Apple to Store Encryption Keys in China

Apple is bowing to pressure from the Chinese government and storing encryption keys in China. While I would prefer it if it would take a stand against China, I really can't blame it for putting its business model ahead of its desires for customer privacy.

Two more articles.

Posted on February 28, 2018 at 6:19 AM • 62 Comments


Dan HFebruary 28, 2018 7:04 AM

"Starting February 28th, Apple’s operation of iCloud services in the country will transfer to GCBD."

In other words, the Chinese government.

"This is only going to apply to residents of mainland China who chose China as their main country when they created their Apple account (not Hong Kong, Macau or Taiwan)."

Why wouldn't a, say, Chinese journalist, who lives in China not choose Hong Kong or Taiwan when creating their Apple account? Is there some geo-location block that doesn't allow that?

echoFebruary 28, 2018 7:29 AM

I have read that judges are extremely loath to create precendent which results in a new general rule because of knock on effects. Apple seem to have fallen into a trap of their own making. I dislike this but also feel Apple burned a lot of goodwill when they began making a huge amount of income from ITunes due to the iPod and iPhone and began turning their MacOS platform into more of a walled garden than before.

The current UK government has been caught out using Brexit as an excuse to trade off human rights against economic benefits.

At what point is enough money enough?

I hought the whole point of civilisation (and demcoratic values) was to move beyond this.

Jeff HallFebruary 28, 2018 7:39 AM

Having done too much business with organizations with operations in China, I'm impressed they have made it this far without storing the keys in China. People do not realize that China proxies all TLS and VPN connections so even those are not private and can be monitored. If you want to do business in China, you do it under Chinese rules. It's pretty simple really. If you don't like those rules, then you do not do business in China.

PrettyBadPrivacyFebruary 28, 2018 7:52 AM

This is a more general problem with security: it requires the resources of a large commercial company, to offer a secure phone or operating system. But companies are under financial pressures to comply with governments, whose priority is not the privacy of citizens. Small organizations and non-profit projects often cannot put together enough resources to compete with government attempts to break their security. It's an economic battle, not a technological one, and large companies are not on our side.

EvanFebruary 28, 2018 7:55 AM

I'm not worried that Chinese authorities are going to start demanding access to user data to persecute people for political crimes; whatever the morality of the matter, doing so is their sovereign right, and relying solely on iCloud services being inaccessible to your local and national authorities for information security is foolish. If the Chinese government suspects someone of wrongdoing, they're already toast, even if their iCloud account can't be searched.

The real worry here, to me, is that Chinese hackers can more easily and more covertly test-drive attacks against Apple's GCBD servers, and then use them against the accounts of high-value targets whose iCloud data is stored in other countries. That's much more valuable for them than being able to arrest local dissidents or Falun Gong practitioners, and has global implications rather than simply for China's domestic market.

John Wunderlich (@PrivacyCDN)February 28, 2018 8:40 AM

Apple's primary business model is to manufacture and deliver high-value hardware products with supporting software. This delivers high margins and dominance of the profit share in their selected markets. The components of this offering include the ability to deliver better privacy protection because of limited revenue from personal information. That being said, they are an international company and must either conform to the laws of the government in the countries where they have operations or vacate the country. As a manufacturer depending heavily on Asian production, vacating China is not a viable option. Nor is vacating the US despite serial cryptographic/national security brain farts by the US government.

Most consumers' threat model for privacy/security is based on the primary threat coming from criminals and bad corporate actors. The move to a Chinese hosted iCloud probably doesn't change that model much. Where it will have an impact is on users whose threat model is the Chinese state. This includes criminals and civil society activists (some of whom will be viewed by the Chinese state as criminals). But it is the case that those who view their state as the primary threat will/should have taken steps to take individual control over their communications and Internet usage and not depend on tools supplied by a corporation. That should be OpSec (or OpPriv) 101.

I don't know if Apple has adopted the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (Useful portal here: but I'm pretty sure that the People's Republic of China has not. Any more than the United States respects UN declarations...

David RudlingFebruary 28, 2018 9:11 AM

Of course one really can't blame Apple for putting its business model ahead of its desires for customer privacy. The blame attaches to having a system where Apple stores the customer encryption keys at all.

echoFebruary 28, 2018 9:18 AM

John Wunderlich, @asdf

With regard to nation state sovereignity all this must be considered within the spehre of UN treaties and resolutions.

There is very recent UK case law (within the past 1-2 years) I have a citation for relating to implementation of human rights which does outline a legal perspective on how a lack of honesty with efforts to implement human rights can be considered a disingenous subverting of the law and therefore actionable.

If action is not taken now then when?

China censors social media responses to proposal to abolish presidential terms

PetterFebruary 28, 2018 9:20 AM

Am I detecting the loophole Apple might have been consider enough to invalidate the demand? :)

1% never used or fake accounts give a factor of 10 protection against the need to hand over the keys?

“Still, the company says it will not allow any data to be processed by its new Chinese partner until 99.9 percent of customers agree to new terms of service.”

namelessFebruary 28, 2018 10:22 AM

[warning: provocations ahead!]

Do you really think it's better customer privacy when they store the private keys in the realm of the government of a foreign country? (ie. the USA)

Oh you Americans, don't despair! You still have access to most of the data of all the rest of this planet.

Please ask yourself: Would you feel better if your personal data is stored in your own country, or in a foreign country, which you don't fully trust?

Disclaimer: I am neither American nor Chinese.

AnonFebruary 28, 2018 11:01 AM


Hmmm, thought that customer privacy IS the Apple business model. Or just pretending?

Mostly just pretending, I think. I remember that in one of the Snowden docs, the NSA bragged about a 100% success rate of breaking into apple products.
It was only after that Apple started its "strong on privacy" PR (especially in the wake of the San Bernadino shooter).
If you believe the "goto fail" bug was not accidental, that the NSA has human assets on the payroll of private companies (as revealed by Snowden), then there is really no reason to assume that "customer privacy" is going to happen in Apple (or Microsoft, or...).

justina colmena February 28, 2018 11:04 AM

You are not keeping any secrets from the Chinese government on hardware devices made on China.

It is foolish to even think so.

Denton ScratchFebruary 28, 2018 12:58 PM

@evan "The real worry here, to me, is that Chinese hackers can more easily and more covertly test-drive attacks against Apple's GCBD servers, and then use them against the accounts of high-value targets whose iCloud data is stored in other countries."

This. Makes sense to me.

