Who is he in our forum? Or should we need to keep his name secret?But perhaps the most fascinating point in this worldwide information dump is how it gets noticed in the first place. Jeffrey Lin is a 26-year-old graduate student of international science-and-technology policy at George Washington University. He developed an interest in military technology at the age of 14, when he commanded tanks and jets in the computer game, People’s General. Tired of waging fantasy battles across 20 different countries in Asia, he took to the Internet to learn about the reality of tanks, planes and modern weaponry. He became engrossed in two online discussion forums, China Defence Forum and SinoDefence.com, which linked up a community of military techies from all walks of life. Some identified themselves as retired vets and defense contractors, others, plain old enthusiasts. Lin would join these users in lengthy discussions of pictures that had surfaced from defense trade shows, official broadcasts or citizen journalists. The last group, in particular, has become an increasingly valuable resource, as China’s smartphone penetration and broadband access have made it possible for just about anyone to snap a photo of strange pieces of defense equipment that pass within shutter range. Smartphone pictures of a fighter jet, wrapped under a tarp, strapped to a back of a truck barreling down the highway, now crop up on the forum.
Whoa, SinoDefence forum mentioned by name and linked in Time. Welcome to the big time fellows (pun intended).