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China Cloud Businesses Data Storage Iphone Apple Technology

Apple To Transfer Chinese iCloud Operations To Chinese Firm (bbc.com) 72

Apple's iCloud services in mainland China will be operated by a Chinese company from next month, the tech giant has confirmed, though Apple will still have access to all data stored on iCloud. The company said it had made the move to comply with the country's cloud computing regulations. iCloud accounts registered outside of China are not affected. BBC reports: The Chinese cyber security rules, introduced in July last year, include a requirement for companies to store all data within China. The firm, Guizhou on the Cloud Big Data (GCBD), is owned by the Guizhou provincial government in southern China. Guizhou is where Apple opened a $1 billion data center last year to meet the regulations. iCloud data will be transferred from February 28, Apple said. Customers living in mainland China who did not want to use iCloud operated by GCBD were given the option to terminate their account. Apple said the "partnership" with GCBD would allow it to "improve the speed and reliability of our iCloud services products while also complying with newly passed regulations that cloud services be operated by Chinese companies." It added that Apple had "strong data privacy and security protections in place and no backdoors will be created into any of our systems." However, some on social media have said the step gives Beijing more opportunity to monitor its citizens and others living in the country.
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Apple To Transfer Chinese iCloud Operations To Chinese Firm

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  • But seriously, Mindtree that handles support for Microsoft is just a disaster. We opened several tickets in July when we first started moving to Azure, and not a single one of them has been resolved.

    • by zlives ( 2009072 )

      but... but... cloud

    • by Anonymous Coward

      We keep losing disks on Azure, but keep still being billed for them. That's annoying, but of course having servers crash and having to set them up again from scratch is a bigger problem. The highest level person we've talked to at Mindtree is Sonal Kathel, but even he doesn't even have permission to look at vms or disks so he can't help. Microsoft is providing the worst of both worlds. Support that isn't trained, can't escalate, and can't even view info about what they're supposed to support.

  • by sphealey ( 2855 ) on Wednesday January 10, 2018 @07:55PM (#55905131)

    The other half of the walnut is: what protections is Apple putting in place to ensure that once the PRC's intelligence agencies have penetrated the data center and systems located in the PRC (because they will) that this foot in the door will not give them leverage to penetrate the rest of the system located in the US and EU?

    • Re:Firewall (Score:4, Funny)

      by zlives ( 2009072 ) on Wednesday January 10, 2018 @08:00PM (#55905163)

      i think apple has an intel based CPU with IME to protect us from that.

    • by AHuxley ( 892839 )
      The same protections and skill used to keep the NSA out?
      PRISM (surveillance program) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]
    • by Avidiax ( 827422 )

      The solution that I have seen in a couple of companies now is this:

      The Chinese DC's are isolated. All network traffic from the Chinese DC to the other DCs are whitelisted (from the non-China DC), with a long process involved to get anything added to the whitelist. Typically, only backup, migration, and monitoring are allowed. No keying material valid in a non-China-DC is allowed in the Chinese DCs. This means that any migrations will involve reencryption with new keys. Automated and manual audits of inter-D

      • by AHuxley ( 892839 )
        The national internet is a China wide intranet.
        Want to invest and build a brand in China? Laws are clear about how encryption will be used, the needs of law enforcement.
        All international networks in and out are tracked back to see if they are a VPN thats new, unknown to the gov and mil in China.
        Some VPN's will work in China at full speed and without question. Why? The government gets to se all its own citizens who are trying to use the service.
        For that agreement foreigners get to feel like the VPN i
  • China will not accept your freedoms.
    Your brand accepts the laws under the Communist party in China.

    What did the West think it would be like? All Tiananmen Square like with a digital democratic civil society forming around the US brand?
    Communist governments do not allow freedom in. Communism controls brands so Communism has no competitors that can spread democracy and freedom.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    As the wise man said, only a fool trusts the man from china. Are you a foo!

  • "We're not going to implement the Chicomms' demands".

    But they'll work with a partner who will. Probably keeps their nose clean while complying with regs, and side-stepping the issue for shareholders.

  • They felt no need to state the very obvious implication - "of course, in a month they will no longer be *our* systems".

  • ... gives Beijing more opportunity to monitor its citizens and others living in the country.

    OK with me.

