Lokman Tsui on Sun, 26 Aug 2001 11:42:55 +0200 (CEST)

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[Nettime-nl] Fw: [chineseinternetresearch] Ironies of power?

>  US defence chief helped Beijing keep   cyber secrets
> Judy Mathewson and Eugene Tang, Bloomberg
> WASHINGTON: Soon after becoming US Defence Secretary in   January,
> Donald Rumsfeld sold a stake in a partnership that helped   finance an
> operating system designed to protect Chinese computers  from spying and
> sabotage.
>  Mr Rumsfeld's investment in Chengwei Ventures Fund I - valued at
> between US$250,000 (HK$1.95 million) and US$500,000 - was one of his 29
> non-publicly traded holdings earmarked by US ethics officials as
> requiring disposal to avoid conflicts of interest, documents  obtained
> under a freedom of information request showed.
> Chengwei was an investment partnership with financial connections  to
> Chinese leaders, including the son of President Jiang Zemin, through
> mutual investments in Shanghai-based Red Flag Software.     That company
> created the operating system, Red Flag Linux, in part   to frustrate
> suspected US computer spying.
> China's State Council has asked government departments to use
> Chinese-language Red Flag Linux, which is based on the free Linux
> operating system. Microsoft programs are used in many agencies.
>    ``Some government organisations that controlled state secrets before
> had no choice but to use foreign software,'' Red Flag chairman Sun
> Yufang said. ``We are mainly concerned that foreign software ... has
> back doors'' that allow intruders to enter computers covertly.
> China, like the US, has devoted increasing resources to so-called
> information warfare, the ability to defend against attacks on one's own
> computers while being able to assault data in the computers of
> adversaries.
> In his seven months in office, Mr Rumsfeld has made information  warfare
> a Pentagon priority. ``Our dependence on computer-based   information
> networks makes those networks attractive targets for new   forms of
> cyber-attack,'' he told the Senate Armed Services  Committee on June
> 21.    US analysts have cited China's progress in the field, with some
> Pentagon officials calling Beijing's defences ``the Great Firewall of
> China''.
> A secure operating system is crucial to an information-warfare strategy,
> said Jonathan Winer, a former US deputy assistant secretary of state for
> international law enforcement, and Red Flag Linux may give China ``the
> robust ability to protect itself from US    dominance in a conflict''.
>  Mr Rumsfeld declined to be interviewed, but his financial adviser,
> whom the Pentagon made available to answer questions on the    condition
> the adviser couldn't be named, said the defence secretary  was a passive
> investor in San Francisco-based Chengwei, with    limited knowledge
> about how its money was used.
> After Mr Rumsfeld was confirmed as defence secretary in January,   he
> moved to sell his Chengwei interest to another partner, the   adviser
> said. The adviser declined to give the date of the sale, to   identify
> the buyer or to disclose the price. He said the partner who   bought the
> stock lives in the US and the stake was sold before April's   spy plane
> saga.
> Chengwei was created last year to invest in Internet- and
> computer-related Chinese companies, said co-founder Eric Li.
> It has a 20 per cent stake in Red Flag Software, which President Jiang
> Zemin's son, Jiang Mianheng, helped set up two years ago.  Chengwei's
> other founder, Bo Feng, is a son of National People's Congress standing
> committee member Feng Zhijun.
> 25 August 2001 / 03:13 AM
> http://hk-imail.com/inews/public/frontpage_v.cfm?intcatid=2

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