The U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission released its annual report to Congress this week, urging lawmakers and the President Barack Obama administration to take action to curtail the Chinese government’s “large-scale cyberespionage campaign against the United States.” China-based hackers have “successfully targeted the networks of U.S. government and private organizations,” the commission said. Those targets have included the Department of Defense and private companies.
China-based cloud services are a particular threat to U.S. organizations because of the relationship between China’s Ministry of State Security (the equivalent of the U.S. National Security Agency) and the Chongqing Special Cloud Computing Zone, the commission said. The ties between the two represent a &ldquootential espionage threat to foreign companies that might use cloud computing services provided from the zone or base operations there.” While acknowledging the risk of doing business in China, Daniel Castro, senior analyst for the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, a Washington research institution, said the commission’s argument could be used to warn against storing data in a cloud service based in any country.
“That same mentality (if exercised by other countries) is destructive to U.S. tech companies because we want to be exporters of data services,” Castro told CSOonline Thursday. “If we’re saying you can’t trust data because of where it’s stored, well that message is going to come back and bite us.” Indeed, revelations of massive data gathering on U.S. and foreign citizens by the NSA, which has siphoned user information from major U.S. Internet and telecom companies, has angered many countries, both allies and adversaries.
Media reports based on documents released by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden has had an impact on U.S. companies doing business overseas. Last week, Cisco became the first company to report that NSA activities have hurt its business in China.
Source: Micron Associates