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A post-Snowden US had better not SQUEAL about Chinese cyber-spying

Some countries spy. Get over it, says ex-Marine

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RSA Europe 2013 The US can't complain about Chinese cyber-espionage in the wake of the ongoing revelations from Edward Snowden, according to a leading US cyber-intelligence expert.

Bill Hagestad, a US Marine Corps lieutenant colonel turned cyber conflict author and researcher, takes the view that all countries spy electronically and we should just "get over it".

"China is becoming an economic powerhouse and its strategy of stealing intellectual property is contributing to this," Hagestad told El Reg. "However, it was the US that first militarised cyber-space by creating a Cyber Command, so it's no surprise that China followed with its own version – or that Russia and Iran followed afterwards."

During the RSA Conference in Amsterdam this week, Hagestad presented a session featuring a comparative analysis of Chinese, Russian and Iranian cyber-capabilities. All three countries share the common aim of maintaining their cultural identity and protecting against so-called Western influence in cyberspace.

Hagestad's presentation (PDF, 91 pages) took place on Wednesday, a day before US Secretary of State John Kerry admitted the US might have overreached in aspects of its dragnet surveillance programme.

Although he didn't go into specifics, Kerry is the first to admit that aspects of the strategy were counterproductive, though he did defend electronic surveillance as being vital in the fight against terrorism. ®

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