But then, there's not much of the policy of the PRC that has ever made sense to me; so one thing makes sense to me, but nearly everything else doesn't. --> I must be missing something.

Clive RobinsonFebruary 28, 2018 1:10 PM

@ echo,

At what point is enough money enough?

Ahh that old question that gives away more about the asker than the answer does about the answerer.

In the accumulation of status and wealth money is a tool with diminishing returns so should be minimised as much as possible.

Wealth can crudely be seen as,

1, Assets you have under your control.
2, Money you have under your control.

Each of these break down into,

A, Those that earn rent.
B, Those that do not earn rent.

Which is the so called "old money view". Thus the aim to use any money you have to get assets that earn you rent to go around the loop again. The exception to the rule is "Status Assets".

However the problem with the "old money" view is that whilst it is stable it is not just inefficient it is illiquid.

Hence the "new money" view which by the way is not the same as "Nouveau riche" view which I'll come onto later.

The new money view is that ownership is "leaving money on the table" which is a "no no" in times of low inflation. That is if you can do better in rent than you would pay in interest / dividends on borrowing / shares it's value, you can "leverage" into more assets on which to improve the rental income still further.

Therefore the new money view is based on a risk assesment of being able to service your debt for less than you can earn on the assets. Which raises the difference between ownership and control. That is you aim to accrue vastly increasing debt in return for incrrasing revenue. As long as the merry go round continues and you can keep servicing your debt then you will keep increasing the debt endlessly. The result is "bubbles" that eventually burst which is where the question of illiquidity comes in. Debt can be engineered from one asset to another if you know the right time or trick to do it. Thus you jump from an asset that is getting close to peak and swap it for ones that you believe have growth potential. The trick is to arrange the transfer so that you do not pay tax or carry future liability for the old assets as they pass from peak downwards.

This trick is most easily achieved if you have status as a wealth creator. It works by moving earlier than the optimum peak point. That is you find a third party to carry the can unless they are smart. That is you in effect give them time controling the asset such that income earnings still rise for a while, then when they tank as you expect, it is the third party not you who will carry the status loss.

Those third parties can get away with it by being effectively ruthless in a way only psychopaths generaly can. Their only need for status is to trade it for control often with those who can not fight back so they raid pension funds and similar. Often they will do it through a patsy then slip away and do something similar else whilst the patsy faces the headlines and criminal charges...

Which brings us around to the Nouveau riche, these are usually people who have come by wealth and mistake it for status. That is they do not understand the use of "Status Assets" for generational purposes. The old money has a driver that new money does not. They have a sense of destiny of passing "stewardship" down the generations. Their status assets were about continuity to be visable and respected by those they were making rent from.

The nouveau riche see status assets as a display of wealth instead, which is why they frequently get treated like Z listers by the old money they want status with.

The problem with continuity is it all to frequently makes the pedigree or breeding mistake of operating a "Closed Stud Book". Which usually is known as "inbreeding" or "marrying your cousin" which tends to magnify genetic traits, which is usually bad for the breed. Hence breeds die out and come to an end.

Hence from time to time a wise "stockman" alows fresh blood into the Stud Book, to ensure both the blood line and the continuity of purpose. From actual stock records every three to four generations nrw blood is required to be corrective. That is when someone who is second generation nouveau riche gets into the old money line, unless their parents are smarter than average.

Unfortunatly there is another downside to continuity which is "duty". To have a sense of stewardship means you have to have a sense of duty. Which can go horribly wrong at times of crisis such as World Wars. Entire old money blood lines got wiped out and assets might change hands as much as once a year, thus get hit with multiple sets of death duties that can only be supported by selling off assets or giving them to the nation. It's the reason there are so many "old ruined" Stately Homes around the UK, those who bought the assets were of new money view point and had no need of continuity and the illiquid status assets that went with it.

I hope that gives you an insight as to "at what point will it be enough".

BobFebruary 28, 2018 1:32 PM


"I really can't blame it for putting its business model ahead of its desires for customer privacy."

Wait... what? Why? You defend customer privacy, even when it means less... well, money.

IsmarFebruary 28, 2018 2:59 PM

Silver lining

If this is for all iphones than I am buying one. To me having the Chinese rather than my government access to my data is better as they can hurt me far less.

CassandraFebruary 28, 2018 3:06 PM

@justina colmena
You can keep secrets on hardware manufactured anywhere. What you can't do is allow plain-text to be on hardware you cannot trust, which also means that the hardware doing the encryption also needs to be trusted.

This means, for example, that storing encrypted data on a hard-drive manufactured in China is fine, so long as the encryption and decryption takes place on hardware you can trust.

The problem afflicting people who need to be paranoid about data security is that it is very hard to find hardware you can trust.

This is why some of the regular contributors to comments here are working on building a hardware encryption/decryption device that can be built from basic components by people with a modicum of electronics skills. If you can build such a device from commonly available components that can be reasonably asserted to be 'subversion-free', then you have one part of the needed items that can keep important data secure.

I would not be surprised to find possession of such devices made illegal in some jurisdictions, but then, I am a pessimist.

VinnyGFebruary 28, 2018 3:16 PM

@nameless @Ismar
What makes you believe that Chinese state snoops & NSA wouldn't make a deal to trade dissidents' data?

Clive RobinsonFebruary 28, 2018 4:00 PM

@ Cassie,

I would not be surprised to find possession of such devices made illegal in some jurisdictions, but then, I am a pessimist.

Nagh trust me you're an optimist.

I think it will be all jurisdictions at some future point unless we get of this rock. Because as resources become more critical Goverments will get effectively more controled by corporate interests.

They corporates will in effect become the new barons in their castles with government filling the historic place churches and priests used to occupy.

It's why the likes of pencil and paper will be the way to go with security for a time... But we already know the technology exists to read the movment of our hands and pencil through walls...

When things get this bad even ScFi has no where to go on the distopia future front. Because the worst that we can currently think of has in effect become a reality as fast as it is thought of. And that as they say is "looking on the bright side" of things...

D. BronderFebruary 28, 2018 4:31 PM

China is not nearly as heavy handed in information security as people in the States might think. First, the average Chinese person does not think their government is intrusive or abusive at all. They believe that their government is protecting them, and they feel very good about that.

VPNs proliferate across China, especially in five-star hotels and universities, and there is a positive side to blocking pornography and other harmful sites as the Chinese do. They don't block the Washington Post or CNN, so how bad can their "blocking" be? I know from experience that they blocked CNN once years ago, but so what?

