Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Not keeping an eye on anything

A Chinese company with ties to Beijing's military and past links to Saddam Hussein's army in Iraq and the Taliban will gain access to U.S. defense-network technology under a proposed merger, Pentagon officials say.

Huawei Technologies will merge with the Massachusetts-based 3Com network-equipment manufacturer in a deal announced last week. Huawei has been linked to the U.N. oil-for-food scandal, which involved millions of dollars in payoffs to Saddam's regime during a time of U.N. sanctions.

The announced merger follows a July computer attack on the Pentagon that U.S. intelligence officials say involved Chinese military hackers. The hackers were detected breaking into Pentagon computers, including an e-mail system close to Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates.

"Huawei is up to its eyeballs with the Chinese military," said a defense official concerned about the deal. Huawei was founded in 1988 by a Chinese military officer and got its start building military communications networks.
3Com, through a subsidiary, provides the Pentagon and the Army with intrusion-detection equipment, and the merger potentially will provide Huawei access to strategic computer-network vulnerabilities, said defense officials speaking on the condition of anonymity.
...and I thought "MIRVs for China" was bad.

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