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Chinese Seek to Buy a U.S. Maker of Disk Drives(Seagate)
New York Times ^

Posted on 08/24/2007 7:32:31 PM PDT by milestogo

Chinese Seek to Buy a U.S. Maker of Disk Drives

By JOHN MARKOFF

SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 24 — A Chinese technology company has expressed interest in buying a maker of computer disk drives in the United States, raising concerns among American government officials about the risks to national security in transferring high technology to China.

The overture, which was disclosed by the chief executive of one of the two remaining drive makers in the United States, William D. Watkins of Seagate Technology, has resurrected the issues of economic competitiveness and national security raised three years ago when Lenovo, a Chinese computer maker, bought I.B.M.’s personal computer business.

Tensions have been increasing lately between the countries over China’s ambitions in developing its military abilities and advanced technologies for industrial and consumer uses.

Although disk drives do not fall under a list of export-controlled technologies, the attempted purchase of an American disk drive company would require a security review by the federal government, according to several government officials.

In recent years, modern disk drives, used to store vast quantities of digital information securely, have become complex computing systems, complete with hundreds of thousands of lines of software that are used to ensure the integrity of data and to offer data encryption.

That could raise the prospect of secret tampering with hardware or software to make it possible to pilfer information via computer networks, intelligence officials have warned.

“The U.S. government is freaking out,” Mr. Watkins said during an interview on Thursday.

(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...


TOPICS: Front Page News
KEYWORDS:

1 posted on 08/24/2007 7:32:36 PM PDT by milestogo
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To: milestogo

I’d tell the ChiComs to shove their offer where the sun doesn’t shine.


2 posted on 08/24/2007 7:35:29 PM PDT by wastedyears (Alright, hold tight, I'm a highway staaaaaaaaaaaaarrr)
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To: milestogo

bttt


3 posted on 08/24/2007 7:48:57 PM PDT by AnimalLover ( ((Are there special rules and regulations for the big guys?)))
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To: milestogo

So, will they make the drives out of lead, cadmium, and human waste?


4 posted on 08/24/2007 7:55:09 PM PDT by Army Air Corps (Four fried chickens and a coke)
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To: milestogo

Absolutely not. You think they couldn’t (or rather, wouldn’t) bury software to track and read your data? I will NEVER buy a Seagate drive if the sale goes through.


5 posted on 08/24/2007 7:55:19 PM PDT by domenad (In all things, in all ways, at all times, let honor guide me.)
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To: domenad

That was my thinking.


6 posted on 08/24/2007 7:56:06 PM PDT by Orange1998
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To: wastedyears

We buy a lot of chicom products. They got a lot of dollars. What the hell they supposed to do with them? And don’t say put them where the sun don’t shine. We called the tune, now we pay the piper.


7 posted on 08/24/2007 7:59:03 PM PDT by RKV (He who has the guns makes the rules)
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To: milestogo

Seagate is garbage anyway.


8 posted on 08/24/2007 7:59:49 PM PDT by PetroniusMaximus
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To: PetroniusMaximus

I’ve always been a WD guy anyway.


9 posted on 08/24/2007 8:02:48 PM PDT by RockinRight (Fred Thompson once set fire to a crowd of liberals simply by puffing his cigar and staring real hard)
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To: RKV

“We called the tune, now we pay the piper.”

Oh for the love of god ...


10 posted on 08/24/2007 8:02:55 PM PDT by Sandreckoner
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To: wastedyears
Same here... Although I have never purchased a Seagate drive, the fact that production of these drives will originate out of communist china leaves me less than inspired to do so in the future... It also motivates me to tell everyone I know. I'm sick of Chicom junk, and I'm sick of helping fund a military build up that will most likely be used against us in the future.
11 posted on 08/24/2007 8:03:19 PM PDT by Snoitan5
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To: Sandreckoner

Come on, we bought their stuff and paid in dollars. Now they want to buy some of our stuff. I dont’ like it, but they got the money.


12 posted on 08/24/2007 8:06:44 PM PDT by RKV (He who has the guns makes the rules)
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To: domenad
Then you must really hate Lenovo. I can't believe we let China buy IBM's PC business.

I always wonder if they built in anything special.

13 posted on 08/24/2007 8:10:23 PM PDT by Lx ((Do you like it, do you like it. Scott? I call it Mr. and Mrs. Tennerman chili.))
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To: RockinRight

I hope you know that there are actually only two manufacturers in the USA now. Seagate and IBM. Does WD make drives at all? If so, where?


