions. Well not exactly establish because it exists, but actually being a person who goes to the other side.

Now, it's security related. Mostly about hackers, but also increasingly about organized crime and partially cyberterrorism. So I realize that Hong Kong is a bit more of a "free zone" but it's still under the command of the Party. Political activism is still kind of weird when it gets to more liberal views.

So I'm asking, since it's security field and I would assume that even though it's academia, it is under the control of the Party somehow. What should I expect? Also, the internet connections in there, exactly how much and to what extent they are monitored? To my understanding is pretty much under tight wraps. Since I'm supposed to act in an environment of the open, I still might want to conceal my internet activities. I am encrypting my work related e-mails of certain nature anyway, so should I expect someone to notice it and have something to say to me about it?

What can I do if someone says to me I should "play by the local rules" what ever that might mean? Most of all, I get my most valuable information and contacts dealing with people who could be labeled as hackers and not necessarily the white hat types. I am not willing to risk exposure of any of the individuals that I talk to, nor would I be willing to even give a hint about the locations or places where activity is going on. This is very essential.

So if I'm in Hong Kong, what should I expect? Also, since I'm most likely going to get an IP from the institution, but if I'm not... exactly how "acceptable" it is for me to keep my privacy? I'd suppose I can get my connection working in a more... western way, what kind of trouble I could get into if I got caught evading the government control of the network? Keep in mind that I'd be working in security, this would be something that I guess people in my location would expect me to fiddle with and try out anyway so no biggie, but it might be even worse in there since I'm trusted as a security person.

What should I expect? Also, I'd like to keep a blog when I'm there, mostly for my friends so they can read what's up and see some pictures and stuff. How freely should I speak my mind?

About my activities, in here if someone woudl have anything to say about it, even in my department, I'd tell them to get fucked and continue doing what I was doing. However, I don't want to get myself into trouble over there, or anyone else possibly working with me. How open can I be about it? Basically if it's going to be something of a big no-no, I'll just have to conceal my actions the best to my ability, which should be enough. But I'd rather do the don't ask don't tell policy without so much secrecy.

29-07-2007, 05:01:30
Basically I have lots of things that I like to do with my own name, like for example I order some material (books, few magazines) that can be seen as.... controversial material basically, but I do need it. Hacker publications like 2600 and so forth, no biggie, but you know if I'd re-route this to an address in HK, could it possibly be a problem? It's not just one magazine, and my book collection is mostly "controversial" as well. Let's just say that I'd expect a lot of it to be blacklisted in some places.

So if in HK, can I just take this to my place with my name or should I re-route it and conceal my orders and what is in the mail?

I know this is a bit paranoid, but like I said, I'd be a trusted kind of person and I don't want to give anyone any ideas about things.

Basically ... ok the books mostly cover things related to cybeterrorism, hacking, business cultures and organizations, NSA (mostly for crypto stuff), crucial infrastructures, risk management and identification, biometrics but also some social issues related so even some stuff that sociologists read. But then there's also stuff about creating identities, identity theft, all kinds of related stuff. Then last but not least, propaganda in all its forms. I don't know, my Amazon purchase history is pretty wild, but I need this for my work :nervous:

And I order usually like... anywhere from 5 to 10 books each month in these topics alone. So it's not a book in the mail, it's a constant flow of stuff that would be coming into my HK address. Should I pay attention to this or just forget about it?

Also, about my computer. Say I get into trouble because of someone gets suspicious of my internet habits. If someone wants to check out my computer, but they can't get much out of it but see lots of "controversial" things, is that a big deal? Not porno, but like tools and logs and all kinds of stuff that might be seen as :nervous: ... is that going to be a problem? I would say they are for educating and research purposes, but who knows, they might get pissed off.

29-07-2007, 05:02:22
Experience, like in downloading chinese porn?

29-07-2007, 05:04:06
I've flown through Hong Kong a few times. The girls behind the counters in the kiosks tend to be cute, but they don't smile enough. The buffet at the Airport Regal is to die for. Hope that helps.