If you want to experience an intrusive search, put a small computer in a check-in bag in O'Hare for the TSA to "inspect" and then sit back and fly to Shanghai. Chances are that it will be searched thoroughly, to include the data. They are not even going to pack it back up with care. The Chinese will just X-ray your bag when it finally arrives: here you go. The U.S. has set up a self-licking ice cream cone of intense "security" that has gone over the top because it is profitable, and fear is in the offing.

The story of the "heavy handed Chinese" plays well to an American audience worried about their every move and every word being followed, analyzed, stored, etc. It also plays well to people who know in their heart that America is a very violent place, and it has hard-core surveillance at several levels, along with deepening divisions--China does not have the gun violence, nor the deep social divisions in the main parts of the country. It is all about work, making stuff, technology, which graduate school your twelve-year-old is headed to, China realizing its place in the world.

As far as Apple goes, it is about money. Speaking of which, one can guess Apple has very cozy relationships with many governments, not the least of which is the United States.

hmmFebruary 28, 2018 5:01 PM

"as resources become more critical Goverments will get effectively more controled by corporate interests."

In the US they might as well be among our Constitutional Powers directly written into that document, because they've far surpassed both the individual and the state by claiming a completely unaccountable in-between position:

Too big to fail, too geographically virtualized to tax, too $defended to prosecute in polynomial time, too easily created, destroyed, renamed or cloned, moved offshore to Micronesia, liquidated... It's really a shit show right now, our founders would be loading muskets before you'd get halfway through describing any of these issues they'd never-ever have considered enabling. *(It would be considered obviously treasonous. They would be shot in duels, literally that's how they handled things like this back then. Hey..)

I think alternatively most governments will long-term eventually buy out and run their integral corporations (one way or another) to the point where ultimate state ownership completely blurs the line and unaffiliated corporations are just eaten outright; Government is the ultimate corporation. Nazi Germany, modern China, Vlad's Russia, or even modern progressive Germany/France/Sweden/etc, the UK's current attempts at protectionism, all demonstrate an understanding in different versions : that unchecked corporate powers are a real threat and can't be allowed to run their own show. Eventually the states will probably all seek to regain the power they have only recently allowed to wander offshore, by necessity.

So when international trade is ~halved (or worse) after a major world war (of the several we may be now headed for) a new economic reality is obviously required ready to go ASAP because NASDAQ is not going to save anyone's bacon. Banks will fail, pensions will evaporate, liquidity issues.. it will be bad and we should expect all of it I believe. Major corporations would be nationalized overnight, folded into the Ubercorporation. Full-on emergency fascism. We ought have no reason to think this wouldn't happen *again* because they've retained emergency wartime powers to do just that, and provocations justifying war do not appear avoidable. I'll be pleasantly surprised if none of it happens in my lifetime. Happy Wednesday fellow serfs.

hmmFebruary 28, 2018 5:14 PM

@ Bronder

"China is not nearly as heavy handed in information security as people in the States might think. "

Except they literally tried to ban the letter "N" pal. Gloss over that as you require.

China doesn't top the list of oppressive governments but it's sure not bottoming it either.

" I know from experience that they blocked CNN once years ago, but so what? "

So what if they inspect all traffic and disappear you weeks/months later if you search banned topics?
So what? Sew buttons on your prison uniform!

"The Chinese will just X-ray your bag when it finally arrives: here you go."

You have never been through customs apparently. That's not how it works.

"China does not have ... the deep social divisions in the main parts of the country"

Yeah so long as you're Han Chinese and you bribe your local bureau, sure. Nepal? Tibet? Rohinga?
Christian? Human rights advocate? Critic of the government in any meaningful way?
Yeah I didn't think so. Your 'analysis' has some glaring omissions.

Granted, the US has a gun problem and the NSA does see all. Absolutely true.
China has massive industrial safety accidents on par with India. Which is worse?
How do you compare such problems when you're not omitting them entirely on one side?

"As far as Apple goes, it is about money." - That much is true, finally.

ThothFebruary 28, 2018 6:41 PM

As @Clive Robinson and me have beem banging at the idea that smartphones are insecure and even backdoored, it seems people keep buying into these mass marketing.

As I have specifically pointed out that the very chip that runs on ARM Cortex A series with in-built ARM TrustZone/Secure Enclave and it's highly problematic TZ architecture with Ring -1 and below privileges, no matter if it is Apple's iPhone, Samsung or even Librem 5 "Open" phone model, they all run on a blackbox security with the TZ baked in and no matter how you market or tout it's security, the very chip itself is going to defeat all securtiy measures.

Even if Apple did not move Chinese user's iCloud and their Keychain to China, it's a matter of who you implicitly give permission to spy on you. Apple did mention the use of HSM in their security models and the extreme ways of shredding their admin smart cards for controlling the HSMs but the Chinese will still be able to coerce Apple to decrypt on demand.

It boils down to who you want to spy on you because for sure, Apple knows your decryption keys and Keychain contents because they built these blackboxes. You might even want to consider everything from the CSRNG to the ciphering modules and keystores to be compromised.

Only use the smartphone as a transmission device and have a separate hardware for security if users are so afraid that some Chinese officials would request for message decryption.

@Clive Robinson, me and many others have provided a ton of schemes to do so.

hmmFebruary 28, 2018 6:45 PM

@ Thoth

Who in the real world expects their phone to be secure repositories for sensitive information?

It is a PHONE. You can hardly be said to own it, lest of all own the broadcast transmissions, software, firmware, data stored on it, informational history accessed by it, etc. You didn't demand that from a vendor, you went with Apple and xyz telecom.

You get what you agreed to pay for, do you not? You only agree to EULA/Contract if you CONTINUE.

Well, do you?

Godfree RobertsFebruary 28, 2018 8:30 PM

"I would prefer it if it would take a stand against China".

Why? China's government is the most trusted on earth and, as those of us with Chinese friends know, it takes time to win Chinese trust.

Mr CFebruary 28, 2018 9:30 PM

What exactly do you Chinese Gov't sockpuppets think you're doing here? You're not fooling anyone. And it's not like this blog has a huge following within China, is it? Shove off.

ThothMarch 1, 2018 5:03 AM


"Who in the real world expects their phone to be secure repositories for sensitive information?"

You wouldn't be surprised how many people consider their smartphones a holy grail of so many private information that can be potentially embarrassing and even criminalizing.

We know that it is not a secure repository but that is not the same from other people's perspective as we can see that history always repeats itself endlessly.

