State Department orders, then bans, laptops

I don’t know if this is funny or sad. The U.S. State Department ordered 16,000 Lenovo laptops, only to decide it should quarantine them for fear that their Chinese manufacturers loaded them with spyware. As I sit here typing this on a Lenovo laptop, I wonder who in China might be monitoring my every keystroke.

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  • It is not invalid to assume that Chinese companies (even those out of HK like Lenovo) will do Beijing’s bidding. However, wouldn’t it be really easy to discovery anything in the computers that allows tracking back? Or is the fear not so much that there’s a software bug, but rather that there is a listening bug? If I knew more about the technical side I would be much better positioned to determine whether this is political or not.

  • yclipse

    What is particularly depressing and somewhat frightening about this is the assumption that, among the thousands of employees of the State Department, there is no one with the technical chops to look and see whether they do include anything of concern.