14 posted on 08/24/2007 8:14:06 PM PDT by jimtorr
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To: domenad
You think they couldn’t (or rather, wouldn’t) bury software to track and read your data?
A data stealing trojan would have to be built into the firmware of the drive. I'm no expert but that would be very very hard to do.
15 posted on 08/24/2007 8:23:11 PM PDT by milestogo
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To: RKV
Yes, we bought all that imported chinese garbage, and we've paid in more than just dollars, and will continue to pay until people wake the hell up to the fact that the chinese DO NOT have our best interest in mind. Seagate is crap anyway. I’ll stick with my W/D drives (I have 4). Let Seagate sell to china. Then let the chinese flood the market with some cheap-a$$ drives, then wait for the fall-out when people loose some important data, left and right and start to complain about "chinese quality"...

china and quality should never even be mentioned together in any conversation. Not looking to argue about china and the crap they pull, just a prediction.

16 posted on 08/24/2007 8:23:41 PM PDT by Snoitan5
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To: milestogo
This is necessary for them to advance in their Defense projects (Military Buildup).

They really NEED HILLARY CLINTON or OBAMA bin laden to be elected...

17 posted on 08/24/2007 8:37:06 PM PDT by topher (Let us return to old-fashioned morality - morality that has stood the test of time...)
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To: Army Air Corps

“So, will they make the drives out of lead, cadmium, and human waste?”

Don’t forget the Melamine!


18 posted on 08/24/2007 8:42:45 PM PDT by upchuck (Today there are 10,000 more illegal aliens in yer country than there were yesterday. 10,000! THINK!)
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To: domenad

Plus, they’ll turn to crap. You’ll lose data in a week, if the thing is still working. I know this first-hand.


19 posted on 08/24/2007 9:02:22 PM PDT by jiggyboy (Ten per cent of poll respondents are either lying or insane)
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To: milestogo; JACKRUSSELL

I hope that doesn’t go through. I’d like to still be able to buy SOMETHING not connected to the Chinese.

Do they actually make these things here, or is it sent out?


20 posted on 08/24/2007 9:05:18 PM PDT by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: domenad
You think they couldn’t (or rather, wouldn’t) bury software to track and read your data?

The drive's firmware could indeed be written with some sneaky stuff to recognize "vendor specific" (i.e., secret) commands. Here's one for openers: One of these vendor-specific commands could be "give me the name of the next file in the disk that starts with [specified 3-character extension], followed by "give me the next X sectors of that file we were just talking about".

That wouldn't take much firmware at all and would probably go right through anti-virus stuff.

21 posted on 08/24/2007 9:13:01 PM PDT by jiggyboy (Ten per cent of poll respondents are either lying or insane)
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To: wastedyears
America should I’d tell the ChiComs to shove their offer where the sun doesn’t shine.
We agree. ;-) Code to report out undetected via net access every interesting interesting thing on a drive would be a trivial exercise for a real hacker. :-(
22 posted on 08/24/2007 9:13:47 PM PDT by Tunehead54 (Nothing funny here. ;-)
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To: milestogo

How many ThinkPad/ IBM do US officials use? After Lenovo(a Chinese company, partly owned by the Chinese military) purchased IBM’s PC division, all that the company needs to do is install spook software into the systems through one of their myriad system updates.


23 posted on 08/24/2007 9:16:23 PM PDT by CarrotAndStick (The articles posted by me needn't necessarily reflect my opinion.)
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To: milestogo

How silly, why don’t they steal the technology or produce counterfeit Seagate drives.


24 posted on 08/24/2007 9:22:28 PM PDT by mazza
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To: PetroniusMaximus

Out of the top ten drive makers...I’d rate Seagate near the bottom, based on dependability. The company has experienced some “downs” lately, so I’d bet the offering price isn’t as big as it might have been in 2002. The Chinese are probably getting a good deal and will get tons of information...to build really cheap hard drives...which will find their way into the cheaper CPUs....like HP. Watch over the next two years of the computer manufacturing companies and who buys big into Seagate.


25 posted on 08/24/2007 10:14:32 PM PDT by pepsionice
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To: milestogo

Well, if this goes thru I’ll have bought my last Seagate. That’d be a shame, since I’m ferociously brand loyal with puter stuff, and I’ve trusted Seagates since my very first machine.


26 posted on 08/24/2007 11:04:23 PM PDT by Fire_on_High (I am so proud of what we were...)
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To: jimtorr

Actually, IBM long ago sold the disk drive business to Hitachi Data Systems (HDS).

After Seagate acquired Maxtor last year, there are only two major US makers left in 3.5” drives - Seagate and Western Digital.

Besides Seagate, WD and Hitachi, other major manufacturers include Fujitsu and Samsung and some smaller R&D companies (some US) mostly in 2” drives space and removables.


27 posted on 08/25/2007 2:42:26 AM PDT by CutePuppy (If you don't ask the right questions you may not get the right answers)
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To: CutePuppy

Do Seagate and Western Digital make any drives in the US?

I thought that all their production had moved off-shore?


