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The Neutron Star
From: Dave Aitel <dave () immunityinc com>
Date: Wed, 26 Jun 2013 09:53:01 -0400


Normally I don't like to stick my toe in the neutron star's gravity well
that is the NSA-Snowden discussion. But it's important to point out that
there are developing standards of behavior being negotiated not between
China and the US, but between corporations and governments as a whole.

Chinese media has been going on for a week about how the Snowden PRISM
revelations about the US hacking China are in some way equitable to the
US complaints about Chinese government sponsored hacking for the
purposes of economic espionage. This is pure public relations nonsense.
The complaints US industry has about Chinese state sponsored hacking is
not that it is occurring, but that the fruits of the hacking are being
given directly to Chinese companies which compete with US (or European,
or Korean, etc.) companies.

It is impossible as a US company to go to the NSA and say "Hey, my
competitor in China makes a pretty nice bulldozer, can I have the plans
to that? Also it'd be nice to know what their bid is on that contract in
Malaysia we both want to win." 

It's just that simple. Company's hate being forced to give information
to their governments, or trojan their networking equipment (in the case
of Huawei and ZTE). It's *bad* for business. Especially when you get
caught or it gets leaked (which it ALWAYS does one way or the other).

But they hate state-sponsored economic espionage more and I hardly think
Chinese companies would enjoy a change in Washington's tune that allowed
US companies to employ the full power of the NSA against them.


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