(Reuters) – China made its first substantive comments on Monday to reports of U.S. surveillance of the Internet, demanding that Washington explain its monitoring programs to the international community.
Several nations, including U.S. allies, have reacted angrily to revelations by an ex-CIA employee over a week ago that U.S. authorities had tapped the servers of internet companies for personal data.
“We believe the United States should pay attention to the international community’s concerns and demands and give the international community the necessary explanation,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said at a daily briefing.
China has been all over this things. Snowden completely changed the conversation. Where we had recently started to get data about China’s effort in this regard…now the entire playing board has been upended.
Snowden has also crossed a line (for many) as he is now trying to curry favor with the Chinese government by revealing this information.
To try and get a sense of how big a deal this is…imagine if we had someone defect from China and reveal just exactly how the unit I mentioned previously functioned. And if you think Snowden isn’t trying to defect…you aren’t paying attention.
Unfortunately I don’t see a rational national conversation going on domestically about these programs. Already we’ve seen the “IRS Scandal” debunked in hearings…and then the Chairman of those hearings refused to release the testimony. There is *very little desire* to get to the bottom of these things, if there even is a bottom, and a *great deal of desire* to try and make political hay out of the situation.
Obama has already tried to begin the conversation on scaling back the war-time footing we’ve been on for over a decade.
Rather than have that conversation, Republicans would rather fault him for using the powers granted Obama, that Obama himself is trying to set aside.
The building off Datong Road, surrounded by restaurants, massage parlors and a wine importer, is the headquarters of P.L.A. Unit 61398. A growing body of digital forensic evidence — confirmed by American intelligence officials who say they have tapped into the activity of the army unit for years — leaves little doubt that an overwhelming percentage of the attacks on American corporations, organizations and government agencies originate in and around the white tower.