  • by kenwd0elq ( 985465 ) <kenwd0elq@engineer.com> on Wednesday January 10, 2018 @10:12PM (#55905795)

    All the big tech companies seem to be in a giant rush to knuckle under to totalitarian regimes, and I'm not sure who's worse at this point. Google, whose motto seems to be "Sure, Be Evil!" or Apple, who is about to turn over all the records for every Chinese Apple customer to the Chinese Government?

    • This question is one I've genuinely struggled with... should private companies refuse to do business with totalitarian regimes like China? I used to think "yes", but how well did that really work out for us with Cuba? Refusing to engage in commerce doesn't seem to meaningfully affect regime change any more than bombing cities won WWII (at least by itself) - it mostly just makes people even more miserable.

      In the case of Apple, it's not like refusing to allow iCloud services to Chinese citizens will somehow

      • by iamacat ( 583406 )

        Absolutely not. A billion of people in China can make their government accountable if they choose to. In the meantime, we are struggling to make our own government accountable (hi Snowden). Telling everyone on the planet how to live should not be on the top of our priority list.

    • Silicon Valley capitalists sure do love oppressive totalitarian regimes.

    • by lkcl ( 517947 )

      All the big tech companies seem to be in a giant rush to knuckle under to totalitarian regimes,

      oh, are you referring to the USA?

      and I'm not sure who's worse at this point. Google, whose motto seems to be "Sure, Be Evil!" or Apple, who is about to turn over all the records for every Chinese Apple customer to the Chinese Government?

      .... and out of the prying eyes of the NSA and the CIA... or had you not noticed the reports here on slashdot about mass-surveillance of U.S. Citizens?

    • All the big tech companies seem to be in a giant rush to knuckle under to totalitarian regimes, and I'm not sure who's worse at this point. Google, whose motto seems to be "Sure, Be Evil!" or Apple, who is about to turn over all the records for every Chinese Apple customer to the Chinese Government?

      Huh. I was modded to oblivion here just the other day for saying that China is an evil totalitarian regime.

      It was a different context though. It was about China censoring unapproved points of view. I was pointing out that that is just what evil totalitarian regimes do.

    • by l20502 ( 4813775 )
      Apple has been losing chinese market share to chinese manufacturers focusing on quality.
  • by ITRambo ( 1467509 ) on Thursday January 11, 2018 @01:28AM (#55906307)
    Apple is being pushed around by the Chinese government. They really need to begin building automated plants in the US. China can suck it. The fall of the Western world started when we gave China the know-how and resources to build our cheap stuff more cheaply. Then they moved on t to better stuff. Now they're controlling the whole system. Apple will eventually lose much of their company if they stay in China. Get out now. Apple: you can survive on Western profits, you sellouts.
    • Apple is being pushed around by the Chinese government. They really need to begin building automated plants in the US. China can suck it. The fall of the Western world started when we gave China the know-how and resources to build our cheap stuff more cheaply. Then they moved on t to better stuff. Now they're controlling the whole system. Apple will eventually lose much of their company if they stay in China. Get out now. Apple: you can survive on Western profits, you sellouts.

      Why not? Because then their profit margin on their $1000+ phones would only be 99.5% instead of 99.9%.

  • by SeaFox ( 739806 ) on Thursday January 11, 2018 @02:32AM (#55906381)

    It added that Apple had "strong data privacy and security protections in place and no backdoors will be created into any of our systems."

    That doesn't mean a whole lot when the Chinese company is the one running the physical machines, Apple. Or are you saying there's no way a MTTM attack can be introduced?

    • by SeaFox ( 739806 )

      Or are you saying there's no way a MTTM attack can be introduced?

      Whoops. Obviously I meant MITM there.

    • Nothing to worry about, this Chinese "company" is a government owned entity, so you know you can trust it.
  • "However, some on social media have said the step gives Beijing more opportunity to monitor its citizens and others living in the country. "

    However, privately, the NSA and the CIA expressed their disappointment at losing access to critical opportunities to monitor the citizens and others living in the country.

    • Which is a bad thing. The NSA and CIA are foreign intelligence agencies, spying on other countries is their job. Spying on Americans is what they aren't allowed to do, spying on the Chinese is what they're for.

      The biggest problem here isn't even about government spying, it's that China won't let Apple do business without handing control to the Chinese government.

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