Irony Alert: US Filing Criminal Charges Against China For Cyberspying

from the hey,-look-over-there! dept

Even as more and more examples of questionable surveillance by the US government are revealed, the US is apparently still trying its “hey, look over there!” strategy in response. This morning, Attorney General Eric Holder is announcing that the US has filed meaningless criminal charges against members of the Chinese military for economic espionage done via the internet.

Of course, there’s no chance of any actual prosecution happening here. If anything this is all just a bit of diplomatic showmanship. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised to quickly see China respond in kind with “criminal charges” being announced against folks from the NSA for the various spying that they’ve done on China. US officials will, as they always do, insist that what the People’s Liberation Army does is “different” because it’s economic espionage, in which the Chinese army breaks into networks from certain industries and companies, and shares the details with Chinese companies. The US does not appear to do the same thing directly, though there are indications of indirect economic espionage (i.e., spying on companies to then inform general US policy that might help US companies). The Chinese have (quite reasonably) questioned how there’s a legitimate distinction between the different kinds of espionage.

Either way, at a time when the US is under intense scrutiny for its questionable espionage efforts, including installing backdoors into US networking equipment (which is what they’ve accused the Chinese of doing repeatedly, despite no actual evidence), filing criminal charges against the Chinese for cyberspying… just looks really sad. It stinks of hypocrisy.

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Comments on “Irony Alert: US Filing Criminal Charges Against China For Cyberspying”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Much of the US’s diplomatic efforts have long stunk of hypocrisy so what’s the point here, that they are still doing it?

There’s a reason why the US is the laughing stock behind it’s back when it comes to diplomatic efforts and legal attempts such as this. Does the US court believe it will be able to overcome sovereignty to enforce it’s findings and rulings? Looks like another kangaroo court to me.

John William Nelson (profile) says:

This is one of the funniest things I've seen today

I first read about this on Slashdot. An article about these charges was two articles above an article about Cisco complaining to the President about how the NSA’s backdoors on its systems have hurt international sales badly.

I am so disappointed that the county and government I grew up thinking were the good guys have been behaving like the bad guys.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: This is one of the funniest things I've seen today

NSA has done several indefensible things and thanks to Snowden we know some of them. When that is said, China has been doing several of the same things and they have a far more opaque and likely more permissive legislation.

USA has lost most of the “moral lead” and in certain areas it is a moral deficit building up (the imposing of these from the “active foreign policy” is the real problem, not as much the moral itself), but there are no reasons to think other countries are squeaky clean either and no reason to hold other countries to lower standards.

Several western populations have to accept that the governments are not as morally superior as we thought they were. The time of exceptionalism is over.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re: This is one of the funniest things I've seen today

I don’t think anyone is claiming other nations are squeaky clean or are forgiving their bad behavior. The issue is that we need to prioritize things, I think. Personally, the bad behavior of my own nation takes priority over the bad behavior of other nations. In part because of ethics, and in part because of practicality. I am personally at greater risk from the US spying on me than from China doing the exact same thing.

In the end, though, the US hasn’t a leg to stand on with these issues. It’s impossible to scold other nations for doing the same thing we are doing without (rightfully) looking like hypocritical assholes.

ECA (profile) says:


is this a reason for extending CR, to ALONG TIME…
THEN getting other governments to Sign a trade agreement that admits OUR CR policy, of ALONG TIME..
So that we (not we, just corps with lots of money) can SUE them?
For OLD TECH? that is obsolete..

We did it to Canada..NAFTA gave our corps the ability to SUE the gov. of canada for a business in canada, that makes generic drugs.

Anonymous Coward says:

The Chinese have (quite reasonably) questioned how there’s a legitimate distinction between the different kinds of espionage.

Terror terror terror terror terror terror terror terror terror TERROR! terror terror terror terror terror terror terror TERROR TERROR TERROR TERROR TERROR TERROR terror terror terROR terror terror Terror! TERROR! TERRRRORRR!! TERRRRRRROOOORRRRR!!!
Terror! Terror? Terror.

