First it was preventing a Chinese company
buying a US oil firm Unocal ( “we all
want to keep the price gouging for ourselves”), then it was the Dubai Ports
blockade (“you just can’t trust Arabs or Muslims – and those guys are both”)
and now there’s a US Government body trying to stop a Chinese company selling
computers to the State Department.

Reds under the lap tops, spies in the
software. Do you know that if you type the letters I, E, M, M, O and C on one
of those Chinese computers, it spells out “commie” backwards? Give a body a name like the US-China
Economic and Security Review Commission and that’s what it will try to do. That
might belatedly teach Lenovo to buy IBM’s PC business, but how did they let a
security breach like that occur in the first place?

The BBC has the story, including Lenovo’s denials of any espionage intent in the 15,000
machine contract. The USCESRC not withstanding, if you ever
want a great example of globalisation at work, this is it – the PCs are
assembled in Mexico and North Carolina, the mother boards are made in Taiwan,
the chips and bits on the boards could come from half a dozen other countries
and they’ll be running software written or maintained in another half dozen.
And it’s all brought together by a mainland Chinese corporation to sell to a US
Government Department.

Of course there’s no danger even if the
Reds did manage to tap into the inner workings of Condi Rice’s department –
there’s little chance their secrets are more comprehensible than their
announced policies.

Peter Fray

FINAL HOURS: Save up to 50% on a year of Crikey

This extraordinary year is almost at an end. But we know that time waits for no one, and we won’t either. This is the time to get on board with Crikey.

Subscribe before midnight tonight and choose what you pay for a year of Crikey.

Save up to 50% or dig deeper so we can dig deeper.

See you in 2021.

Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

SAVE 50%