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Prism program – who are the principal victims?

(People's Daily Online)

09:58, June 27, 2013

Former U.S. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden has already left Hong Kong. In dealing with the Snowden issue, the Hong Kong Government's approach has been consistent with its laws, and the Chinese central government has always respected Hong Kong decisions made in accordance with the relevant laws.

Nevertheless, there have been media reports that the White House has expressed dissatisfaction and issued "strong protests" concerning Hong Kong and the Chinese government’s approach in permitting Snowden’s departure.

China cannot accept this position. According to the U.S. Foreign Policy website and Snowden’s disclosures, for more than 15 years the U.S. National Security Agency has been targeting the network and communication systems of both mainland China and Hong Kong with organized invasion, attack, theft, and surveillance actions. To date the U.S. authorities have offered neither explanation nor apology, and yet they express their dissatisfaction over Hong Kong’s lawful course of action. Such logic hardly seems in accordance with the international principles of a major power.
The Prism program revelations have provided further confirmation that China is a major target of cyber attacks. The public has been aware for some time that the U.S has been mounting attacks on China’s network, but the true extent of the problem is only now becoming apparent. What makes the situation intolerable is that the U.S. has been eavesdropping China's network on a large scale and stealing political, economic, technological and military intelligence, while at the same time condemning China for problems of hacking in the international community. Without providing any proper evidence, the U.S. has mounted repeated attacks on the Chinese government and its military which have caused serious damage to China’s international reputation.
Its strength in technology has provided the prop for the U.S. cyber attacks. Confident in its control over core intellectual property like computer hardware, operating systems, Internet technology standards and protocols, the U.S. seems to have had little fear that other countries might root out evidence of its network invasion and intelligence theft.

The United States lays claim to being the world’s leader in the 21st century. While always willing to take the lead in leveling accusations concerning the performance of other countries on human rights issues, the U.S. muddies the waters in terms of maintaining international information security on the Internet, and its intelligence agencies treat both their own constitution and fundamental international laws with disdain. The U.S. has not only launched network attacks on other countries, but has also eavesdropped on the telephone and email communications of its own citizens and those of the peoples of countries that are supposedly its allies.

Calls from the United States for respect for human rights will ring hollow as long as it continues to practice eavesdropping on private citizens, manipulate its control over the Internet, and invade the networks of other countries.

The world will have good cause to remember Edward Snowden, whose courage has helped to expose the truth behind Washington’s mask. The Prism incident has warned China and the world: we must be ready to face reality and maintain long-term vigilance.

(The author, Wang Xinjun, is a military strategy researcher at the Academy of Military Science)

Edited and translated by Ma Xi, People's Daily Online
Read the Chinese version: “棱镜”计划 谁更应表达不满?
Source: People's Daily Overseas Edition

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