China Responds To Hacking Allegations With More Hacking Allegations

Max 'Beast from the East' Smolaks covers open source, public sector, startups and technology of the future at TechWeekEurope. If you find him looking lost on the streets of London, feed him coffee and sugar.

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“You run the NSA, and you have the nerve to accuse us of spying?”

Chinese authorities have published a report in which they accuse the US of orchestrating surveillance operations that “penetrate every corner of China”. The report also contains information about cyber attacks against Chinese businesses, becoming the latest sign of escalating tensions between the two countries.

The announcement could be seen as a response to the US Department of Justice charging five hackers, who it claims were employed by the People’s Liberation Army, with criminal offences last week.

The blame game

The report, entitled “America’s Global Surveillance Record”, suggests that the US government agencies are currently harvesting data which belongs to the Chinese state, the country’s businesses and its law-abiding citizens.

US digital (c) Sangoiri, SHutterstock 2014It is based on information about the US surveillance operations uncovered by Edward Snowden, and supported by a subsequent investigation “carried out by various Chinese government departments over several months.”

According to Reuters, the report lists Huawei, Tencent, the Ministry of Commerce and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as the examples of targets of the US National Security Agency (NSA).

“America’s spying operations have gone far beyond the legal rationale of “anti-terrorism” and have exposed the ugly face of its pursuit of self-interest in complete disregard for moral integrity,” states the report prepared by the China Academy of Cyber Space.

The Chinese government has already ordered physical checks of all government computers, after journalist Glenn Greenwald published images of the US intelligence agents tampering with Cisco networking gear shortly before it was due to be exported out of the country.

Meanwhile, the US immigration authorities said they could go as far as stopping Chinese nationals from attending some of the most prestigious information security conferences in the world, including DefCon and BlackHat.

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