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Re: The Neutron Star
From: Justin Ferguson <jf () ownco net>
Date: Thu, 27 Jun 2013 15:01:23 -0400

But the NSA do help American companies win contracts / do industrial espionage. One link I have handy is 
http://cryptome.org/echelon-ep-
fin.htm#10 (scroll down to 10.7 for the list) which has a short list of known cases from the 90's put out by the 
European parliament. Also note
that it's countries that the US would probably consider friendly that they're hacking, not just the main economic 
rivals.

I don't suppose you actually read this report you're citing? I mean,
putting aside that the list itself cites in a lot of cases
questionable sources, this list includes things like the CIA bugging a
foreign ministry to out a mole in a friendly government?

Of the long list, there are only 4 or 5 or so that would even fit the
context of what we're talking about, the conclusions of several are
based on innuendo, not fact-- id est What: "Wind wheel for electricity
generation, developed by Aloys Wobben, an engineer from East Frisia",
Aim:
"Forwarding of technical details of Wobben's wind wheel to a US firm",
Result: "US firm patents the wind wheel before Wobben; (breach of
patent rights)"

This is all based on what exactly? The source is some German newspaper
of some sort, the data doesn't appear to be online. Looking at the
Wiki page, they cite an "NSA employee" who said it happened (which in
turn provides the circular reference back to the same report you
listed), and then the fact of life is that DERP! the patent is 3 years
older than the supposed intercept. (
http://www.usitc.gov/publications/docs/pubs/337/pub3003.pdf )

The VERY next line, then cites a second incident, which is exactly the
same thing. The problem is, its once again NOT TRUE. Enercon lost the
patent disputes (in international courts no less) and never argued any
of these points, or questioned the validity of the patent, etc.
Enercon more or less argued their product was substantially different
than the patent that in turn is being cited as proof that the NSA
stole technology.

The entire thing repeats like this, it's mostly innuendo and the VAST
majority of it isn't even talking about state spying, but rather
industrial espionage.

I'm sure it happens to some degree, I'm sure everyone does it to some
degree and the vast majority of actors doing it are going to be
corporations (feel free to see the conclusions cited in section 10.3
of the same report that you obviously didn't read). That said, at best
what's here is MAYBE a couple incidents, which is questionable-- which
is entirely different than the sheer scale of what Dave was talking
about.

I highly advise you use that google thing and check the sources on
stuff before quoting it as fact.

-jf

On Wed, Jun 26, 2013 at 8:38 PM, Fionnbharr <thouth () gmail com> wrote:
But the NSA do help American companies win contracts / do industrial
espionage. One link I have handy is
http://cryptome.org/echelon-ep-fin.htm#10 (scroll down to 10.7 for the list)
which has a short list of known cases from the 90's put out by the European
parliament. Also note that it's countries that the US would probably
consider friendly that they're hacking, not just the main economic rivals.

It might not be on the same level as the Chinese but it's disingenuous to
suggest American businesses are somehow the innocent bystanders caught in
the cross fire or that there isn't some precedent for this behaviour by the
US.


On 26 June 2013 23:53, Dave Aitel <dave () immunityinc com> wrote:

http://usa.chinadaily.com.cn/opinion/2013-06/26/content_16659265.htm

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.

-dave


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