D. BronderMarch 1, 2018 5:13 AM

@ hmm

Thanks for your comments. Well, I feel lucky to be living in China. It is a valuable experience. There are a lot of misconceptions about China, and one of those is that one cannot practice religion. This is not true. There are a lot of Christians in my town, and quite a few Muslims too. There is a mosque, and I have friends there. They are devout people. Some of the Chinese people I know are practicing Buddhists.

In Pu Dong Airport (Shanghai) they X-ray your baggage as you depart Customs.

Chinese people know how to get foreigners to do what is beneficial for China. I see it over and over again. Apple is going to follow the rules in the interests of making some money, but I have a feeling that at some point there will be a technology transfer.

Dan HMarch 1, 2018 7:45 AM


"The US has a gun problem"

More people die every year from drunk drivers than being murdered by using a gun.

If you're speaking about shootings at schools, there have been 290 since 2013 and there are ~99,000 public schools, which is a very small, statistically insignificant number.

If you're worried about the number of students killed by guns in school shootings, then why don't you try to ban hot dogs since the same number of children have died from hot dogs each year as shot at school?

More kids died from drug overdosed in 2015 (722) than in all of the school shootings.

Three times more people were killed by "cutting instruments" than rifles and shotguns in 2015.

In 2015, 252 people were killed with rifles, while 670 were killed by “hands, fists, or feet, etc.”

Honduras, Guatemala, Venezuela, Jamaica, Mexico, and other countries have more firearm-related deaths than the US.

Nice that you're able to be so easily manipulated by the media and their agenda.

ZaphodMarch 1, 2018 8:50 AM


Hi Clive,

Apologies - to all - for not waiting for tomorrow’s ‘Squid’. I am going to be out of contact for the next few days.

However. I was hoping for Clive’s sober assessment of recent reports re advances in Russian military tech and if that have reached or surpassed UK/USA capabilities.

In particular I note UK reports, in the public domain, re Ukraine and most recently Putin’s new hardware on display.

As always thanks to all for excellent technical contributions


VinnyGMarch 1, 2018 9:40 AM

@D Bronder - So, the practice of Falun Gong is no longer persecuted? Or is it only religions that are blessed by the Communist Party of China that are permitted, precisely because the leaders of those religions are subservient to the Party, and their beliefs are not perceived as representing a threat to its authority?

hmmMarch 1, 2018 12:20 PM

@ Bronder

(I'm ignoring DanH because he's all unread talking points for propagandists 1st and last.)

You said some true things there; China does allow some religion (to a point, and some religions more than others one might note - and that's region dependent) but it sounds like Pudong/Shanghai mostly falls into the 'prosperous autonomous' zone where the state authorities tend to allow more local control and diversity with a less heavy handed approach. I don't want to make it seem like I'm demonizing China on an unreasonable "moral" level as if looking down from on high. Certainly not the people of, my gripe is only with a casual comparison of two major systems that only focuses on a few points when there are so many to look at and make a value judgment personally of. Saying China is the world's most trusted government for example, that doesn't seem plausible for a totalitarian-light system. Even among Han Chinese I know, it's not 100% popular. (understated joke really...) I wouldn't say it of the US, Canada, etc.

But you are correct that Apple is just buying time in market, and eventually whatever they bring to that market will be copied by a Chinese-govt backed company because they want control of the major infrastructure free from western control. It's both expected and not-entirely-unreasonable in my view. The degree to which companies based outside of China make concessions to get into that market however, whether by selling out on privacy or control of files - or something less defensible that we don't know about yet - that is of concern to me because those practices will not remain solely in China nor be limited to pedestrian file locality. If we'll sell out there, we'll sell out anywhere. US/EU/UK/etc products for traffic analysis and other 'invasive' tech are being sold worldwide to governments that have a stated unmasked interest in going after dissidents and activists - and killing/disappearing them. So to the extent that companies like Apple cooperate with those efforts for profit, be it in China or anywhere else, everyone who values those "inalienable"-tm human rights being sold cheap worldwide ought to at least keep an eye open. Whatever I would criticize China's government for doing, I should triple-criticize any western government or company for enabling or facilitating. It's the ultimate short position - of individual rights as a worldwide value criteria. *(The US is not inoculated from criticism in any sense, so I hope you don't get that notion.)

Clive RobinsonMarch 1, 2018 1:13 PM

@ Zaphod,

Long time no hear, hope you are well?

With regards,

re advances in Russian military tech and if that have reached or surpassed UK/USA capabilities.

There has always been a difference in outlook between Russia and Europe and the US on engineering.

A clasic example was Russian tanks during WWII they looked "unfinished" because unlike the Germans, British or US they only put in effort where it was required to get a servicable tank out of the factory door. So rather than smoothing of the surface of welds on the outside of a tank to make it look finished, the person would be busy welding up the next tank... If you look at infantry weapons the two most remade in the world are the AK47 and RPG-7 and it's predecessor the RPG-2. In the case of the AK it will be found in the hands of people that do not take care of it, because it is reliable. But even when they do go wrong they can usually be fixed by "an old boy in a hut" with little in the way of tools.

But there are few non infantry weapons designed these days that don't require the use of a silicon chip. Either directly in it or in the hands of the operator for firing solutions etc. During the cold war and even today Russia was in effect denied access to HiTec devices, and that has in some respects worked in their favour.

Russian's learnt how to get the most out of limited resources, they did not have a technology glut to be profligate with as the West did and to a certain extent still has. Thus they tend to work a lot closer to the metal. Also because they have "Right to Repair" legislation not "DMCA" legislation reverse engineering in the old meaning of "Hacker" is not just alowed but actively encoraged.

But Russia is also pragmatic as well. I don't know if you remember when a Russian pilot defected to Japan with the Mig25 in the 70's, well the US experts were supprised to find it full of vacuum tubes not transistors. Much was made of this in the press about being "backwards" but as we now know the Mig25 electronics could not just survive higher G-Force than the transistorised equivalents in Western fighter aircraft, the would also survive EMP from nuclear blasts that the transistors would not. So although the transistors were smaller and lighter than the vacuum tubes, by the time you had made a system that was as RadHard as the valves it was both larger and heavier...

These sorts of skill advantages often get overlooked when people think about Russia, but it can be a costly mistake to make and the results can be shocking to western eyes.

