Land of the free? Sounds more like „land of the paranoid”
This story by C|Net is another bit of information that lets my image of the USA as the „land of the free” crumble. How free can you be, if you are not allowed to use the hard- and software you choose. This sounds a lot like France, but with a different motivation.
Where France is driven by the motivation to „protect” the countries industries, companies and language, the USA are, at least in my perception, driven by by the need to control their citizens. According to a document released by the US FCC (Federal Communications Commission), „consumers are entitled to run applications and use services of their choice, subject to the needs of law enforcement.” If you know that this means, that Americans are not allowed to use software that has not support for wiretapping and that the announcement came at the same time as the FCC posted its wiretapping rules for Internet telephony, you know where that is leading. Now taking into account, that most of the software we use is coming from US-companies, you should at least rethink your software choices. Another „fun” thing was the decision by the US State Department, that Lenovo computers will only be used in unclassified and not in the embassy network.
„This decision would have had dire consequences for our national security, potentially jeopardizing our investment in a secure IT infrastructure. It is no secret that the United States is a principal target of Chinese intelligence services. I was deeply troubled to learn that the new computers were purchased from a China-based company,” Frank Wolf, a Virginia Republican, added in a statement.So where is the difference betweeen Lenovo and say, HP or Dell? All major PC companies have manufacturing in China. All major components of a PC like an Intel CPU or a Seagate harddisk are manufactured in China. Even Japanese vendors make their products in China. So either Mr. Wolf is exremely xenophobic, or there are some companies that would like to make business with the US government instead of Lenovo. Strange things happen in the land of the free.