JUNE 11, 2008
Two federal lawmakers, who are known critics of China’s human rights record, say their government computers have for years been hacked by sources working out of China and the U.S. government has discouraged them from making it public.
The two members of the House of Representatives, Virginia Republican Frank Wolf and New Jersey Republican Chris Smith, say that a total of at least six Capitol Hill computers have been compromised by China’s communist regime since 2006. They contained information about political dissidents from around the world, according to the lawmakers.
Additionally, a computer at a House committee was also hacked and possibly other House computers as well as some in the Senate. Rep. Wolf, a member of the powerful House Appropriations Committee who has referred to Chinese spying efforts as frightening, points out that other members of Congress have probably had their computers compromised and they may not even know it.
Serving his 14th term in Congress, the veteran legislator said high-ranking officials inside the U.S. government have prevented him from publicly discussing the serious violation. He disclosed the alarming information this week because he plans to introduce a resolution to protect all House computers and information systems.
In a separate case involving Chinese espionage, the U.S. government is investigating whether Chinese officials secretly copied the contents of a government laptop computer during a visit to China by Commerce Secretary Carols Gutierrez and used the data to hack into the agency’s computers.
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