For instance most people when firing a rifle or assault weapon under stress miss because they fire high. So rather than train for "center body mass" as the West do, they trained their soldiers to aim for the groin. When doing NBC training the Russians used real chemical weapons and would accept upto 1/8th of their forces as casualties. It tended to focus the mind and stop "soldiers tricks" like taking the actuall contents of a resperator canister out so you can breath more easily. Worse for the soldiers the Russian NBC suits were quite heavy, but more durable and less suseptable to not just chemical weapons but environmental conditions. But the Russian's were the first to use Fuel Air Explosives in Afghanistan, whilst crude they are very effective in rural areas as they will wipe out an entire herd of live stock or village much more effectively and less expensively than conventional iron munitions. That is there is no need for either accuracy or shrapnel, which gives much greater effectivness in the field as more munitions can be carried for longer periods or distance.

In short the Russians do not think the same way as the West their systems appear to be lower tech but are generaly more reliable as well as servicable. But more importantly they don't have such a reliance on HiTec which Western forces do.

But not all weapons are kinetic in nature, we know that odd things have been happening with the US Global Positioning Satellites signals when close to parts of Russia. It is therefor likely they have developed systems against it.

Others have raised the point that both Iran and North Korea have apparently been able to interfere with GPS and suggest that Russia has given or loaned the technology. Others however have indicated that with the GPS issues over South Korea that the people most easily capable of "fritzing" them are stationed in SK and have strong reasons to foster bad relations between the north and south. Either way what is not much mentioned is western "smart weapons" from Howitzers shells through big iron bombs on aircraft and many other "fire and forget" munitions use GPS to get their accuracy.

Whilst blocking GPS signals would cause the munitions to revert to balistic trajectory nobody talks publically about what would happen if the GPS signals were overridden by ones that would move things twenty to a hundred yards...

So yes I would expect Russia to be ahead in somethings but not in others. I guess we are going to have to "wait and see".

echoMarch 1, 2018 1:52 PM


Good comment and I have little to add other than observations that the USSR invested heavily in education, and the hacker make do and mend style culture brought knock-offs of Western home computers to ordinary people who could not afford or have access to Western home computers. There is also the issue of Russian versus Western tank design: Russian tanks have tended to be wider and lower on the ground to better navigate tundra albeit with a disadvantage tank gun barrels could not depress as much as Western tanks although this has since been mitgated. Russian aircraft are also robust enough to routinely operate from airfield poorly maintained by Western standards even if they lack some modern bells and whistles. Russian electronic countermeasures are supposed to be very good and ahead of what the Americans can currently manage offsetting to some degree NATO investment in networked technologies. I'm sure there are many other observations illustrating the different mindset.

Many Western European countries have different mindsets or design goals too. Some of these differences are playing out in the Brexit negotiations.

I have a soft spot for the Russians. They are an advanced nation which deserves respect and have lived through the evils and excesses of Stalinism and their people have suffered many hardships.

Today I read of emergency plans in the UK of various good causes rolling out shelters to house the homeless during this bitter life threatening weather and a shopkeeper donating food and water to passengers on a stranded bus.

Russian gas supplies are keeping Europe going and the Russians have not taken advantage.

echoMarch 1, 2018 2:26 PM


Most upwards price pressure on European energy supplies is from poor regulation allowing large energy suppliers to hide behind energy production subsiduaries. In the UK at least poor regulation has allowed a cartel of sorts to not properly pass on savings with lower tariffs as required. None of this can be blamed on the Russians.

Sorry but I'm beginning to find your trolling offensive.

hmmMarch 1, 2018 5:29 PM


Touchy for some reason, are we? I don't see how that would be my fault here.

Russia has been accused of using their gas position in a coercive manner, that's fact.
Russia also did similar against Ukraine and Germany.

I didn't write any of those current articles about Europe seeking sources other than Russia.
I didn't invent that accusation. It exists and I can cite it all day long.

Go ahead and cite your "cost basis" assertion, but it doesn't affect what I cited at all.

Were I "trying to troll you" (do we have a history I'm unaware of?) I promise I'd be much more obvious.
My motive isn't to make you go crazy. The accusation is a bit ridiculous given the above.

hmmMarch 1, 2018 6:30 PM

I don't see why you'd pretend the two issues are 100% self-contradictory when they aren't.
Both issues exist at the same time and you're not refuting mine at all, just denying it.

I said your assertion that Russia had never abused its gas monopoly was "very debatable"
It is certainly debated. I certainly did cite some of that for you to read.
I also referenced a tiny bit of the historical record which is applicable.

If disagreeing on the merits is "trolling" or it makes you exceptionally tired to read, try a nap.

You admitted you have a soft spot for Russia - I like Russia too - but the factual record also exists.
No mutually exclusive points there either. All three can be true.

Read and evaluate before you get mad that you disagree with someone on the internet please.
My point stands, some did accuse Russia of abusing their gas monopoly. Fact.

echoMarch 2, 2018 3:22 AM


Sorry but you're trolling across multiple topics. I watched you flip one way then another way, and selectively choose who you credited or not.

P.S. Because of this I'm not even reading your overlong "Fisking" or links.

65535March 2, 2018 3:22 AM

@ Jeff Hall and others

“If you want to do business in China, you do it under Chinese rules. It's pretty simple really. If you don't like those rules, then you do not do business in China.”

I agree with thoroughly on that point.

@ Dan H

"Starting February 28th, Apple’s operation of iCloud services in the country will transfer to GCBD.”… other words, the Chinese government." This is only going to apply to residents of mainland China who chose China as their main country when they created their Apple account (not Hong Kong, Macau or Taiwan)."

For now you are correct. But, Macau and to some extent Hong Kong will follow later. They are just too dependent upon the PRC. Maybe not ROC or Taiwan but if unification does occur all bets are off.

I wonder what will happen to an American Chinese persons who have an Apple phone and will eventually have to do when traveling to the PRC [Not that I have one]. Will using iCloud when traveling to the PRC cause us to have to store our keys there in GCBD for the future?

How will this work? For safety should we have 2 phones and 2 i-clod accounts? Will data from American i+clod servers share keys with GCBD?

I think apple is on a slippery slope and it will get worse.

hmmMarch 2, 2018 3:36 AM


" I watched you flip one way then another way, and selectively choose who you credited or not. "

I pointed to what exactly I said, what I linked to, and why it reinforces what I actually said.

I don't understand why what I said would upset you. Seems pretty basic to me...

hmmMarch 2, 2018 3:41 AM

"and selectively choose who you credited or not."

What (just tell me) are you referring to? I credit you with being a nesting doll of riddles...

Will FiveashMarch 2, 2018 9:49 AM

So does the Chinese government restrict apps like Signal which provide secure communications from appearing in the iOS app store?

