EHLO from China

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“I am unable to get to my email… I am in China”

… yet another instalment in the wonderful world of “this is not what I pay you for”.

The Internet is a remarkably open playground. There are walls, there are toll bridges, but generally you can be around the world in tiny fractions of a second… and for the so motivated this access is as easily available for bad as good. This is both its strength, and it’s weakness – as such it is an almost perfect creation.

The background fridge like hum of the Internet is hostile. It is automated, it is generic, it is fast, it is compromising or service near you. Around the clock, as we speak. It. Does. Not. Rest.

If you were to chose to holiday in an acknowledged war zone – your suitcase would probably include a few choice items, and your plans would be a little more in depth that the blank looking around for the shuttle from the airport to the hotel.

So it goes when travelling to some of the more ‘interesting‘ areas of the world electronically. Please do not be surprised, or take it as a personal insult if the location you are in cannot reach the location that we are in.

I get all nervous connecting out over a VPN or SSH tunnel over a network that I am not familiar with. I know I am taking a risk. A McDonalds or a Starbucks I am going to be doing so because I am desperate. Doing so from abroad… hell there had better be a good reason – we are in the territory of acceptable risk by this point.

I am reminded of the lyric “If ignorance is bliss, wipe the smile from my face” (ZDLR – Rage Against the Machine). Lets assume something has gone kinda wrong for you – and you happen to find yourself in China, without a burner phone and disposable laptop “doing business” with as little data in tow as humanly possible – make a plan, have options, and sure as hell do not be surprised if you are unable to reach IT assets in your office, or with your service provider – and certainly don’t try to make that their issue.

Another example of a fundamental lack of ownership and foresight, courtesy of the wonderful wide world of “this is not what I pay you for”.

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