China: 'aggressive and large-scale' espionage against US

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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24 Comments

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with all that backdoors everywhere the US goverment is doing them the things even more easy. But that backdoors are for your own safety no? Against terrorism and stuff :P

ThePitt said,
with all that backdoors everywhere the US goverment is doing them the things even more easy. But that backdoors are for your own safety no? Against terrorism and stuff :P

The USA isnt the only one that puts encryption backdoors and such into OS's and other code... China makes it's own version of OS's just for this fact! so does other countries....

No one in China takes a dump without thinking it through. It's real easy. They want to dominate the world economically, and thanks to the stupidity of the USA businesses, we are giving them what they want.
Eventually, if "everything" is made in China, just think of the leverage this gives them when they want to do something,
say, like screw with Tibet, screw with Taiwan. We say no, they say, well, gee, we just aren't going to ship the widgets
you really really wanted.

And once again, a report of a real and credible threat descends into a screedfest by those that are against either the United States as a nation or the current government of the United States. Do you think that the United States is the *only* target for espionage of the industrial kind? People of Neowin, let me remind you of a few facts:

1. By and large, the major employer of the PRC is the People's Liberation Army (despite the amount of *Chinese capitalists*, the majority of the manufacturing infrastructure, especially in technology-related industries, in the PRC is not merely government-owned, but military-owned).

2. There is still only single-party rule in the PRC.

3. The PRC internal economy is still a *command economy* (typical of non-free nations).

4. Despite recent *show* crackdowns against copyright infringement and safety violations in the PRC, respect for IP rights (not just copyrights, but patents as well) by PRC-based companies (see point #1) is still horribly lax.

5. Non-free nations *typically* use their intelligence apparatus for industrial espionage against so-called *threat countries* (several KGB defectors have pointed out that it was very much typical practice for the Soviet Union to do so; both the US and Iraqis have caught the Iranians attempting to do so in Iraq in addition to, and as part of, their attempts to cause further destabilization of the post-Saddam Iraq government, and the few defectors from the PRC's own Ministry for State Security have admitted to conducting industrial espionage, and against Australia, Japan, and South Korea, in addition to the US). The United States is a democracy and the leading *threat country*, and the PRC knows it. A trade war is still war.

Remember, it wasn't bombs or bullets that brought down the Soviet Union, but the technology edge the United States posessed. The PRC government had a worms-eye view of that, and their government does *not* want to be a victim. (What frequently happens when a non-free government goes down or gets replaced? The perps wind up with their backs against a wall and get used for target practice. Those that seize power by the gun want to avoid losing power by the gun at all costs.)

The report by the USCC is making plain that the US should gird for a trade war with the PRC (including not just industrial espionage by the PRC against us, but other economic tactics by the PRC).

UnnamedStone said,
pathetic understanding of China and politics, how old are you?

At least parent thread is the most 'informative' post in this thread so far. I can't say others spent more than 10 seconds writing their replies.

UnnamedStone said,
pathetic understanding of China and politics, how old are you?

I happen to be 46; and what point are you trying (and failing) to make with that?

The PRC is not a democracy, and their economy is not a free economy. Do you have *any* evidence otherwise?

Unlike some of the posters (and you, apparently), I have not let my feelings concerning the current government of the United States or its officials color my comments. Also, I didn't say that the Chinese were necessarily *wrong* for engaging in industrial espionage (that's decided by diplomats and politicos); all I said was that the government and industries of the United States (and the allies of the US) need to be prepared to *deal with it*; what's wrong with that?

In other words, I'm preaching caution and self-defense, not military action (I'm old enough, and have common sense enough, to realize that a shooting war between the PRC and the US, even if the US manages to keep it conventional and actually wins, would still be Extremely Messy).

An atom bomb will place that population into a manageable level to wage a large scale war against. I'd sign up to fight China. Screw Iraq and Iran.

Mike Frett said,
An atom bomb will place that population into a manageable level to wage a large scale war against. I'd sign up to fight China. Screw Iraq and Iran.

Place a post saying "Nuke China" is acceptable to moderators here, but criticize Microsoft and your post is removed What goes on?

rev3nant said,
As if US is not doing the same against everyone else.

I'd be surprised if all the nations aren't at it.

If the data is sensitive enough to worry about China seeing it from hacking, then it shouldn't be on the computer in the first place.

Fourjays said,

I'd be surprised if all the nations aren't at it.

If the data is sensitive enough to worry about China seeing it from hacking, then it shouldn't be on the computer in the first place.

i agree, if data on a PC is sensitive enough to where it would suck real bad if it got out... then it should flat out be COMPLETELY disconnected from any internet access whatsoever.... which im sure the USA does as they cant be that stupid.

I think China shouldn't be blamed for doing what's good for their country. After all, the US had directly or indirectly killed thousands of Iraqis in the last couple of decades, by first supporting Saddam, then invading their country and "giving them democracy".

Well I don't blame china for that; they are doing what's good for them. Shouldn't we do the same; we are to blame because we are sending our technology there willingly.