28 posted on 08/25/2007 6:33:04 AM PDT by Lessismore
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To: Lessismore
From the latest Seagate 10-Q

SEAGATE TECHNOLOGY
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

P.O. Box 309GT
Ugland House, South Church Street
George Town, Grand Cayman
Cayman Islands
(Address of Principal Executive Offices)

Telephone: (345) 949-8066
(Registrant’s Telephone Number, Including Area Code)

Seagate is a Cayman Islands company

29 posted on 08/25/2007 8:11:53 AM PDT by Lessismore
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To: milestogo
“The U.S. government is freaking out,” Mr. Watkins said during an interview on Thursday.

They're fraking out because they're a bunch of handwringers. Stop the deal already... they have the authority.
30 posted on 08/25/2007 8:21:41 AM PDT by snowrip (Liberal? YOU ARE A SOCIALIST WITH NO RATIONAL ARGUMENT.)
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To: Lessismore

With the exception of small production plants used mainly for R&D test runs in Colorado, Massachusetts and California, the volume manufacturing for disk drives companies has been for a very long time (since the early 90’s, at least) rotated in places like Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Japan, and more recently in some East European countries like Hungary (IBM-Hitachi).

BTW, Seagate is officially registered in George Town, Cayman Islands - that was done in 2000 when Silver Lake and TPG took Seagate private after spinning off its Veritas division in a complex no-tax for shareholders deal.


31 posted on 08/25/2007 8:56:47 AM PDT by CutePuppy (If you don't ask the right questions you may not get the right answers)
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To: milestogo

so will this scandal, if it becomes one, be called, “segate-gate?”


32 posted on 08/25/2007 6:28:54 PM PDT by the invisib1e hand (Hate me, I'm white.)
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To: Army Air Corps
some of US made product are also quite poor in quality, you want to blame china’s product?you should blame US company first, all of manufacturing process is under controlled by US company just like Segate, WD.. so if product quality is loose in US, it will be loose in china either.
33 posted on 08/26/2007 2:53:34 AM PDT by sunnyvale
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To: wastedyears

this is a great news, that will change Segate to be a great company in the world if the sale going through, and all of people will be benefit by it, you will save money and get better quality product, in fact you can not object because if segate reject, WD will offer and make Segate out, this is the business world, no other choice, the right way is to make your business outstanding and ahead of others always, this deal will be great! it will help US country and people!


34 posted on 08/26/2007 2:53:35 AM PDT by sunnyvale
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To: CarrotAndStick

why you say Lenovo is partly owned by the Chinese military? why you say that? is there any proof for what you are saying? why you so fear of chinese company? and military? this world is not easy to get peace and all of people like peace life, ensure you like peace life either and take right attitude toward world.


35 posted on 08/26/2007 4:11:39 AM PDT by sunnyvale
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To: sunnyvale
why you say Lenovo is partly owned by the Chinese military? why you say that? is there any proof for what you are saying?

http://www.defensetech.org/archives/00a1706.html

"For the past year IBM has been trying to unload its PC business to a Chinese company named Lenovo. Lenovo as I'm sure most of you know is an offshoot of Legend Computer which is a wholly-owned and operated arm of the PLA."

36 posted on 08/26/2007 9:46:23 AM PDT by CarrotAndStick (The articles posted by me needn't necessarily reflect my opinion.)
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To: milestogo

America needs to start playing hard-ball with China.

Because China is certainly not playing.

They’re taking our companies. Our jobs and our national treasure.

All the while, China’s markets aren’t even open to us.

The longer we wait, the messier this is going to be.

Might as well start RIGHT NOW.


37 posted on 08/26/2007 9:50:01 AM PDT by Cringing Negativism Network (Communist China: Walmart's answer to that pesky 13th Amendment.)
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To: sunnyvale

Yes, some of the US brands may have been poor, but they were not often made with sub-par cables and connectors. In addition, US consumer goods are not prone to have lead paint and other goodies.


38 posted on 08/26/2007 7:32:28 PM PDT by Army Air Corps (Four fried chickens and a coke)
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To: milestogo

Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo.

Leave Seagate alone. They’re my number one choice and have been for some time time.


39 posted on 08/26/2007 7:34:50 PM PDT by savedbygrace (SECURE THE BORDERS FIRST (I'M YELLING ON PURPOSE))
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To: sunnyvale
"this is a great news, that will change Segate to be a great company in the world if the sale going through

Noob Sunnyvale, please explain how the sale of Seagate to a Chinese company would make it a great company? Why do you also say that we would "get better quality product" when Seagate is Chinese owned? Do the Chinese have some special skills for making better hard drives?

I see that you joined today to post about this topic. Looking at your other posts I'm going to hazard a guess that you are just rooting for the home team, the Chinese. Am I right??

40 posted on 08/26/2007 9:42:02 PM PDT by Sunnyvale CA Eng.
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