The US-China Economic and Security Review Commission (USCC) released a report to the United States Congress late last week accusing China of waging an "aggressive and large-scale industrial espionage campaign" against American technology. The report attempts to turn the tale of industrial espionage into a national security threat by stating that "sophisticated weapon platforms are coming off production lines at an impressive pace and with impressive quality." It also urged Congress to protect "critical American computer networks and sensitive information" from Chinese cyber-attacks.
The report is not the first of its kind to come out of the USCC, which has been producing similar papers for over five years. Back in 2006, the USCC issued dire warnings about a government deal to purchase Lenovo ThinkPads, claiming that the Chinese-based company could be shipping the laptops with top-secret bugging devices. The deal went through anyway, and so far, no bugs or backdoors have been found. Concerns about Chinese espionage are hardly limited to the USCC or even to the United States: both the UK and German security agencies have been investigating alleged Chinese attempts to spy on government agencies by breaking into computer networks. The Australian government is also concerned about Chinese espionage, after defector Chen Yonglin alleged that over 1,000 Chinese agents were active in that country.
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