(PS: terror)

Anonymous Coward says:

Historical perspective

The National Historical Park in Lowell, Massachusetts remembers and explains to new generations the stories of America’s early growth into an industrial power. While the park rightfully celebrates American ingenuity and invention, the park does not mythologize a tale that Lowell’s mills sprang, like Athena clad for war, from the brow of Zeus. Rather, as part of its mission to educate Americans in their history and culture, the park acknowledges the role played by industrial espionage.

Early American Manufacturing:

?.?.?.?After independence there were a number of unsuccessful attempts to establish textile factories. Americans needed access to the British industrial innovations, but England had passed laws forbidding the export of machinery or the emigration of those who could operate it. Nevertheless it was an English immigrant, Samuel Slater, who finally introduced British cotton technology to America.

Slater had worked his way up from apprentice to overseer in an English factory using the Arkwright system. Drawn by American bounties for the introduction of textile technology, he passed as a farmer and sailed for America with details of the Arkwright water frame committed to memory. In December 1790, working for mill owner Moses Brown, he started up the first permanent American cotton spinning mill in Pawtucket, Rhode Island.?.?.?.

Power Looms

?.?.?.?Successful power looms were in operation in England by the early 1800s, but those made in America were inadequate. Francis Cabot Lowell realized that for the United States to develop a practical power loom, it would have to borrow British technology. While visiting English textile mills, he memorized the workings of their power looms. Upon his return, he recruited master mechanic Paul Moody to help him recreate and develop what he had seen. They succeeded in adapting the British design?.?.?.?.

KRA says:

When I was thinking about Russia going into Crimea I just couldn’t muster any indignation. My country goes wherever the hell it wants and doesn’t care what anyone (including its citizens) think. This is the same thing. The line between the Chinese government and the US government is pretty blurry to me on this issue.

I agree with Fenderson–I want to see changes made here, not in China.

Andypandy says:


This should give a very clear path for every country to take the us to court and sue them for spying on them. Let the US create a president and then everyone can join in suing the US.
What a bunch of idiots, surely they must understand that China probably has more than enough evidence to prove beyond any doubt that the US has spied on them and done worse with this case ending up with the US paying billions to China and possibly to every other country the US has spied on, like most of them.
Actually the best part of this is Cisco , they could sue the US government for every penny they have and will lose in selling equipment to foreign entities.

Anonymous Coward says:

i heard that the US has used the excuse that this Chinese hacking ‘is different’! different to what, i have to ask? funny how when the shit hits the fan and splatters the USA, it is such a big deal and the other country is the worst of the worst! it could always try getting China put on to the ‘dreaded 301 list’!! my God! anything but that, please!!

Anonymous Coward says:

The DOJ is out of control and I seriously think it’s gone rogue. Between shutting down the bank accounts of legitimate businesses covered under the 2nd amendment of the US Constitution, and shutting down bank accounts of adult entertainers. Then going on to accuse the Chinese of cyber espionage after it’s been exposed that the US is doing the exact same thing to Brazilian oil companies. It all just defies logic and common sense.

The DOJ hasn’t prosecuted a single bankster for the 2008 financial crisis, yet they’re trying to prosecute military officials outside their jurisdictional authority? Absurd! The citizens of the United States would be wise to indict Eric Holder.

FM Hilton (profile) says:

Terms of usage

“It stinks of hypocrisy.”
“It’s impossible to scold other nations for doing the same thing we are doing without (rightfully) looking like hypocritical assholes.”,

Let’s get the term right:

It is hypocrisy, plain and simple.

“Do as I say, not as I do.”-mantra of the United States Government, brought to you by the NSA, the CIA and a whole host of other hypocritical lying assholes.

I bet the Chinese are having a riotous laughing fit over these charges.

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