U.S. opens door to Chinese investors

The United States faces a massive US$8 trillion infrastructure investment bill, and is courting Chinese investors since many of its own local governments are in financial difficulties, according to a US Chamber of Commerce report.

“The US is poised to undertake the most significant expansion and modernisation of its infrastructure since the 1950s,” the chamber said in its report.

“This is taking place in the context of significant pressure on federal and local budgets. The pressing need for capital to modernise US infrastructure is creating substantial new opportunities for Chinese investors.” Continue reading

Why Approving Permanent Normal Trade Relations with Russia Is in the U.S. National Interest

With or without consent of the governed and without study of the ramifications such as further dual use technology theft. As mentioned in a previous post, the US Department of Commerce is where China acquired 600 supercomputers from through the Clinton administration giving it the “great technology leap forward”.

Approval of Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) with Russia is the U.S. Chamber’s top trade priority before the Congress this year. The Chamber is working as part of the Coalition for U.S.-Russia Trade to reach this objective.

On December 16, 2011, trade ministers at the 8th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO) celebrated the conclusion of 18 years of negotiations for Russia to accede to the WTO and invited Russia to become the organization’s 154th member. In those negotiations, which took place under both Republican and Democratic administrations, Russia committed to enact a host of reforms, and Moscow is expected to complete this work and formally join the WTO in July 2012.

That Russia will join the WTO is no longer in doubt. In fact, at this juncture, the United States can neither help nor hinder Russia in doing so. However, Congress must act to ensure that the United States benefits from the reforms Russia is undertaking as it joins the WTO. Specifically, Congress must pass a short and simple bill that grants Russia PNTR status and repeals the Jackson-Vanik amendment with respect to Russia. Failure to do so will put U.S. workers, farmers, and businesses at a unique disadvantage in the growing Russian marketplace and drive new sales, exports, and job-creation opportunities to our European and Asian competitors.

Full article: Why Approving Permanent Normal Trade Relations with Russia Is in the U.S. National Interest (The US Chamber of Commerce)

Chinese hackers took over NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab, Inspector General reveals

As mentioned in a previous post where it was detailed that the US water system was under attack, this should not come as a surprise. It should also not come as a surprise that the power grid has been compromised, satellites have been compromised, the US Chamber of Commerce has been compromised, to name a few. There is a more lengthy history than what was mentioned dating back to the 1990’s and possibly during the 1980’s. You’d think this normally would raise alarm bells with the average citizen, but it doesn’t. All in all, the real issue at hand is the lack of preparation(s) by the US government in preventing another assault. Should some event such as the national power grid going offline happen, we are simply not prepared.

Chinese hackers gained control over NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in November, which could have allowed them delete sensitive files, add user accounts to mission-critical systems, upload hacking tools, and more — all at a central repository of U.S. space technology, according to a report released Wednesday afternoon by the Office of the Inspector General.

That report revealed scant details of an ongoing investigation into the incident against the Pasadena, Calif., lab, noting only that cyberattacks against the JPL involved Chinese-based Internet Protocol (IP) addresses.

Paul K. Martin, NASA’s inspector general, put his conclusions bluntly.

“The attackers had full functional control over these networks,” he wrote.

JPL is a jewel in NASA’s space technology crown.

“In 2010 and 2011, NASA reported 5,408 computer security incidents that resulted in the installation of malicious software on or unauthorized access to its systems,” his report states. “These incidents spanned a wide continuum from individuals testing their skill to break into NASA systems, to well-organized criminal enterprises hacking for profit.”

Other incidents “may have been sponsored by foreign intelligence services seeking to further their countries’ objectives,” he noted.

Full article: Chinese hackers took over NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab, Inspector General reveals (Fox News)