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Re: The Neutron Star
From: Dave Aitel <dave () immunityinc com>
Date: Thu, 27 Jun 2013 16:21:37 -0400

To paraphrase the Economist article you link to, which I think says it
all (below) "No."

I'm not an expert on this particular case, but I'm able to read, and
what I read below does not match people's insistence on constantly
bringing it up as an example of US Economic Espionage.  jf () ownco net
says it better in this thread than I can, but apparently people need to
hear it over and over again for some reason.



According to a European Parliament report, published in 2001, America's
National Security Agency (NSA) intercepted faxes and phone calls between
Airbus, Saudi Arabian Airlines and the Saudi government in early 1994.
The NSA found that Airbus agents were offering bribes to a Saudi
official to secure a lion's share for Airbus in modernising Saudi
Arabian Airlines' fleet. The planes were in a $6 billion deal that
Edouard Balladur, France's then prime minister, had hoped to clinch on a
visit to see King Fahd in January 1994. He went home empty-handed.

James Woolsey, then director of the Central Intelligence Agency,
recounted in a newspaper article in 2000 how the American government
typically reacted to intelligence of this sort. “When we have caught you
[Europeans]...we go to the government you're bribing and tell its
officials that we don't take kindly to such corruption,” he wrote.
Apparently this (and a direct sales pitch from Bill Clinton to King
Fahd) swung the aircraft part of the deal Boeing's and McDonnell
Douglas's way.

On 6/26/2013 8:24 PM, Adam Crosby wrote:
To suggest its impossible seems to fly in the face of what has happened (see NSA and Boeing/Airbus).

I'm not saying its anything like the Chinese deal, but the NSA is involved in US companies economic health.


On Jun 26, 2013, at 9:53 AM, Dave Aitel <dave () immunityinc com> wrote:


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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