People tour the National Mall in Washington, D.C., the United States, Nov. 25, 2020. (Photo by Ting Shen/Xinhua)
BEIJING, Jan. 6 (Xinhua) -- A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson has refuted claims made by the U.S. State Department in a tweet about the so-called "Clean Network," describing them as absurd and hypocritical.
Spokesperson Hua Chunying made the remarks on Wednesday in response to the tweet posted the day before which said the "Clean Network" now includes 180 telecommunications companies and dozens of leading high-tech companies, and "the tide is turning against Huawei and other surveillance tools of the Chinese Communist Party."
"Although the United States continues to attack Huawei, no country or company has provided any evidence to prove that Huawei's products pose a threat to them," Hua told a daily news briefing.
The U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) has long forced some operators, such as AT&T, to provide them with data, Hua said, adding that more than a decade ago, the NSA had used fake base stations named Dirtbox in wiretapping projects such as the Boundless Informant, so as to secretly steal data from mobile phones. As French newspaper Le Monde reported, thanks to Dirtbox, data from 62.5 million phones was collected by the United States in France.
Leaked documents of PRISM revealed that the United States sees apps as "data mines" and has used APPs to mine intelligence data for years. Under pressure, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Skype, Google Maps and even Angry Birds were forced to cooperate with the NSA.
As revealed by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, the NSA and intelligence agencies of other Five Eyes countries initiated Project Irritant Horn, which hijacks the Play Store to implant spyware on target smartphones or exploit loopholes. With this program, the Five Eyes managed to steal massive amounts of data.
The Washington Post exposed that the NSA, along with the Government Communications Headquarters of Britain, launched a surveillance program called Muscular to frequently break into the cloud servers of Google and Yahoo. They even went so far as to intercept data and direct it to the agencies' own database. This was how hundreds of millions of personal information records were collected.
Snowden exposed a program codenamed Staterooms, under which the United States installed surveillance equipment in around 100 embassies and consulates abroad for the purpose of spying, Hua said.
She quoted an article titled the Filthy Hypocrisy of America's "Clean" China-Free Internet, published on a U.S. website, as saying that "the State Department has a new vision for a 'clean' internet, by which it means a China-free internet."
"Faced with these publicly reported facts, doesn't the U.S. State Department want to give any explanation?" Hua asked. ■