Nearly 15 percent of the world’s Internet traffic — including data from the Pentagon, the office of Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and other U.S. government websites — was briefly redirected through computer servers in China last April, according to a congressional commission report obtained by the Washington Times.
It was immediately unclear whether the incident was deliberate, but the April 18 redirection could have enabled malicious activities and potentially caused an unintended “diversion of data” from many U.S. government, military and commercial websites, the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission states in a report to Congress.
A draft copy of the report, which was viewed by the Washington Times, is to be released on Wednesday, and states that .gov and .mil websites were affected by the redirection, including websites for the Senate, all four military services, the office of the Secretary of Defense, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and “many others,” including websites for firms like Dell, Yahoo, IBM and Microsoft.
“Evidence related to this incident does not clearly indicate whether it was perpetrated intentionally and, if so, to what ends,” the report reads. “Regardless of whether Chinese actors actually intended to manipulate U.S. and other foreign Internet traffic, China’s Internet engineers have the capability to do so.”
The report also notes, according to the Washington Times, that China has a history of “malicious computer activities” that “raise questions about whether China might seek intentionally to leverage these abilities to assert some level of control over the Internet, even for a brief period.”
Citing a “networked authoritarianism,” the report noted China’s considerable control over the Internet inside the country. Google recently issued a call to Western governments, including the United States, to challenge Internet censorship as a restraint on global trade.
(Source: Fox News)