Electronic Surveillance Abroad: ‘Sophisticated and Pervasive’

Travel Blog  •  Michael Yessis  •  09.27.11 | 5:16 PM ET

Also: A little scary. Ellen Nakashima and William Wan illuminate the conditions business travelers and government officials are presumed to face when traveling to China and some other countries. From the Washington Post:

Security experts also warn about Russia, Israel and even France, which in the 1990s reportedly bugged first-class airplane cabins to capture business travelers’ conversations. Many other countries, including the United States, spy on one another for national security purposes.

But China’s brazen use of ­cyber-espionage stands out because the focus is often corporate, part of a broader government strategy to help develop the country’s economy, according to experts who advise American businesses and government agencies.

“I’ve been told that if you use an iPhone or BlackBerry, everything on it—contacts, calendar, e-mails—can be downloaded in a second. All it takes is someone sitting near you on a subway waiting for you to turn it on, and they’ve got it,” said Kenneth Lieberthal, a former senior White House official for Asia who is at the Brookings Institution.

One anonymous security expert buys a new iPad when s/he visits China, then never uses it again.

1 Comment for Electronic Surveillance Abroad: ‘Sophisticated and Pervasive’

Davis 09.28.11 | 1:35 PM ET

Yet another good reason for using a written journal.

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