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U.S. internet monitoring threatens global data security

By Zhong Sheng (People's Daily)    09:19, November 16, 2020

The U.S., a country adept at internet manipulation, will surely pose severe challenges for the world if it is allowed to break free of moral constraints to seek hegemony in internet technology and dispatch “rumor robots” to every corner of the world to hinder internet orders.

Spreading political viruses about data security, some U.S. politicians are “rumor robots” themselves. They repeatedly slandered China and suppressed the country’s enterprises on 5G issues, trying to force other countries to choose a side in the name of building a “clean network”. However, it is an international consensus that the U.S. itself is the world’s largest source of internet attacks. The U.S. is still a threat to global data security even if these “rumor robots” are trying everything to make up lies.

(Photo/pixabay.com)

The large-scale indiscriminate cyber monitoring launched by the U.S. reaches every corner of the world. How dare it say it is building a “clean network?” A dozen years ago, the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) had used cell site simulators called “Dirtbox” in its datamining tool Boundless Informant to intercept mobile phone communications. According to French newspaper Le Monde, the U.S. had collected data from at least 62.5 million mobile phones in France through the Dirtbox.

The PRISM exposed that Twitter, Facebook, Google Maps and even the Angry Birds were all “gold mines” for the U.S. to dig data from. The Washington Post revealed that the U.S. and its ally, in a joint project called MUSCULAR, had secretly broken into the main communications links that connect Yahoo and Google data centers around the world, and send millions of records every day from these Silicon Valley giants to data warehouses at the NSA’s headquarters. By tapping those links, the agency has positioned itself to collect at will from hundreds of millions of user accounts. Besides, German magazine Der Spiegel also reported a massive bundle of submarine cables of the U.S. aiming at information invasion against Europe and Asia.

The U.S. global monitoring and massive information collection are astonishing, and that’s why Edward Snowden called the NSA one of the “worst offenders” of criminal surveillance.

Brazenly pretending to be a victim of cyberattacks, the U.S. is nothing but the butt of a joke. According to a 2020 report issued by leading Chinese antivirus firm Qihoo 360, America’s Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has waged an 11-year campaign of cyber-espionage against critical industries in China.

The U.S. spares no effort to stigmatize certain Chinese enterprises. However, the fact is that the Chinese tech firm Huawei has established over 1,500 networks in more than 170 countries and regions in the past three decades, offering services for 228 Fortune Global 500 companies and more than 3 billion people. No cybersecurity incidence had happened like how Snowden and WikiLeaks had revealed those done by the U.S.; no cyber espionage like the PRISM, Equation Group, or Echelon had been reported; and no country is able to prove that Huawei has opened “backdoors” in its products. On the contrary, it was the Five Eyes countries, including the U.S., were requiring tech firms to leave “backdoors” in encrypted applications.

The U.S., with evil intentions, is gauging the integrity of others with its own mean measure, trying to spread more and more rumors. However, rumors are not able to hide truth, as it’s known by all that the aim of the U.S. is never to safeguard data security, but to maintain its digital hegemony.

Justice shall never be absent in data security issues. These issues are not to be politicized or dealt with irrelevant factors such as ideologies or political systems. Presumptions and double-standards should also be avoided. It is alarming that certain U.S. politicians are politicizing security issues with geopolitical and ideological means, trying to exclude others in the name of “cleaning” and seek hegemony in the name of “security.” Placing their own interests above the world, they are hurting the common interests of all mankind.

In a recent statement, the European Competitive Telecommunications Association (ECTA) said it denounces any bans of Chinese 5G suppliers for geopolitical reasons and warned that the consequences would be delay of 5G networks deployment in the European Union. The statement also stressed that excluding certain suppliers would significantly raise costs for consumers and businesses and put Europe at a competitive disadvantage.

The Internet Society remarked that the U.S. ban on Chinese mobile applications in the name of security is a direct attack on the Internet and an extreme measure that fundamentally undermines the foundation of the Internet. This total ban goes contrary to the U.S. commitment to an open Internet and runs counter to how the Internet actually works. Discrimination, exclusiveness and politicizing the so-called “clean network” are hypocritic and won’t win public support.

The rapidly changing information technology and prospering development of digital economy are profoundly altering the production and lifestyles of mankind, exerting far-reaching impacts on the world’s economic and social development, global governance system and human civilization progress.

The parties concerned shall enhance communication and deepen dialogues and cooperation on the basis of mutual respect to build a community of shared future in cyberspace. The U.S. shall halt its practices to undermine global data security as early as possible, and make the cyberspace peaceful, safe, open, cooperative and orderly again.

(Zhong Sheng is a pen name often used by People’s Daily to express its view on foreign policy.) 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Hongyu, Liang Jun)

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