By Eamon Javers
New York Times, October 25, 2012
Washington — SUDDENLY, Washington is extremely concerned about Chinese espionage.
Last month, the White House blocked a Chinese company from operating a wind farm near a sensitive Navy base in Oregon. Next, the House Intelligence Committee said two Chinese telecommunications firms were manufacturing equipment that could be used to spy on the United States, and Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta told business leaders that the country faced the risk of a “cyber-Pearl Harbor” — an attack that could come from terrorist groups or a country like China. Finally, during Monday’s presidential debate, Mitt Romney warned that the Chinese were “stealing our intellectual property, our patents, our designs, our technology, hacking into our computers.”
There’s no question that American companies today are under surveillance: I’ve learned that the F.B.I. has obtained a video taken inside a hotel in China that shows Chinese agents rifling through an American businessman’s room, according to two sources familiar with the tape, which the F.B.I. has been playing as a warning for corporate security experts. But while the
Chinese spying push is aggressive, American companies have been tapped, bugged and spied on for more than a hundred years. As often as not, the perpetrators have been other Americans — motivated not by patriotism for a foreign flag, but by simple profit.
Phi Beta Iota: The author has published the books shown here to the side with a link to its Amazon page. The US Government does not have a counterintelligence capability worthy of the name, and is politically and doctrinally handicapped from being effective with its limited capabilities. General Alexander while at INSCOM made a huge mistake in dismantling the strategic counterintelligence unit of the US Army, a unit that desperately needs reactivation, but as a direct report to General Flynn. The USG also like to deny that the deeper and more pervasive threat comes from ostensible allies: Israel, France, Germany and Russia. The Chinese threat is exaggerated [but also formidable — they can ride electric currents into computers] — and has been well understood for the past 20 years, only now it is “convenient” to speak of this threat again — at the same time that the USG continues to ignore the reality that open sources are 95% of the solution for any endeavor, and that commercial intelligence is a 1000 times more cost efficient that spying, generally remaining ethical and legal. The USG is also avoiding the obvious — we are our own worst enemy. Fraud, waste, and abuse consume at least 20% of most corporate dollars and closer to 50% of most federal dollars, and with respect to information technology vulnerabilities, external threats are only 10% of the challenge — fully half the challenge is rotten IT management and managers that refuse to leverage IT (e.g. digitize their files as the clandestine service refused in 1986) — fire and water, poor employee training, poor standard or non-standard procedures, sloppy software updated, etcetera.
John J. Fialka, War by Other Means: Economic Espionage in America (W. W. Norton, 1999)
Nicholas Eftimiades, Chinese Intelligence Operations: Espionage Damage Assessment Branch, US Defence Intelligence Agency (Routledge, 1994)
Peter Schweizer, Friendly Spies: How America’s Allies Are Using Economic Espionage to Steal Our Secrets (Atlantic Monthly, 1993)