China To Probe EMC, IBM And Oracle Following US Spy Revelations

Tom Brewster is TechWeek Europe's Security Correspondent. He has also been named BT Information Security Journalist of the Year in 2012 and 2013.

The PRISM fallout could hit US firms’ operations in China

Tech titans EMC, IBM and Oracle are all set to be investigated by Chinese officials, over fears that the US firms are enabling surveillance by American authorities, according to a report.

After Edward Snowden’s leaks about the mass global surveillance of the National Security Agency (NSA), and the PRISM programme in which technology companies have provided user data, there is heightened anxiety in China over the use of US technology.

surveillance cyber crime“Thanks to their technological superiority, many of our core information technology systems are basically dominated by foreign hardware and software firms, but the PRISM scandal implies security problems,” an anonymous source told the official Shanghai Securities News publication.

EMC, IBM, Oracle facing China crackdown?

A spokesperson for China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) said they were not aware of a probe, but another said they could not confirm or deny anything due to the sensitivity of the matter.

US officials have recently warned against the use of Chinese technology in America, in particular any networking or mobile kit from Huawei or ZTE.

But now the Chinese are voicing concerns about US designs, especially around servers and storage. EMC declined to comment, whilst IBM and Oracle had not responded to requests for comment at the time of publication.

Many have suggested US cloud providers, such as those being targeted by China’s probe, are set to lose business thanks to the PRISM revelations. Businesses need trust in the cloud, but that has been eroded thanks to US companies complicity with law enforcement, it has been claimed.

The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation estimated the US industry stood to lose $35 billion from the PRISM fallout.

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