Opinion / Op-Ed Contributors

US cyber charge ridiculous

By Mike Bastin (China Daily) Updated: 2014-05-22 07:46

US cyber charge ridiculous

It was back in May 2013 that the US government first accused the Chinese military of intruding into US computers to steal sensitive data. But in recent days this seemingly relentless attack on the Chinese military took an incredible turn for the worst with the indictment by the US Justice Department of five Chinese military officers.

Incredibly the five Chinese military officers have been "charged" with stealing data from six US companies, causing a massive escalation in tension between the two global economic superpowers.

Despite the very public propaganda campaign waged by the Barack Obama administration, in a blatant attempt at diverting attention from its own current economic woes and increasing international isolation, until now no charges had been brought against any Chinese military officials for hacking.

The US government has struggled to maintain a shred of credibility in this and other related matters ever since Edward Snowden, a former US government contractor, began disclosure of documents proving irrefutably the extent of the US government's National Surveillance Agency (NSA) spying, both domestically and particularly internationally.

Indeed Snowden's whistleblowing appears to have no end in sight with one after another European government expressing dismay and disbelief at the apparent spying antics of the NSA.

Furthermore, unlike Snowden's disclosures on US government spying around the world, the NSA fail to provide the slightest shred of evidence in support of these "charges" and does not even detail the claimed "economic damage" done.

So, what is really behind this latest, potentially relationship-wrecking US government action?

In order to try to get behind this latest US government action, it is necessary to revisit the most alarming disclosures, and their impact, of Snowden's whistleblowing so far.

Chief among these has to be the documents alleging NSA snooping on the German chancellor Angela Merkel's personal phone line. In addition, the Italian and French governments have also come under the same sort of cyber-spying attack.

As a direct result, in March the European Parliament passed an important resolution condemning the US and EU surveillance programs. Specifically, the bill calls for suspension of trade talks, suspension of data sharing, and suspension of US corporate rights to European data.

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