Monday, November 9, 2015

U.S. Tech Giants May Blur National Security Boundaries in China Deals

From people who work in the DoD daily, there is NO doubt that this is of
concern. It is one of the reasons this site was created - to draw attention
to this increasing problem. Sure, Americans are getting cheap (and crappy)
stuff from China, but in the process, they are stealing our technical
know-how and making us more and more defenseless, all while helping to
devalue our economy. For American companies to openly do business with
them, not only because of this but also because of their horrible human
rights positions and anti-environmental practices, just boggles the mind.
That is especially hypocritical when many of these same companies preach and
attack the American public on such issues regularly. Seems that Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft, and Apple's leadership are front and center in this picture.

"One Chinese technology company receives crucial technical guidance from a
former People's Liberation Army rear admiral. Another company developed the
electronics on China's first atomic bomb. A third sells technology to
China's air-to-air missile research academy. Their ties to the Chinese
military run deep, and they all have something else in common: Each Chinese
company counts one of America's tech giants-IBM, Cisco Systems, or
Microsoft-as a partner.

Such links, which are generally not well publicized, are now at the center
of a debate among some in the American defense community, including former
U.S. military officials. While the cross-border partnerships are a growth
area for business, security experts are increasingly questioning whether the
deals harm national security.

A report made public this week from a security firm with longstanding ties to the Department of Defense, the Defense Group Inc., said IBM’s partnerships in China, which are part of a global initiative that the company calls Open Power, are already damaging American national security.
“IBM is endangering the national and economic security of the United States, risking the cybersecurity of their customers globally, and undermining decades of U.S. nonproliferation policies regarding high-performance computing,” the report said."

And the crux of the matter:
“The Chinese companies are required to do the best for their government. American companies say they are only answerable to their shareholders,” said James McGregor, chairman of the greater China region of the consulting firm Apco Worldwide. “So who is looking out for the United States?”
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