The Justice Department has charged five members of the Chinese military with economic espionage against the United States. The indictment for cyber spying was the first of its kind to be brought against a foreign power. It also represented a significant escalation in the long-running feud between the U.S. and China over online surveillance.
China's policy to compete in the 21st century is predicated on a regime of aggressive, state-sanctioned spying. It means stealing technology from other companies to leap ahead of the Chinese industrial base's natural evolution. China is blunt about why this is necessary: they've got a billion plus people to take care of. They need a growth rate that is kept absurdly high in order to take care of them, given that their political system can't take care of the basic needs of enough people.
In the last few years many American companies have alleged that they are under assault from China. For example, the cyber-security company Mandiant reported that it had found more than 140 instances of Chinese military hackers snooping into the work of American and other organizations.
Before Edward Snowden's story exploded the U.S. government had a plan to deal with Chinese cyber-hacking. But, Snowden's revelations
threw the NSA off-balance. A top secret cyber-espionage presidential directive was leaked on the day that President Obama planned to confront China's president about using the military for economic cyber-espionage.
But that was the day the world found out that the US spies too. It invades the internet servers and computers of foreign countries, looking to collect intelligence that will add value to American policy-makers' decisions about trade deals, sanctions, counter-narcotics, counter-trafficking, and counter-terrorism. It does not steal secrets from, say, Chinese companies in order to directly benefit American companies working with the same technology. But it does create backdoors into state-owned or operated companies in order to spy.
Is there a difference between US and Chinese spying?
“We must say enough is enough,” Eric Holder said. “This administration will not tolerate actions by any nation that seeks to illegally sabotage American companies and undermine the integrity of fair competition in the operation of the free market.”
Really? I wonder if Angela Merkel
agrees that Chinese spying is intolerable and the NSA's bugging of her phone understandable?
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