It's a strange and troubling news story: on April 8th of this year, an estimated fifteen percent of all web traffic was "hijacked" and routed through China, including military and government domains.
A lengthy new congressional report on U.S.-China relations details two major Internet security events that saw Chinese data policies and practices ripple beyond the border to affect users in other countries, including the United States.
The more alarming event came in April, when the state-owned China Telecom managed to redirect foreign Internet traffic through Chinese servers. As a result, for a brief period on April 8, about 15 percent of the world's Internet traffic, including large portions of government and military transmissions, were "hijacked" and rerouted to Chinese servers, according to the new report from the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission.
"Although the Commission has no way to determine what, if anything, Chinese telecommunications firms did to the hijacked data, incidents of this nature could have a number of serious implications," the study's authors wrote. "This level of access could enable surveillance of specific users or sites."
That's right, now that they had access, they could be continuing to surveil military and government communications. Great. We worry about the "national security threat" posed by Wikileaks revealing information about things we've already done, how about the threats posed by the Chinese knowing what we plan to do in the future? Of course, "experts" are playing down the threat as is the Chinese telecom company involved.