Thursday, September 13, 2007, 9/13/2007 03:03:00 PM

New Zealand Points Finger (Sort Of) At China For Stealing State Secrets - China Responds "We're Getting Ripped Off Too"

By Todd
The New Zealand Herald is reporting that Prime Minister Helen Clark moved yesterday to deflect finger-pointing away from China after an admission by New Zealand spymaster Warren Tucker that foreign Governments had hacked into state computer systems in this country.

China itself cried foul yesterday, claiming it was the victim of massive losses of state and military secrets through internet spying.

Mr Tucker made the admission in an interview last week in the context of reports linking China to hacking of Government computers in the US, Britain, Germany and Canada.

US President George W. Bush hinted that he was going to raise the issue with Chinese President Hu Jintao at Apec in Sydney last week but did not directly accuse China.

Mr Tucker is the director of the Security Intelligence Service and the former director of the Government Communications Security Bureau, which is New Zealand's international intelligence gathering agency, and protector of information.

Helen Clark said yesterday that she had not been given warning of what Mr Tucker had been going to say but was "quite relaxed about it".

She has said no classified information has been stolen but she refuses to identify nations suspected or departments targeted.

It is understood there is no connection to the free trade agreement negotiations with China.

Green MP Keith Locke asked in Parliament if the talks could continue "if the Chinese Government is hacking into our computers and stealing information relevant to our bargaining position".

Helen Clark said: "The New Zealand Government has made no such allegation about China."

Trade Minister Phil Goff yesterday played down any suggestion that information sensitive to the free trade negotiations has been hacked.

"All Governments anticipate that other parties will try to break into their security systems and trade systems," he said.

"I have no particular target in mind when I talk about that."

He suggested there would not be much point in hacking over trade negotiations.

Meanwhile, Reuters reported China's Vice-Minister of Information Industry, Lou Qinjian, as saying China had suffered "massive" and "shocking" losses of state and military secrets through the internet.

A Chinese Embassy spokesman referred the Herald to comments made last week by a Foreign Ministry spokesman when asked about hacking in Germany which said: "The Chinese Government has always opposed and forbidden any criminal acts under-mining computer systems including hacking. Hacking is an international issue and China is a frequent victim."

WHAT THEY SAID"All Governments anticipate that other parties will try to break into their security systems and trade systems - I have no particular target in mind when I talk about that." Trade Minister Phil Goff

"The Chinese Government has always opposed and forbidden any criminal acts undermining computer systems including hacking." a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

back to top