January 19, 2019

China Versus American Privacy

“Until recently, most Americans have understood that the biggest threats to their privacy came from their own government. The FBI can compel internet companies to provide it with almost anyone’s search history; the National Security Agency can tap into the backbone of the world’s fiber-optic network. For several decades now, Big Brother has flown an American flag.

Now, with reports that the U.S. believes China is behind the breach of the Marriott Corp.’s customer database, this paradigm is beginning to change.

China’s hack of Marriott is part of a larger project. To understand it, go back to 2014, when the Marriott operation is alleged to have begun. That’s the same year China is alleged to have hacked the government’s Office of Personnel Management database, giving its intelligence ministry access to extensive files on every U.S. official with a security clearance. In early 2015 there was the Anthem insurance breach, which reportedly gave China the Social Security numbers of 80 million Americans. Now add Marriott to the list, with its database of millions of hotel guests, including credit card and passport information.”

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