29-07-2007, 05:05:16
Can you buy chinese porn at the airport?

29-07-2007, 05:23:43
I'm interested in the possible consequences. None of the stuff is illegal in here, if I put few disclaimers here first :).

But the reason I work where I soon will work is because I'm good at what I do and I'm creative. That means that should I be given the chance of doing say.. penetration testing in HK to a business or government institution, for research purposes.... what I'm trying to say is that I use creative ideas. I don't do "test our network using these tools". Then I just refuse. It's "I'll let you know what I found out." ... now there's bunch of law in here as well concerning these things, so I can't.. I have to act within the law, however it permits things quite nicely, it's mostly concerned of privacy issues and the rights of workers when it comes to "controversial methods". But I call them creative, that means if I'm asked to test the security, I'll go and lie and cheat my ways, I'll go dumpster diving, I call people and lie, I establish and abuse trust, I use every method possible to compromise the security in ways they didn't think people do it. So with free hands but within the contract and the law. However, I don't know the local laws or the ways contracts and agreements are made, interpreted and held. I already see myself in deep trouble after sneaking in, requesting new ID cards and/or using false identities.

I don't want to go there like a sheep and just do things that suck, I want to do stuff that matters, I want to do penetration testing and I want to fucking smash the security.About the books, magazines and the internet, I think those can be all solved, if nothing else then just by apologizing and restricting my resources for the time being as much as possible. However, this kind of shit, who knows? Some party dude might flip and accuse me of spying. After all I do work for a government institution in a way. And THAT could get me into deep fucking trouble. I just want to know where the limits are. In here? The limits are made to be abused. In there? I don't want to find out.

Also what about the local customs when it comes to trouble? Say I get caught by the security during my testing. I'd give them a name and that name will save me because when they report it, someone knows it's the dude who is doing testing. Or I might say I'm doing testing even. But what if they don't function like that. What if they just beat me up first? Is that customary in there? I don't know! But I do have a problem with a skinny guard punching me. You know me. So is that the... modus operandi in there?

29-07-2007, 05:32:36
yes and no

29-07-2007, 06:21:25
I don't know about Hong Kong, but there is no way that China would let a foreigner do the stuff that you want to do. But also as a foreigner, it's more likely that you'll just be shown the exit if you're caught doing something they don't like. Though in Hong Kong, you may be prosecuted. But I don't think that they'll let you do anything that will get you into trouble to begin with, so you shouldn't worry too much about it.

If your task is corporate related, most likely your only responsibilities will be to meet your Chinese counterparts, have pictures taken, drink some tea, and be given general tours of the of the company. If you are asked to do specific research over there, then you will be allowed to do that. Just make sure that all sides are clear what they're responsibilities are and that the goals are clearly stated. Also, familiarize yourself with the local customs and laws, especially regarding the type of work that you are doing.

Lazarus and the Gimp
29-07-2007, 08:38:10
China executes thousands of people every year. That's just a conversational aside- carry on with the thread.

29-07-2007, 14:37:04
not to mention chinese porn sites

29-07-2007, 14:51:47
I hear they have great take out and lots of laundries.

29-07-2007, 15:20:53
and railroads too

29-07-2007, 15:30:58
though they eat dogs

29-07-2007, 16:11:28
But they don't have underwater bridges.

29-07-2007, 16:12:35
Originally posted by Vincent
though they eat dogs

That's Koreans. Or maybe a really hungry Chinese person.

29-07-2007, 16:41:40
If you are part of a multi-national and need to punch the international ticket, than Hong Kong could be good. But in general, you will not get far as a Westerner who doesn't know the language or have the right race. Think you're a lot better off coming the USA (California) if you want to go to a place with opportunity.

29-07-2007, 16:56:01
I'm afraid he's right. If you're going for a year with school that's one thing but if you're going to settle and start a life then there is more opportunities for you in California or New York.

29-07-2007, 17:09:11
TCO, I disagree :)

I think the opportunity is equal. Considering the situation, HK will suit me better for the long run. I'd be there as a researcher. It's a mix of things, I might do cooperation with the companies we're involved with in HK as well.

