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View Diary: WaPo Breaking: US to prosecute China for Cycberspying (77 comments)

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  •  German Fallout (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DRo, CroneWit, Just Bob, Richard Lyon, koNko
    MUNICH — It didn't take an Edward Snowden to figure out that American espionage service providers had access to confidential information about German citizens. It's been known for years that the Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC) works for American secret services.

    It's also known that a former CSC subsidiary was involved in the abduction of German citizen Khaled el-Masri, who was turned over to the CIA and subjected to abuse and degradation before the agency finally admitted his arrest and torture were a mistake.

    Nevertheless, German CSC subsidiaries have in past years received more than 100 contracts from state and federal governments in Germany, as Süddeutsche Zeitung and public broadcaster NDR reported last fall. The operative rule at the time was that only companies that were found guilty of crimes could be excluded from public contracts. So far, no CSC employee has been prosecuted for the abduction of el-Masri. Per se, working for the U.S. intel agencies is not punishable. So Germany's federal government tied its own hands over the issue.

    But according to research conducted by NDR and Süddeutsche Zeitung, Germany's black-red "grand coalition" government has now tightened the rules for awarding sensitive public IT contracts. In cases of doubt, suspicious companies will now be excluded from such contracts. And companies now have to sign documents to the effect that no contracts or laws oblige them — nor can they be coerced — to pass on confidential data to foreign secret services or security authorities.

    The new rule would seem to be aimed primarily at American companies. These companies, as numerous Snowden documents reveal, regularly pass on information to the U.S. spy agencies. At the NSA, a separate Special Sources Operations department deals with cooperation with "strategic partners," as agents call such companies. The companies say they are merely following the laws of the respective country, and so far this explanation has been accepted.

    But since April, any company that cannot guarantee that foreign services or authorities will not obtain any of their data is being excluded from federal contracts in Germany. A spokesperson for the Ministry of the Interior said that the aim of the new rule is to prevent "the flow of data worth protecting to foreign security authorities."
    •  This is a good catch, JayFarquharson! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DRo, koNko

      This give a real-world example of one of the three outcomes of the Snowden disclosures that the NSA is trying to tie the 'Snowden = Russian spy' meme to.

      Ex-NSA attorney Stweart Baker wrote an op-ed a month ago that spelled that out; I analyzied that op-ed, and Germany's actions match up with NSA Fear #2 in my analysis:

      If the disclosure of the NSA documents by international reporters --
      (1) changes American's perceptions of the NSA, first by making them visible an dpart of public discussion;
      (2) causes other governments and the EU to change their laws and  resist America's long-standing control of surveillance world-wide (as they are doing); and
      (3) causes American IT compalies to reduce its complaince with NSA's use of them to save their businesses (as they are doing) --
      -- Then Russia will have won!!!
      [sorry for typos in original!]

      Here's how Baker phrased it --
      If [Snowden] persuades Americans to turn against NSA’s foreign intelligence methods, if convinces our allies to trim NSA’s wings, or if he gets American technology companies to refuse to help their country, well, then Russia’s lack of money, allies, and technology won’t matter anywhere near as much.

      Although it's still not clear to me what NSA?USG hopes to gain from their charging these Chinese individuals, the quote you provide gives a possible link between criminalizing individuals and NSA Fear #2.  These charges against individuals may mark the beginning of NSA/USG taking its fight for USA economic/military dominance and NSA surveillance dominance down to the individual level.  The charging/conviction of an individual could taint an entire company, taking that company out of the German market.
      •  Unfortunately, (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Just Bob, CroneWit, koNko

        China can play lots of tit-for-tat, ranging from charging individual NSA, FBI, DIA, CIA and State Officials, through to pretty much everybody in Silicon Valley.

        I think that a key aspect is perceptions of IT Supremacy and Technological lead. I suspect that if the announcement of charges turns into actual charges, it will be because the Alphabet Agencies believe that the US lead is inviolate.

        If China proffers counter charges, it will be because they believe that any US technological leads, can be quickly surmounted.

        Add in Net Neutrality, the development of regional nets, and we may be seeing the end of and international internet.

        •  Well, China is ahead there (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          truong son traveler

          And I can tell you as a Chinese internet user, that you won't like the new and improved Balkanized net, but that is where we seem to be heading.

          US IT companies hope to head it off at the pass with https and (in best cases) PFS.  Don't know if that will save the day.

          Worst of all is they way this is being handled is making the Obama Administration look foolish and out of touch with the world around them.

          Do they honestly think this publicity stunt will make them look good and grab some sort of high ground?

          Hit the link to the Justice Department press release.

          Is this why the American people elected Obama? Is this how the Justice Department spends its time? Is this the legacy Obama wants to leave?

          Seriously. This is worse than amateurish.

          No one is coming to save us, the future is in our hands.

          by koNko on Mon May 19, 2014 at 11:46:34 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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