Has China been protecting its citizens and companies all along?
The recent revelations regarding PRISM are very interesting. They are also confirmation of what has always been suspected. The US government routinely monitors and spies on all traffic that flows through its large national companies and across the basic infrastructure of the internet. So much of which is based in the USA.
So what do they use this information for? Protecting their national interests. And, in a country that has a government so entangled with corporate interest, national interest includes their business interests.
This stuff has always been hinted at. In 2011 Reuters reported:
The NSA's work with Wall Street marks a milestone in the agency's efforts to make its cyber intelligence available more broadly to the private sector.
When you think about this in relation to the great firewall of China it becomes possible to see their construction as both being about keeping information out of China and keeping information safely inside China.
If the price for using a free internet service (facebook, google, yahoo, twitter), or even routing traffic through the US, is that the US government can access your data and use it to provide a competitive advantage to US companies it seems that China has decided the price is too high.
It may turn out to have been an extremely pragmatic decision. One that Europe could have to make eventually as well.Follow @hanseldunlop