Some extended thoughts from Judy Kushner about the threat of Chinese intelligence operations inside the United States, plus some news of the week you may have missed... and MORE!
American Opportunity
A/O Global Intelligence Weekly: China Monitors U.S. Citizens Through Technology


By Judy T. Kushner

People brought up in this country have no idea what it is like to live under a totalitarian government.  I remember clearly growing up during China's Cultural Revolution; how my family members were harassed and how, at age three, I had to accompany my German-educated grandfather to what was called "public shaming," where citizens were verbally and physically abused in the public square.

No one had any privacy or basic human dignity. We were constantly conscious of the fact that we were being monitored by the government and that the government could knock on our door at any time.

In the United States, we enjoy democracy, but today, in the online community, U.S. citizens are increasingly sucseptible to being monitored by China just as if they lived in China and were subject to the whims of the Chinese government.

Due to my business dealings in China, my computer and iPhone have been hacked by Chinese hackers. To my knowledge, no U.S. software currently produced by Silicon Valley is fully capable of effectively protecting users against such attacks. I feel naked online.

Why has this occurred? Much of the problem lies in the alignment and alliances of large telecommunications companies.

Currently, for example, no effective firewall exists between the Chinese telecom giant ZTE and Qualcomm, the U.S. company that is the major supplier of microchips for ZTE-manufactured cellphones. In the past, China's Huawei, which manufactures much of the routers and other equipment that forms the backbone of the U.S. internet, has effectively served as an extension of the U.S. telecommunications giant Cisco, although recently the U.S. government, in the defense appropriations bill, has taken steps to restrict the use of ZTE and Huawei equipment by the U.S. government.

Nonetheless, ZTE and Huawei have a massive presence in the US cellphone market, selling phones priced as low as $20.

In addition, China has the capability of harvesting personal data from U.S. cellphones. Because they use Qualcomm, cellphones on the U.S. market cannot be guaranteed to protect your privacy and personal information, unless you are prepared to use the early version of the Nokia phone -- the old "flip phone."

There are four major high-tech players in the United States: Microsoft, Google, Qualcomm, and the Chinese giant Baidu. In this regard, it has been reported that Microsoft has acted as a sort of Judas, providing China with access to its technology and its subscribers' data.

Recently, Microsoft set up an open platform with four of China’s most prestigious universities to share its data and tools on artificial intelligence. In addition, Microsoft announced it has extended its partnership with 21 Vianet, a key Chinese internet data center service provider, sharing its technology with 21 Vianet. Google also has been rumored to be on the verge of making major concessions to the Chinese government in order to do business there.

Today, from my experience, you use one server to protect your website only to find out that their server company effectively is owned or controlled by Baidu. There are few impediments to Chinese government controlled hackers being able to paralyze U.S. cororate, governmental or personal websites, unless such websites have exceptionally strong network defenses. It is even theoretically possible for Chinese government hackers to remotely control your car or boat through your phone via satellite technology, as recently happened to the boat of prominent Chinese dissident Guo Wenqui.

There is increasing concern that China is using more than its investments in the U.S. to accomplish its policy ends, exerting its influence on both Wall Street and Silicon Valley, which have effectively helped modernize China's cyber capacity, jeopardizing the U.S. advantage in cyber warfare.

Interference with and surveillance of the internet is by no means the only method used by the Chinese government to exert its influence in the U.S.  China, for instance, has made great efforts to exert cultural influence in the U.S. by establishing more than 250 "Hanbans," i.e., so-called "Confucian institutes" in the U.S.  The University of Utah was among the first U.S. educational institutions to host one. Hanbans provide scholarships for U.S. students to study in China and certify who is qualified to teach the Chinese language in the U.S. and Europe.

Hanbans sponsor many Chinese language programs in the U.S., including in pre-K, elementary, middle school and high school. It has been alleged that many of the teachers certified by Hanbans are either Chinese intelligence officers or workers on the payroll of the Chinese government, whether of Chinese or U.S. descent.

Even more alarming, Hanbans watch over Chinese students in the U.S. and monitor their behavior.  If they resist, the Hanban can work with their partner U.S. colleges and universities to revoke their student visas and send them back to China, effectively helping make such students become accomplices to China and making U.S. educational institutions enablers to China's efforts to control students in the U.S. 

Currently, the U.S. government is considering shortening Chinese student visas, but has yet to realize how deeply Hanbans have  penetrated our federal, state, and local government -- as well as our colleges and universities. 

The United States facilitates this, as past administrations of the U.S. State Department have been is reluctant to conflict directly with the Chinese government.

As quoted in the South China Morning Post, U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) has said “I think every college should be aware of what these institutes are used for and that they are in fact consistently been used as a way to quash academic freedom on campus at the behest of a foreign government.” Rubio added “I would encourage every college in America to close them. There’s no need for these programmes.”

Prior U.S. administrations, in my opinion, have not been sufficiently aggressive in targeting such Chinese espionage in the United States. The road back begins with a zero tolerance policy to this type of behavior, whether through the manipulation of cyber technology, through the use of Hanbans, or through the use of Chinese masters' and Ph.D students in the U.S. who are recruited steal U.S. technology on behalf of China -- the latter of which will be the subject of a future article.

From time to time American Opportunity/Free Congress Foundation publishes essays and articles we deem to be of importance and value to our members and supporters.  Judy T. Kushner was born and raised in Shanghai, China. Upon graduating  from college, she received a scholarship from the University of Michigan and came to the United States, earning an MBA in Finance from Wagner College and performing post-graduate studies at the NYU Stern School of Business. She became a U.S. citizen in 1990 and went to work on Wall Street, becoming Senior Vice President of Daiwa Securities USA (now Sumitomo Daiwa) and serving as General Secretary to four publicly traded investment funds. She has done business in the U.S., China, Japan, Taiwan, Thailand and Singapore, including advising U.S. companies on doing business in China and Chinese companies on doing business in the U.S. Her father is a prominent Chinese musician and musical composer. Her uncle was a prominent Chinese aerospace engineer who designed China's first fighter jet; he turned down a prominent position with McDonnell Douglas in the 1980s to work with China's Defense Department.
Joim American Opportunity

Some news and articles we recommend for information and discussion purposes, none of which necessarily represent the position of A/O:

As always, American Opportunity is always looking for new resources and topics we can address in detail.  Please feel free to stay in contact! 


Jim Gilmore
901 N. Washington, Suite 206 Alexandria, VA 22314
©2017, All Rights Reserved  |  Unsubscribe
View in browser