Blatant US hypocrisy in accusations of Chinese hacking

Rick Falkvinge
Rick Falkvinge is the founder of the Swedish and first Pirate Party. He has been named one of the top 100 global thinkers by Foreign Policy magazine, and shortlisted as one of the world's 100 most influential people by TIME magazine.
Blatant US hypocrisy in accusations of Chinese hacking
Washington needs to clean up its own act before trying to assert the moral high ground over the Chinese for their alleged hack attacks on the US.

The United States is accusing China of trying to hack into US defense computers for espionage purposes. This claim comes across as hypocritical and posturing: For several decades, the United States has happily wiretapped every other nation's conversations whenever possible.

Under Washington’s ‘Echelon’ global wiretapping network, this includes most industrialized nations – such an obscene a violation of international trust when discovered, most didn't want to believe the Echelon program actually existed and was operational.

This network of wiretapping stations isn't just used by the United States for military purposes – it has long been asserted that it is also used to give United States industries the upper hand in purely industrial applications, in competition with its international counterparts.

In Europe, it is not enough for the United States to listen in to all conversations using the Echelon program. The US also demands information on all SWIFT bank transactions in Europe, ostensibly in the name of combating terrorism, but such information again gives US industries an upper hand in industrial espionage.

To criticize China for doing what the US has been doing to the rest of the world for decades comes across as hypocritical posturing of the worst sort, regardless of whether or not the allegations are true. But it gets worse: This alleged Chinese hacking was implied to have military connotations, and the US claimed it was a violation of "international trust."

To date, only two national powers are known to have used hacking in military applications: The United States and Israel, in their joint attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities that used malicious software of sophistication never before seen by the security community. (As a bonus, before it was discovered that the US was behind the attack, NATO used this hacking attack as a scare to ask for increased funding.)

No, what this really is about is a threat to Pax Americana – the idea that world peace is guaranteed by the United States, but only on the terms of that same United States. (We can easily observe how those terms are changed daily, and then enforced, by killer drones.)

If any other nation should gain superiority in any single field, Washington's already-overstretched capability to project military violence anywhere in the world could come crumbling down. Though the US Military spends practically as much as the rest of the industrialized world's militaries combined, this would account for little if an Achilles Heel in their dominance is allowed to develop.

Therefore, it is absolutely vital to US interests that they – and only they – get to wiretap the rest of the world and hack into their industrial interests, in order to maintain and fund a superior military, which is in turn used to maintain a peace-through-superior-firepower dominance throughout the world: The Pax Americana.

If any other nation develops such wiretapping or hacking capabilities, they would present a long-term threat to US dominance. Therefore, it comes as little surprise that Washington would criticize others it. But screaming about "violations of trust?” Those claims couldn't have rung more hollow.

That international trust was violated a long time ago, and not by the Chinese. The United States doesn't have the moral high ground, or a single leg with which to stand on it.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.