|Jos Horikx on Sun, 26 Aug 2001 12:32:16 +0200 (CEST)|
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|Re: [Nettime-nl] Fw: [chineseinternetresearch] Ironies of power?|
At 10:44 26-8-01 +0200, Lokman Tsui wrote o.a.: >> 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. [ stuk geknipt ] >> 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 Het originele bericht is van 24-8 en staat op (link van een halve meter lang): http://www.bloomberg.com/fgcgi.cgi?ptitle=Top%20World%20News&s1=blk&tp=ad_to pright_topworld&T=markets_bfgcgi_content99.ht&s2=ad_right1_windex&bt=ad_posi tion1_windex&middle=ad_frame2_windex&s=AO4aJ6RX7UnVtc2Zl Er komt nog een stukje aan het eind bij, voor het gemak citeer ik nog eens het hele artikel en geef ik met wat sterretjes aan waar dat extra stukje begint. Het zal niet voor iedereen even interessant zijn maar het heeft te maken met de verwevenheid van bedrijfsbelangen en belangen van staten of machtsblokken, dus helemaal onbelangrijk is het nou ook weer niet. --- begin quote --- 08/24 13:07 Rumsfeld Was in Group Financing Chinese Anti-Spying Software By Judy Mathewson and Eugene Tang Washington, Aug. 24 (Bloomberg) -- Soon after becoming U.S. defense 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. Rumsfeld's investment in Chengwei Ventures Fund I, valued between $250,000 and $500,000, was one of his 29 non-publicly traded holdings earmarked by U.S. ethics officials as requiring disposal to avoid conflicts of interest, filings showed. Unlike other holdings with business ties to the Pentagon, 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 Co. That company created the operating system, Red Flag Linux, in part to frustrate suspected U.S. computer spying. The defense secretary must ``have the appearance of impartiality,'' said Martin Nissenbaum, an Ernst & Young financial consultant who advises wealthy clients entering public service, ``and try to avoid investments that would be adverse to the interests of the Defense Department or the country.'' 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 Corp. programs are used in many agencies. `Back Doors' ``Some government organizations that controlled state secrets before had no choice but to use foreign software,'' Red Flag Chairman Sun Yufang said in an interview. ``We are mainly concerned that foreign software, including Microsoft's, has back doors'' that allow intruders covertly to enter computers. Microsoft spokesman Jim Desler dismissed ``myths'' about Windows assisting U.S. intelligence agencies. ``Simply put, there is no back door, and there has never been any back door in Microsoft products,'' he said. China, like the U.S., 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, 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,'' the defense secretary told the Senate Armed Services Committee on June 21. `Great Firewall' U.S. analysts have cited China's progress in the same field, with some Pentagon officials calling Beijing's defenses ``the Great Firewall of China.'' ``China is moving aggressively toward incorporating cyber- warfare into its military lexicon, organization, training and doctrine,'' the Congressional Research Service, a branch of the Library of Congress, said in a June report. A secure operating system is an important element in an information-warfare strategy, said Jonathan Winer, a former U.S. deputy assistant secretary of state for international law enforcement. Red Flag Linux may give China ``the robust ability to protect itself from U.S. information dominance in a conflict,'' said Winer, who worked on cyber-warfare issues. Rumsfeld, who declined to be interviewed, was a passive investor in San Francisco-based Chengwei, with limited knowledge about how its money was used, said Rumsfeld's financial adviser, whom the Pentagon made available to answer questions on condition the adviser wouldn't be named. Sale to Partner After Rumsfeld was confirmed as defense 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. The financial adviser said only that the partner who bought the stock lives in the U.S. and that the stake was sold before a Chinese fighter jet collided with a U.S. spy plane off the Chinese coast on April 1, straining relations for three weeks. Rumsfeld, among the Cabinet's wealthiest officials, reported assets worth $50 million to $210 million in the broad value ranges used by government disclosure forms. Rumsfeld has encountered difficulty selling others of his 29 illiquid holdings, requesting a second extension last month to complete the sales. The names of the 29 holdings presenting potential conflicts were blacked out on a divestiture agreement released by the Office of Government Ethics. While concealed on that document, the holdings, including Chengwei, were disclosed in a letter granting Rumsfeld deferment of possible capital gains. Bloomberg News obtained that letter through the Freedom of Information Act. `Not an Enemy' Rear Admiral Craig Quigley, a Pentagon spokesman, said he had never heard Rumsfeld express second thoughts about the Chengwei investment. ``We do not see a strategic threat to the United States from China,'' Quigley said. ``China is not an enemy.'' Two years ago, President Jiang Zemin's son, Jiang Mianheng, helped start Red Flag Software. Dubbed China's ``King of Information Technology'' by Asiaweek magazine, Jiang Mianheng is vice president of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, where a unit became a partner with NewMargin Venture Capital in the Red Flag venture. Chengwei was created last year to invest in Internet- and computer-related Chinese companies, said the fund's co-founder, Eric Li. Chengwei -- which means ``to become'' -- bought about 20 percent of Red Flag, Li said. Chengwei's other founder, Bo Feng, is a son of National People's Congress standing committee member Feng Zhijun. Chengwei Investors --- *** het extra stukje volgt hier *** --- In the U.S., Chengwei's investors included Yale University, former Robertson Stephens Chairman Sandy Robertson, and former Perot Systems Corp. Chairman Morton Meyerson, as well as Rumsfeld, according to Sutter Hill Ventures Managing Director G. Leonard Baker, who said he helped develop Chengwei's business plan. Rumsfeld's Chengwei investment shows how people with diverse holdings can unwittingly expose themselves to criticism if they go into public office, said financial consultant Nissenbaum. ``Whenever a public servant or someone who's running for office has invested in a venture-capital fund or a private-equity fund, they run the risk that the fund might invest in something that could be embarrassing,'' Nissenbaum said. Asked about potential conflict issues from the Chengwei holding, Charles Lewis, executive director of the Center for Public Integrity, a nonpartisan group that monitors government ethics, said the U.S. public at least has a right to know what effect Red Flag's technology has had on U.S.-Chinese strategic relations. ``Rumsfeld's financial involvement in Red Flag Software frankly should have raised a red flag with senators and the news media during his confirmation,'' Lewis said. Chengwei has held stakes in other Chinese technology companies, such as AsiaInfo Holdings Inc., a network software and services provider, and Sina.com, the first commercial Web company that the Beijing government allowed to run a news and information site. *** eind extra stukje ** --- end quote --- Met vriendelijke groet, JH ______________________________________________________ * Verspreid via nettime-nl. Commercieel gebruik niet * toegestaan zonder toestemming. <nettime-nl> is een * open en ongemodereerde mailinglist over net-kritiek. * Meer info, archief & anderstalige edities: * http://www.nettime.org/. * Contact: Menno Grootveld (firstname.lastname@example.org).