TõnisMarch 2, 2018 11:18 AM

@D. Bronder,

" ... There are a lot of misconceptions about China, and one of those is that one cannot practice religion. This is not true. There are a lot of Christians in my town, and quite a few Muslims too. There is a mosque, and I have friends there. They are devout people. Some of the Chinese people I know are practicing Buddhists ..."

Very interesting. I never knew this about China.

I would like to point out that Rome had a panoply of religions. Romans didn't care what god one worshiped, so long as the worshiper asked the government for permission. Sadly, it seems to be the case in America, too. Most churches in America are licensed in the sense that they amount to not much more than 501(c)(3) tax-exempt steepled corporations where the priest/minister comes complete with a muzzle. Don't fight evil and sin too much, especially when it's being perpetrated by your government, lest you lose that ever-important tax exemption, and donations dwindle! So then, what separates a church from any other charity doing good deeds? I hold churches to a higher standard. I'm Christian, though not a member of any church. Christians have always been under attack -- I'm not referring to crusaders and others who commit atrocities while claiming to be Christian -- but spiritual warfare is real, and churches should be taking the lead when it comes to wrestling against "spiritual wickedness in high places."

Clive RobinsonMarch 4, 2018 8:18 PM

@ Hmm, Albert,

Inventing one for anyone else out of thin air doesn't put a mote of evidence on the table.

There is no evidence on the table as you well know just a bunch of not even hearsay from the US Government that is nolonger credible.

This nonsense has been going on over two political terms and was started in the President Obama administration and was called out then as lacking evidence thus should not have been broadcast to the world just for political reasons. As a side effect the US politicions and their appointees have only presented actual HumInt evidence from other nations "methods and sources" in the process burning them. Worse evidence has come out about some of the claims and attributions and they show that the US were less than honest about the supposed digital evidence. This nonsense has continued into the present administration.

Recently being made worse by The Special Prosecutor who has issued indictments against a bunch of minimum wage students etc working for an idiot oligarch. The story behind that organisation was published by the UK Guardian and US NYT years ago before Donald Trump chucked his hat in the ring for the Presidential race. The result is that even people in the US MSM are saying the Special Prosecutor is trying to prosecute a "nothingburger" and laughing at not just him and his team but the whole US Government but especially the Depts they represent. It's got to the point that increasing numbers of even US citizens see the US Gov and it's justice system not just as a joke but an impotent one at that. Some even say that they are making the Russians look good / artful in comparison... I've repeatedly warned that this was likely to happen but what the heck I'm just another foreign spectator to the US self abusing it's self in public again...

I've also repeatedly warned that the current methods of digital attribution given credit in the US are at best unreliable and easily open to false flag operations. I've further pointed out that the only thing that is credible is HumInt that the US has for political reasons not been involved with for around half a century. Instead prefering to use "technical methods" that are known to be unreliable and can be easily falsified, and getting HumInt second hand from other countries "methods and sources" boots on the ground or SigInt and IC entities.

Since I've been pointing this out the CIA have had their Internet false flag tools outed and pieces from the Ed Snowden trove have shown that the UK GCHQ and IC likewise do Internet false flag operations. Which realy should be no great supprise to anyone but apparently "shock horror" it is, along with recently the revelation that the US in particular are historically the most prolific hackers of Olympic games the Greek debacle being just one of many.

But it gets worse, because the US politicos and their appointees just love to burn other peoples "methods and sources" assets we have learnt a number of things.

Those that take a proper proffessional attitude to Intetnet attribution[1] know that digital only evidence from packet tracing and code analysis and digital taps is not only not reliable it's not anything close to evidence because it is so easy to falsify. Thus they seek out HumInt via the Human Computer Interface (HCI) or other methods and sources. We know this because the US politico's and their appointees have recently burned foreign nations "methods and sources" in this area[1].

Longtime posters to this blog have mentioned when appropriate these HCI problems[3] and how to mittigate them[4]. Some are blindingly obvious to anybody with any ability others less so.

In general though the longterm posters have pushed the mitigation methods as improving individuals "privacy" and for avoiding the attentions of despots, dictators and tyrants who have authoriterian following guard labour that form undesirable police states.

Thus they have also avoided making it obvious that such solutions also work for undesirables as well. However I have repeatedly pointed out that technology is agnostic to use and it is the directing mind that controls the finger on the button/trigger.

Thus for those that read this blog, and can think at levels above two plus two, they should know what the "great game" is all about these days. The "My Country/Party/company right or wrong" mentality belongs back in the days of chasing cannon down on horse back whilst waving a sabre or pig sticker. They have no loyalty to you thus are not deserving of any from you in return.

The world has moved on and people realy should be distrustful of their Government, Political Parties and Corporations most are not honest and as such should be considered temporary "necessary evils". Because one thing you can be certain of is that they will turn on you in a trice if it aids their goals or even whims. Thus as with all Empires their time is finite and as they sense the end like toothless tigers they become quite dangerous to ordinary people. The first stages of which are only seen by the clever or with hindsight, the second stages are the Orwelian behaviours that are easy to spot if you just look around, the third stage is obvious to all and it can easily become a question of just surviving not perishing as the edifices come down.

It's obvious to many that some Western nations, mainly the WASP ones that form the extended Five-Eyes are well and truly into the Orwellian phase. Part of these Orwelian behavioirs is inventing distant existential threats to divert the citizens away from what their own government is doing. The four the US tend to favour currently are China, Iran, North Korea and Russia. The last two of which just happen to be in the US target zone currently.

It's why the citizens should insist on real evidence when accusations and attribution are pointed at distant nations. If it is not forth comming then the citizen should not just be wary but actively distrusting and look for agendas that are being glossed over by such Orwellian behaviours.

[1] The USG in the only times it has presented anything close to credible evidence, has done it by burning other nations proffessional opperations[2]. It's why we know that both the Dutch and Israeli SigInt agencies seek end point HumInt via the HCI on the suspected end point computers[3].

[2] The problem with this is it has now broadcast to the world loud and clear that HCI monitoring attacks need to be defended against. Thus every serious / organised criminal, national security threat and idiot will if they can think beyond two plus two will seek out defensive information and apply it. The information has actually been out there for years[4] but they have not had cause to look for it until now.

[3] The problem with modern computing devices is they have a very rich HCI, if you are not smart and do not take defensive action then the HCI will leak a flood of information way beyond screen shots, video and audio of the opperator and the commands they are typing in.

