[LINK] travelling electronically nekid

Jan Whitaker jwhit at janwhitaker.com
Wed Feb 15 16:48:04 AEDT 2012

Escape Chinese Espionage, You Must Travel "Electronically Naked"

If you carry classified government information or trade secrets as 
part of your job, traveling in China is risky. Hackers, whether 
affiliated with the government, on the payroll of competing 
companies, or operating alone, 
a constant threat, and you generally have to assume that you are 
never unobserved online. But 
piece in the 
York Times makes it exceedingly clear just how far one has to go to 
get even a measure of electronic privacy and security in China:

When Kenneth G. Lieberthal, a China expert at the Brookings 
Institution, travels to that country, he follows a routine that seems 
straight from a spy film. Kenneth G. Lieberthal of the Brookings 
Institution takes precautions while traveling. He leaves his 
cellphone and laptop at home and instead brings "loaner" devices, 
which he erases before he leaves the United States and wipes clean 
the minute he returns. In China, he disables Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, 
never lets his phone out of his sight and, in meetings, not only 
turns off his phone but also removes the battery, for fear his 
microphone could be turned on remotely. He connects to the Internet 
only through an encrypted, password-protected channel, and copies and 
pastes his password from a USB thumb drive. He never types in a 
password directly, because, he said, "the Chinese are very good at 
installing key-logging software on your laptop."

This is a philosophy that Representative Mike Rogers, chairman of the 
House Intelligence Committee, calls traveling "electronically naked"; 
Jacob Olcott, a cybersecurity expert at Good Harbor Consulting, calls 
it 'Business 101' for people involved in commerce in China. Read the 
piece for more, but here's one more nugget that emphasizes how 
dangerous, in terms of information security, it is to have any 
contact at all with Chinese systems:

McAfee, the security company, said that if any employee's device was 
inspected at the Chinese border, it could never be plugged into 
McAfee's network again. Ever. "We just wouldn't take the risk," said 
Simon Hunt, a vice president.

more at NYT.

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
jwhit at janwhitaker.com
blog: http://janwhitaker.com/jansblog/
business: http://www.janwhitaker.com

Our truest response to the irrationality of the world is to paint or 
sing or write, for only in such response do we find truth.
~Madeline L'Engle, writer

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