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Lenovo in spy probe

Cold War II
Fri Mar 31 2006, 08:59
THE US government is probing the Chinese outfit that bought IBM over fears that it might be packing its computers full of spyware.

US-China Economic Security Review Commission (USCC) has ordered that Lenovo be probed after the US government signed a $13 million deal to buy computers from the outfit.

USCC is worried that since the computers are made in China, the company could be forced by the Chinese government to install spyware in them. Analysts say that the probes were some of the dumbest bits of US paranoia seen since the Cold War.

Under IBM, most PCs were built in China or Taiwan. The same applies to the component industry which supplies most US computers.

If Lenovo was found out in any spying case it could kiss its huge international business good-bye. It would also be too high profile a scheme for the Chinese spymasters to risk being involved in. Discovery would damage China's huge outsourcing industry too.

However, as the Daily Tech points out, the move could be a bit ominous for US companies such as Intel, which have large outsourcing operations in foreign parts. Being slapped with a USCC probe is at best irritating and at worse crippling. µ


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