China wears a smirk as they deny successfully hacking the Pentagon's supposedly invulnerable computers, while the red faced US isn't going to own up to the hack attempt. China is taking bows, planning encores, while the US is throwing up shiny objects to keep the focus away from the vast amount of spying American agencies indulged in against China. At the beginning of the disastrous Bush presidency IN 2001, an American military spy plane and its crew were held in the south of China. Cyberwarfare is in earnest now.
George Bush had planned to go on the offense about trade issues and global warming. Pot. Kettle. Black and all that, does not stop a perfectly good diplomatic smackdown when one super C02 emissions polluter points fingers at another one. The other 21 nations jumped into the fray. Bush giving honey-do lists to the Chinese when they hold a good portion of America's debt, strikes a discordant note too, at the APEC meeting. Australia is holding the mega Pacific Rim meeting amid lockdown security that is irritating Australians who had a few civil liberties unceremoniously stripped away just for the delight of holding this meeting.
Now, even if not on the formal agenda, both sides are likely to be considering the prickly issue of cyber warfare, following the revelation that the Pentagon suffered a major breach by hackers reportedly working for the Chinese military earlier this year.
Disclosure by the Financial Times that the People's Liberation Army, or PLA, assaulted part of the Pentagon's system used by policy advisers to the defence secretary, Robert Gates, is the latest and potentially most serious breach and set alarm bells ringing across the US military.
The Pentagon reportedly resisted the PLA onslaught for several months, but was finally penetrated, forcing a shutdown of that part of its network for a week. A spokesman would not comment on the assault or its source, but emphasised that any information obtained would have been unclassified. The timing of the attack, and the apparent involvement of the PLA, points to an escalation of anxiety in governments across the world.
Spying and the use of intelligence is not a strong suit of this inept White House. Electronic and communication intelligence (ELINT & COMINT) are staples of Bush administration against domestic (illegal) and international targets. The shameful six month FISA legal extension recently passed by the 110th capitulating Congress allows the Constitution's 4th amendment to be run over by over zealous eavesdroppers. The FBI acknowledged this. meanwhile, cyber spying is being stepped up by the Chinese while an incredible amount of American spying infrastructure is tied down on Iraq and Iran. China does not have the constraints of having their treasury siphoned off for an unsuccessful occupation. China has bigger stupefying brand management issues of the numerous recalls, poisoned food, poor quality contract manufacturing and a big showy Olympic feat slated for 2008 in a smog filled Beijing because of its pollution issues and devastation of its natural habitat and displacement of indigenous people. Back to global warming, it ought to be a fun discussion as both presidents argue from positions of weakness.
Chatter: Uncovering the Echelon Network and the Secret World of Global Eavesdropping is a must read book outlining the scope and the strength of global and space eavesdropping is done every day all day 24/7 by the USA. Top secret NSA programs such as the famous data mining of Echelon and its great grandchild Carnivore are in existence. It is filled with detailed stories of the locations and people who filter and set up the programs for the US and its allies.