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Self-interest spurred US spook community to hype up smears of China cyber threat: China Daily editorial

chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2024-07-09 19:01


Despite being the world's leading source of cyberattacks and the biggest threat to cybersecurity globally, the United States launched a smear campaign against China earlier this year, accusing it of conducting hacking activities targeting the US and other Western countries.

Out of ulterior political motives, US government departments, such as the National Security Agency and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, spread the lie that a China-backed hacking group known as Volt Typhoon was working to compromise cyber infrastructure at ports, utilities and internet service providers in the US and other Western countries.

"Today, and literally every day, they're actively attacking our economic security, engaging in wholesale theft of our innovation, and our personal and corporate data," FBI Director Christopher Wray scare-mongered in a House committee hearing early this year.

But the so-called Volt Typhoon cyber threat narrative is nothing but a US campaign of misinformation and public opinion manipulation aimed at slinging mud at China. Having conducted an investigation, China has found that Volt Typhoon is actually a ransomware cybercriminal group that has nothing to do with the country.

The hyping up of a "cyber threat from China" by US intelligence agencies was actually intended to push for the reauthorization of Section 702 of the US Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, according to the findings of an investigation by China's National Computer Virus Emergency Response Center and other technical teams.

On April 19, the day when Section 702 was set to expire, the US Senate approved its reauthorization with a vote of 60-34, with President Joe Biden subsequently signing it into law.

The reauthorization indicates that it is the US, rather than any other country, that is the world's largest "surveillance empire". The act allows the US government to continue collecting the communications of non-Americans located outside the country without a warrant for another two years.

The law, which also permits the incidental collection of data of US citizens without a warrant, is a de facto license to snoop. Abusing its technological hegemony, the US is carrying out large-scale, indiscriminate surveillance and espionage activities globally in the guise of safeguarding national security.

China has repeatedly been the victim of cyberattacks by the US. From May 2023 to January 2024, Chinese government entities, academies, scientific research institutes, enterprises and critical infrastructures had recorded more than 45 million cyberattacks from US government-backed hacking organizations, according to the latest findings.

The US is actually staging a farce of "a thief crying 'stop the thief'" by fabricating false narratives of so-called China-sponsored cyberattacks, which will only further strain Sino-US relations.

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