[4] As has been pointed out by longterm posters to this blog many of the HCI defenses are easy, disconect the microphone put black tape across the webcam lenses re-clock keyboard input to limit or stop key typing cadence are not just easy but obvious along with the likes of single key press or mouse click command scripts developed whilst off-line. Less obvious unless you are "old school" is setup a *nix server as the equivalent of a "terminal concentrator" or serial port server. These serial lines go to old school terminals or HCI defended computers through an Instrumented and Mediated Data Diode. I've repeatedly described such devices and how you can build the RS232 versions easily using low cost microcontroler development systems when talking about energy gapped systems and getting files on and off them safely. Also when talking about aspects of Tin Foil Chat (TFC) that comes up from time to time. There are also more subtle defences that give good deniability that I've also mentioned indirectly in the past which proffessional, state level and above attackers would use ontop of the electronic equivalent of old school fieldcraft OpSec skills.

HmmMarch 5, 2018 1:38 AM


With all due respect what I said was not limited to the US as a source of information.

"even people in the US MSM are saying the Special Prosecutor is trying to prosecute a "nothingburger"

Clive, this is well beneath your standards. Even as a pseudo-citation.

The evidence exists that you are discounting but not enumerating, and you simply want to deny the US "entirely" cannot be trusted as a source of valid information which anyone including yourself knows is a common logical fallacy of itself. I don't disagree with you because I dislike your point of view or want you to believe something that isn't true, I'm saying you are refusing to acknowledge in total that which you could be made to individually admit is true, and you are using an edge case of plausible conjecture to pretend it makes sense that the US would need to pretend Russia did some unsavory things in the world wide web at times. It's a fact just as much as it is a fact

Is this all lies, Clive?

All obvious lies?

More western deceptions?

"The "My Country/Party/company right or wrong" mentality "

-Is not being demonstrated by my argument that you have no specific facts to disprove the narrative.
It's one thing to say everyone is lying about something, it's another to prove ANYONE IS, HERE.

I believe, and it isn't a slight against you personally, that you have an anti-American bent.
I believe both the US and Russia do things neither would admit to. One does not disprove another.

hmmMarch 5, 2018 1:50 AM

"It's a fact just as much as it is a fact"

Truncated tautology so let's not have too much fun there.

I want to believe the truth. I don't want to believe a narrative either way.
Narratives exist both ways, it's difficult to know what is true. It's hard to prove,
impossible in many respects and in most societies of "all types" without well-set rules.

To choose a default position either way is to fail some % of the time.
Rationales cannot be cache-based. Both sides have lied.

We have to go by the aggregate of specifics of the issue at hand, and so far the international coalition that investigated the IOC hacks have made their determination and exactly why you'd disagree with that determination sight-unseen seems to be an obvious point of initial questioning were you a witness giving testimony. Or expert testimony, in your field. But this isn't it, is it?

hmmMarch 5, 2018 1:54 AM

Would the US lie? Absolutely. Have they? Without question. Can we all name 10 lies? I hope so.

BUT DID THEY HERE? Can you point to it, yes or no?

Do you really think you can guess that or dismiss people who have seen evidence away with pure doubt?

Clive RobinsonMarch 5, 2018 7:19 AM

@ Hmm,

Is this all lies, Clive?

What facts?

Appart from Naryshkin’s visit to the US it's all conjecture and suposition untill you get to the last paragraph. Which almost immediately nulifies the suposition and conjecture.

The only other fact in there is about the Dutch SigInt operation the US burned which I've already mentioned. Understandably the Dutch Government thus their press are quite upset about it.

You might or might not know that the NSA were trying to set up a permanent venu for the 14-Eyes to meet up at rather than globe trot. It was dropped because the European countries did not want a "terrorist magnet" on their soil.

Thus the Dutch are understandably upset that not only have their methods and sources been burnt by the US but that they have also been dragged by the US into the limelight with a known terrorist hot spot just a short train ride away in Belgium with no effective boarder controls in place. You may remember that it was from there by train that the terrorists that did so much harm in France came from.

All obvious lies?

It's funny reading that reminds me of Bill Clinton and "I did not have sex with that woman". It's the stupid nature of US Politics that does that, and it's all rather pointless. So what if he had spoken to Mr Putin at or before the Miss World contest, so what if Putin sent him a small token of recognition. Trump had put a favourable light on Russia throughout the world via that contest, it would have been churlish if President Putin had not done a little recognition. As for actually meeting Mr Putin as Donald Trump says they might at some point in the past have been at an event in the same room it does not actually mean very much, Donald Trump like many other business men have been to meetings in Russia when looking to invest, politicians of host countries tend to infest such meetings when trying to attract funding into their countries.

The implication you and others in the US are trying to make is that Putin is some future seeing genius that knew that Donald Trump was going to be President some day. Which I think even you should realise upon reflection is a little daft. The most likely time that Trump decided to become US President was at the Whitehouse press when President Obama goaded him with jokes about making the White house safe from having a Trump Tower style sign hanging over it.

You have to remember long before that Trump truly hated Obama hence the "Birther" movment and thus I suspect the reverse also that Obama hated Trump. As I said for some reason these idiocies are more important to the way US politics works than just about anything else and has certainly been the case all of this current century.

More western deceptions?

Actually the first part (apart from the silly graphic) is supprising for a US media outlet. It even makes the point I've been making,

    Americans were more divided along ideological lines than at any point in two decades, according to the Pew Research Center. American trust in the mainstream media had fallen to a historic low. The fractured media environment seemed to spawn conspiracy theories about everything

However the "just enough rope.." quote is biased it should be "more than enough rope...". And even Obama actively interfered with elections right at the end of his term as I've mentioned before. Worse it is known that one of the Silicon Vally "friends of Obama" very actively interfered. Have a look at what Peter Theil was upto through his front companies, he was doing exactly the same as the US have accused "a friend of Putin" of doing so it realy is the pot calling the kettle black...

The article goes on to say,

    The declassified report provides more assertion than evidence. Intelligence officers say that this was necessary to protect their information-gathering methods.

Whilst I agree with the first statment I very much doubt the second as I've said before about not just that report but others. In essence they are more propaganda by FUD than they are about either evidence or truth. Which is why Trump made a very valid point about who could have done it, the Russians, the Chinese anybody even,

    “somebody sitting on their bed that weighs four hundred pounds.”

Likewise his later conclusion that if it did happen it had,

    “absolutely no effect on the outcome of the election.”

Which appears to have been confirmed by other sources.