California does not offer me anything extra by itself, in fact in the very spesific field I should avoid it for a while. Atlanta (weird) does offer a better opportunity. But I'm likely to go there after HK. So it's not a choice of a or b, I can have both.

So no, Cali does not offer me better opportunities as of now. None of the fine institutions or the top tier tech places can offer the level in my very spesific field. Atlanta can though, and it's considered THE top place, it's a freaking monster of a place. So that might be my goal, to first do HK gig and then possibly that. I'm looking to move into SoCal afterwards though, when it's time to hit the multinationals. I still want to check out this card to the end, I might be interested in becoming a professor. Maybe. If I like my 2 to 3 years, I'm likely to continue. If not? Then I'll be hitting the SoCal market as fast as I can.

dashi, it's difficult to predict. I mean we can't research security issues if we don't get to do anything. One of the issues is to see a different work culture and how that affects to the risks, because we're exploiting some habits of people, so ... unless you get to do it, you can just stay home.

Plus China experience is giving me a high value ticket in here, it's extremely valued in here. Also, we do have a relationship with our counterparts in there, so as far as quanxi goes, something has been done already. Don't know to what extent though.

29-07-2007, 17:17:05
That is to say, professionally I'm not going to benefit the most from Cali now. However, I'm planning on making it my final destination. Well not final, but my plans end there and has been for a long time. Beach house and stuff. I could definitely do that. And sun.

So I get the most opportunities money wise there, so it's the place to be when I'm done collecting the stripes for myself.

I don't want to be some CSO or what ever. They make good money but it does not interest me. I'm looking forward doing consulting and security training/education. So much less stress, and so much more opportunities for roaming and some serious money making.

29-07-2007, 17:48:55
You people have exciting lifes!

Resource Consumer
29-07-2007, 18:15:36
I don't

Dyl Ulenspiegel
29-07-2007, 18:22:39
But you have the 38 billion $ minibar!

29-07-2007, 20:40:25
And nice blue glasses

29-07-2007, 20:41:36
My china experience was pretty good, although a bit short. She was a bit servile, which is fun for a while, but then gets frustrating.

29-07-2007, 20:42:27
Servile is a great word

29-07-2007, 20:59:52
Spent about ten days in HK before we had to give it back...

It was an awesome experience!:beer:

30-07-2007, 03:39:02
I'd love to hear what HelloKitty will say about the last post

30-07-2007, 07:09:51

where is she anyways?

30-07-2007, 07:51:06
in china

30-07-2007, 08:29:04
Seeing a proctologist?

30-07-2007, 08:46:48
Should I?

30-07-2007, 09:37:14
Wouldn't hurt to go see one. Or maybe just a little.

30-07-2007, 12:26:05
It will hurt in the end.

Sir Tristram
30-07-2007, 14:37:29
Originally posted by Vincent
Servile is a great word

It is also a city in Spain

Saint Isidore of Seville
30-07-2007, 14:44:08
No, that's Toledo!

30-07-2007, 22:23:03

Cort Haus
31-07-2007, 02:20:59
I have at times drunk tea out of a china cup.

31-07-2007, 09:01:00
Originally posted by Saint Isidore of Seville
No, that's Toledo! No, that's a car

Cort Haus
31-07-2007, 11:16:37
Originally posted by Drekkus
No, that's a car

Actually it's two cars.

Dyl Ulenspiegel
31-07-2007, 11:26:59
The Tol and the Edo

Cort Haus
31-07-2007, 11:45:02
The Seat and the old Triumph.

Dyl Ulenspiegel
31-07-2007, 12:26:03
That's a positively weird sentence when you read "triumph" as a verb.

31-07-2007, 13:40:12
Did they ever do ads in Britain like "take a Seat"?

31-07-2007, 15:31:21
Arrest vinnie for incitement to steal.

01-08-2007, 07:24:28
Excitement to steal

C.G.B. Spender
01-08-2007, 07:33:39
I like stealing, but only other people's stuff

Dyl Ulenspiegel
01-08-2007, 08:08:22