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PRISM: China to investigate IBM, Oracle and EMC following NSA snooping concerns

16 Aug 2013

Chinese authorities are planning to launch a probe investigating the security of IBM, Oracle and EMC hardware, following concerns that the NSA could be using the tech for cyber espionage purposes as part of its PRISM programme.

According to Reuters, the Chinese government-owned news outlet Shanghai Securities News revealed the plans, quoting an unnamed source as saying: "At present, thanks to their technological superiority, many of our core information technology systems are basically dominated by foreign hardware and software firms, but the Prism scandal implies security problems."

At the time of publishing, EMC had not responded to V3's request for comment and IBM had declined V3's request for comment. Oracle told V3 the company is aware of the report but declined to offer any additional comment.

The decision by China to investigate major US giants comes after the US caused a stir by moving to ban Chinese vendor Huawei due to espionage concerns, as the two nations face off over cyber issues.

The PRISM scandal broke this summer when ex-CIA analyst Edward Snowden leaked documents revealing the NSA has been siphoning vast amounts of web user data from numerous technology companies including Google, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter and Yahoo.

The scandal opened a Pandora's box of revelations with reports emerging that numerous other intelligence agencies are running similar campaigns, or used PRISM data for their own operations.

The UK is believed to be one of the worst offenders, with reports suggesting the GCHQ is collecting vast reserves of data by tapping into global telecoms cables, under an operation called Tempora.

The NSA has since moved to quell rights groups' concerns, releasing a paper claiming its agents only accessed 0.00004 percent of the world's web traffic while conducting their PRISM missions. Despite the paper, many companies remain concerned.

Most recently ex-Navy Seal and Silent Circle chief executive Mike Janke told V3 campaigns like PRISM will continue to run until governments create new legislation forbidding them.

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Alastair Stevenson

Alastair has worked as a reporter covering security and mobile issues at V3 since March 2012. Before entering the field of journalism Alastair had worked in numerous industries as both a freelance copy writer and artist.

View Alastair's Google+ profile

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