The Enemy Among Us

 

 

By Sigrid Weidenweber

President Trump assumed office and, shortly thereafter, he began to speak often and forcefully against China’s tactics, stealing trade secrets and assuming ownership

of American technology used in products sold in China. However, that seems to be the least of the administration’s worries when one examines the documentation of U. S. Senior Intelligence and Law officials. According to an article in the Wall Street Journal on Monday, April 20, 2019, by Aruna Visvanatha and Dustin Volz, the warnings of these officials characterize Chinese espionage as the “single most significant long-term strategic threat” to America.

Officials deem China’s intent to steal government secrets, and the heist of intellectual property and research from the corporate and academic world, a constant, damaging threat to America.

As the Trump administration tries to address the economic damage done to U. S. properties, China has become more skillful and cunning in traditional spy games. In this effort, Chinese hackers extracted “an ocean of personal data” from government, university and business files, from which they gleaned, and do so presently, the susceptibility and vulnerability of subjects to financial or other inducements, or plain threats and blackmail.

In 2015 hackers managed to steal 20 million files from the office of Personnel Management, complete with background checks for government employees. What a treasure trove in which to find espionage targets. Correspondents Viswanatha and Volz note that U.S. officials warn copiously that this is the greatest threat America is facing, describing it as “as a whole-of-society

challenge.”

Of course, the Chinese Embassy denies all allegations and accusations of espionage, and does not respond with comment. Examples of spies, even within the CIA, are the former CIA case officer, Jerry Chun Shing Lee and Kevin Mallory, a former intelligence officer. Mallory was convicted of selling secrets to China, Shing Lee faces charges of conspiracy to provide classified information to two officers of China’s state security ministry. Lee also made cash deposits to his bank accounts in Hong Kong in the “hundreds of thousands of dollars.”

China’s Secret Service is not only approaching subjects with a Chinese native background or CIA affiliation, but dangles huge cash and gifts in front of vulnerable subjects likely to succumb to blackmail or greed in an effort of turning them.

Case in point is one Candace Claiborne, a 63-year-old former State Department employee, who received $20,000 in cash, plane tickets, rent and living expenses for a relative from two Chinese nationals in return for documents, cables and white papers about the U. S. China meeting, which she printed of Internal State Department Networks.

Another growing concern is Chinese-made gear for American and European telecom networks. The U. S. is ratcheting up pressure on Chinese technology firms. The Trump administration is demanding that European allies ban Chinese equipment because it could be used to compromise all intelligence sharing. The State Department warned that using such equipment would lead to a reassessment of the way American intelligence data is shared with EU partners. Washington already has banned Huawei Technologies, Co., the world’s largest telecom supplier, in the U. S. It correctly assesses the threat from the Beijing government, forcing Huawei to use their technology to spy on, or worse, disable foreign networks. Despite such valid concerns, Britain’s National security council forged ahead buying “non-core” parts for its G5 networks from Huawei.

Mr. Robert Strayer, deputy assistant secretary for cyber policy at the State Department stated in Brussels that “no part of a G5 network should have parts or software from a vendor that could be under the control of an authoritarian government.”

It seems that the Chinese are much better than the Russians draining data from our pool of internal knowledge and, therefore, must be watched incessantly.

China, by stealth has already stolen enough American intellectual property to make its military so strong that only America can keep it at bay. How much longer will that be possible?

 


 Sigrid Weidenweber grew up in communist East Berlin, escaping it using a French passport. Ms. Weidenweber holds a degree in medical technology as well as psychology and has course work in Anthropology.  She is co-founder of Aid for Afghans.  Weidenweber has traveled the world and lived with Pakistani Muslims, learning about the culture and religion. She is a published author and lecturer. You can find her books on Amazon.com


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