“Chinese authorities are quietly scrutinizing technology products sold in China by Apple and other big foreign companies, focusing on whether they pose potential security threats to the country and its consumers and opening up a new front in an already tense relationship with Washington over digital security,” Paul Mozur and Jane Perlez report for The New York Times.

“Apple and other companies in recent months have been subjected to reviews that target encryption and the data storage of tech products, said people briefed on the reviews who spoke on the condition of anonymity. In the reviews, Chinese officials require executives or employees of the foreign tech companies to answer questions about the products in person, according to these people,” Mozur and Perlez report. “The reviews are run by a committee associated with the Cyberspace Administration of China, the country’s Internet control bureau, they said. The bureau includes experts and engineers with ties to the country’s military and security agencies.”

“Because Chinese officials have not disclosed the nature of the checks, both the United States government and American tech companies fear that the reviews could be used to extract tech knowledge as well as ensure that the United States was not using the products to spy,” Mozur and Perlez report. “Ultimately, the reviews could be used to block products without explanation or to extract trade secrets in exchange for market access. Those secrets could be leaked to Chinese competitors or expose vulnerabilities, which, in turn, Chinese hackers could exploit.”

“There is no indication that foreign companies have provided access to highly guarded material such as source code,” Mozur and Perlez report. “In a congressional hearing last month, Apple’s general counsel, Bruce Sewell, said the Chinese government had asked the company to share source code in the last two years but that Apple had refused.”

Much more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The fallout from the Snowden bombs continues to rain down.

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