Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI), the House Intelligence Committee Chairman, claims the Chinese are spying on nearly every sector of America’s economy.
Rogers told NBC’s “Rock Center” the Chinese have tried to obtain everything from “blueprints for the next generation of auto parts” to “formulas for pesticides and pharmaceuticals.”
“Everything you can possibly imagine we have seen the Chinese make a concerted effort to steal that information and use it for their own economic advantage,” Rogers said.
General Michael Hayden, the former head of the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Agency, told the network that the Chinese were “stealing American wealth” and “American jobs.”
“It’s stealing American competitive advantage,” Hayden said.
A former employee from Nortel explained to “Rock Center” how he once suspected hackers from Shanghai, China were hacking into Nortel’s computer systems to download sensitive documents.
The former employee noted that after the suspicious attacks, Nortel started to lose market share while Huawei, a Chinese telecommunications company analysts believe the Chinese government could use to steal U.S. secrets, began to grow. He believes “Nortel went under as a result of spying by companies like Huawei.”
The House Intelligence Committee on Monday released a report that warned U.S. companies about the dangers of doing business with companies like Huawei. Rogers said U.S. business that use Huawei for telecommunication services could be putting their enterprises, the privacy of their customers, and U.S. national security at risk.
Chinese government officials and Huawei denied to “Rock Center” they were doing anything illegal, and former Nortel executives said they never found firm proof the Chinese were behind the company’s security breaches.
Huawei told “Rock Center” the company has had an “upstanding” record for 25 years.
Rogers, though, has seen enough evidence to believe the White House should make “Chinese cyber espionage” its top priority.