Chinese state media wants Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) to be ‘severely punished’ for monitoring China and stealing secrets.
The news coincides with today’s 25th anniversary of the 1989 crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators around Beijing’s Tiananmen Square.
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Apple, Google and other firms pose cyber-security threat
Citing security analysts, China Daily indicated foreign technology services providers such as Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) can become cyber-security threats to Chinese users. According to Wan Tao, founder of Intelligence Defense Friends Laboratory, an independent institution focusing on cyber-security in China, other major tech firms such as Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO), Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO), Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), were required by the U.S. National Security Agency to transfer their users’ information.
Earlier this week, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) was reportedly blocked in China as the country approached the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square uprising.
According to a Reuters report, the government claims U.S. tech companies threaten the cyber-security of China and its Internet users. The report cited the People’s Daily on its microblog, in comments echoed on the front page of the English-language China Daily.
PRISM program monitors China
An excerpt from the People’s Daily reads: “U.S. companies including Apple, Microsoft, Google, Facebook, etc. are all coordinating with the PRISM program to monitor China… To resist the naked Internet hegemony, we will draw up international regulations, and strengthen technology safeguards, but we will also severely punish the pawns of the villain.”
However, it isn’t clear what sparked this latest round of vitriol, nor what information the U.S. firms are alleged to have stolen. But Chinese media have repeatedly attacked American tech companies for aiding the U.S. government’s cyber espionage since U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden revealed widespread spying programs including PRISM.
According to revelations made by Snowden a year ago, under PRISM, the NSA seized data from companies such as Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL).
In its official microblog, the People’s Daily said: “The priority is strengthening penalties and punishments, and for anyone who steals our information, even though they are far away, we shall punish them!”