As I repeatedly say digital evidence is not worth the bits it's impressed on, it's HumInt you need and that is entirely lacking. The Dutch and Israelis know that, you need good HumInt as we found out because the US burned their "methods and sources" for political mileage. Yet for some reason the US can not or will not produce such HumInt it's self, perhaps because it does not exist...

As I have noted for quite some time the US does not do "boots on the ground" HumInt or HumInt in general, it preferes "high Tech" due to unfortunate events half a century ago. Thus there may well be a significant "rice bowl" problem in the US IC and SigInt entities. Such issues are known to produce not just a "united front" but significant "group think" which has a habit of sending things down rabbit holes as nobody dares say "Hang on a moment...".

As for the Yevgenia Albats quote at the end of chapter one about Putin where's the supporting evidence for that? I note you have not questioned it...

To be honest that's only 10% of the way into what is a small book length article that's not so far said anthing very much. I don't have the time to dig through it any further at the moment I've more important things to do.

Which brings me to your pre closing comment of,

It's one thing to say everyone is lying about something, it's another to prove ANYONE IS, HERE.

It's a point you should keep in mind as so far I see nothing in what you've linked to that "can be taken to court". I've been quite consistent in what I've said is evidence and what is not and none of what I have gone through of what you have linked to comes anywhere close. Thus I suspect that there will be no empeachment just a load of FUD, that might it's self be way more of an interferance in the US elections. Worse for some it might make Trump more electable for a second term.

As I've said there is something in US Politics that is quite unpleasant and it is not about what is right or wrong, nor about anything of political substance. It is like the hising and spitting and unwarnted name calling of a whore house cat fight and does no credit to any involved.

As for my alledged anti US bias, well have an open minded look at what history shows us from the second world war onwards, the US clearly has no respect for others and believes in might is right. In short the behaviour of a bully... is it a bias to point these things out? You fail to mention I point out similar failings in the UK Government, the Australian Government and the other Five Eyes as well as other countries including China and Russia... So maybe I'm just biased against anti social actions that threatens all of us rather than nations. If I am biased that way then should I need to apologise? Remember as I've clearly said I hold the "My Country right or wrong" idea to be at best antiquated and down right harmfull.

HmmMarch 5, 2018 2:00 PM

" So what if he had spoken to Mr Putin at or before the Miss World contest "

So what if Trump lied about his foreign contacts with a known authoritarian power...

So what if a provable traitor is being blackmailed by Putin?

All of this reminds you of Bill Clinton?

Clive... you're entitled to your opinion but more and more it seems you carry water for certain groups.

You parroted APT28's debunked theory about the IOC corruption, you continue to insist the Russian hacks and collusion and kompromat are all "nothingburgers" (*a Fox News term and nothing else..) you tried to insinuate Steele's credibility was damaged though you and I both know that's not the case, you continue to pretend nothing coming out of any US-related source can be trusted yet you can't find actual contradicting evidence to support your assertions, and YOU CANNOT EVEN SPELL IMPEACHMENT lest of all admit multiple Trump appointees have PLEAD GUILTY and are now offering their testimony to cement the case(s, plural) that Donald Trump committed high crimes. It's not a debate, these are facts that you run away from into a storytime that I find entertaining, but also intentionally distracting from the provable record as if that's your job here.

I'm not making a legal court case, I am not prosecuting one. I don't need to convince you either.
All I need to do is wait and watch as you're proven wrong on every single count above.

If you're going to say this "all reminds you of Bill Clinton"...
Maybe you aren't old enough to remember Dick Nixon? Much more apt.

The facts :

APT28 is a hacking group based in Russia and linked to that government. Fact.
They have hacked the IOC before. Fact. They have published their thefts. Fact.

You have no evidence to exonerate Trump, impeach Steele's credibility, undermine the attribution of the IOC/Petya/NotPetya attacks to Russian hacking groups, none of it - FACT.

"As for my alledged anti US bias, well have an open minded look at what history shows us from the second world war onwards, the US clearly has no respect for others and believes in might is right. In short the behaviour of a bully... is it a bias to point these things out?"

It's bias to rely on that as your sole source of information in support of your current theory, in lieu of evidence, and among your several laden assertions debunked previously above. Yes, that's bias. Do I ask you to apologize, no. Do I expect you to change your mind, no. Do I care if you do, really not.

I do expect you to not carry water for debunked theories of APT28 though.

No matter how much you detest the US since WWII.

hmmMarch 5, 2018 3:01 PM

Let me also say I don't believe in the "my country right or wrong" trope EITHER, obviously.

36 des OrfevresMarch 6, 2018 3:45 AM


What made you think so?
Apple are in the customer data business just as everybody else. Do not let the fact that they happen to sell hardware deceive you.

ZaphodMarch 12, 2018 1:10 PM


Many thanks for your prompt response, even if I am only just back online.

Yes, I am well. You too, I trust.


Clive RobinsonMarch 12, 2018 3:20 PM

@ Zaphod,

Yes I'm alive and still making the Drs get splinters in their fingers. This afternoon the cardiologist technicians were scratching their heads over the way their little bug in my chest" was not giving them clean signals... I did point out the bug was trying to do an impersonation of John Hurt's "last supper" in Alien... It's funny how medical staff can get queasy...

They also don't like you calling a blood thining drug "rat poison" even though it is the same stuff. I feel sorry for the rat because poison is not a nice way to go especially from warfarin poisoning. Also rats can not "up chuck" so they've learnt to only eat tiny amounts of things they are not sure about, which is a "smart response" indicating rats are not stupid. Though some rats appear to have found a survival stratagy by curling up round a central heating pipe for several days...

Then there are the so called "Super Rats", which have a genetic resistance to warfarin, requiring around ten times the normal dose. I only found out that some humans have the same trait when I was told it was probably the reason I was having to take a dose that was off the BNF prescribing chart. The fact that Drs did not beleive it has in the past lead to me being kept in hospital for two weeks just so the Drs could build upto my therapeutic level. At one point I was taking 30mg which as hospitals generally don't have the 5mg tablets on wards ment taking atleast 10tablets a day and they taste disgusting. Apparently warfarin has no taste or oder worth talking about, so as with mains gas they add another chemical that has both some smell and a realy realy bad tast. They also have a habit of sticking to the roof of the mouth or back of the tongue which makes the whole thing a lot lot worse than it needs to be :-S

Any way I'm still "fighting the good fight" a bit like the black night in Monty Python with "ti's but a scratch" ;-)

I'm told that this covers it,

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