‘Stunning' Increase In Espionage Attacks
The Situation Room (CNN), 5:00 PM
WOLF BLITZER: It’s some of the U.S. military’s most critical classified technology, underwater drones. But according to a new Pentagon report, it’s under constant attack by foreign spies.
Our Pentagon Correspondent Barbara Starr is over at the Pentagon. She’s got the details.
Barbara, a lot of people didn’t even know there were underwater drones. What’s going on?
BARBARA STARR: Well, you know, Wolf, this is some of the military’s most closely-held technology. This new report is warning defense companies, foreign countries are trying to come after it.
They glide deep under water, no crew on board.Sensors gather intelligence about everything from the movement of warships to port security.
The U.S. military leads the world in developing these classified, unmanned, underwater vehicles. Other nations, especially in Asia, are urgently trying to get their hands on them, according to a new Pentagon report. Targeting the U.S. with industrial espionage is a global problem.
In 2010, the Pentagon witnessed a stunning increase of over 140 percent in attempts to get military information of all types. Industry reports everything from phone calls asking for pricing and technical information, to cyber attacks aimed at outright stealing.
JOHN PIKE [GlobalSecurity.Org]: If it’s a choice between stealing our technology and developing your own, it’s a lot cheaper to try to steal our good stuff than try to develop it with your own money.
STARR: Weapons expert John Pike says China is most likely behind much of the effort to steal the U.S.’s underwater secrets.
PIKE: The Chinese are interested in underwater drones for the same reason that everybody else is. And over the last decade, we’ve seen this explosion of activity in aerial drones, and everybody believes that underwater drones are going to be the next great thing.
STARR: The Pentagon found more than 70 percent of all attempts to get access to this technology came from East Asian and Pacific nations, but the report does not name countries. It’s a region getting increased military attention.
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, now in Asia, promises stronger ties in the face of growing Chinese military power and an unstable North Korea.
SECRETARY OF DEFENSE LEON PANETTA: We’re going to maintain our presence. We’re going to not only maintain our presence, but we’re going to strengthen our presence in the Pacific region.
STARR: And, of course, there are commercial uses for this type of underwater technology – monitoring fisheries, offshore oil drilling, and even searching for old shipwrecks. Wolf.
BLITZER: What a story. All right. Thanks very much for that, Barbara.
Phi Beta Iota: This is an illegal Navy Information Operations campaign against the American people. The US Navy Irregular Warfare program is totally focused on saving the US nuclear submarine program, and hence the Unmanned Underwater Vehicles are defined as anything that can be blown out of the five foot wide tube of an SSBN. While the Navy is focused on five foot wide ten-fifteen foot long torpedo shaped devices, the smarter nations are going with dolphin-shaped much smaller devices with tethers to any surface or subsubservice vehicle. And while we are at it, the Chinese “stealth” comes from German diesel engines that are the most superior form of undersea propellant solution, while the corrupt US military-industrial complex persists in “too big to fail” high crimes and misdemeanors. To the best of our knowledge, there is no significant espionage threat against the US Navy – the rest of the world has figured out that the US Navy is the LAST model anyone would want to follow. It is unaffordable, unsustainable, and largely idiocy and ideological fervor run amok. This is the same Navy that refused to attend to the CENTCOM J2P 2005 Somali piracy warning memorandum because (we do not make this stuff up) “it's not an expensive enough problem.”