Tue, Jan 13, 2009 - Page 2 News List

Army’s purchase of PCs from China raises fears

‘SLACK’More than 50 notebook computers were purchased from Dell’s China agent, a move that broke the rule against purchasing China-made equipment

By Rich Chang  /  STAFF REPORTER

A Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislator said yesterday the Army was using notebook computers made in China, which increased the risk that classified information could be leaked.

DPP Legislator Gao Jyh-peng (高志鵬) told a press conference that the Army had recently opened public bids for computer equipment, including 51 US Dell D630 notebook computers. He said the company that won the bid did not buy the notebooks from the Dell agent in Taiwan, but rather procured them from China and that Dell’s Chinese agent was responsible for servicing the notebooks.

“Before [this], police and government purchase projects all excluded Chinese-made computer products for security concerns. Now the Army has violated the regulations,” Gao said.

He said a report by the Mainland Affairs Council showed that China had recently completed an electronics communication security project known as “Project Golden Shield,” which, aside from its military applications, enables the government to monitor the public’s electronic communication activities.

“As a result of the Chinese government’s intimidation and seduction campaign, foreign companies could allow the Chinese to put hardware or software, such as Trojan horses, into computers to gather military secrets,” Gao said.

“Confidential information may have been leaked to China via those computers,” he said.

The lawmaker said that since President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) had begun advocating a “truce” between Taiwan and China, the military had become “slack.”

The latest incident showed that the military’s procurement and examination systems were flawed, Gao said, adding he had asked the Army to immediately stop using the computers and to launch an investigation against the military officials in charge of the procurement.

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