Shanghai security officers chase a CNN crew attempting to record a building at the center of hacking allegations.
A new report from US security firm Mandiant saying a secret unit of the Chinese military is behind a massive computer hacking campaign against the US. The report says a cyber division of the People's Liberation Army is responsible for the hacking and it may be operating out of a white 12-story tower in Shanghai. Foreign media companies broadcasted on the mainland like CNN are blacked out when the report was mentioned on air. This morning, Mandiant Vice President of Customer Success Grady Summers joins “Starting Point” to talk about the massive computer hacking campaign.
Summers says the report contains, “pages of evidence… including 3,000 digital indicators and actually video of the attackers doing their dirty work on victim machine.” He adds that the report is, “not a baseless casual allegation. It’s based on six years of research.”
Most of the targets were, “commercial –corporate targets,” says Summers. He adds they were, “truly who’s who of American companies. Of the 141 victims worldwide, 115 of them were in the U.S.”
Summers adds, “20 different industries were targeted by this group APT1,” including blue-chip roster companies in fields like aerospace, defense, transportation and financial services.
Some residents of Chino Hills in Southern California have been carrying signs that which say, "not in my backyard". The residents are protesting what they say is a maternity center for Chinese mothers. They claim the pregnant women pay thousands of dollars to give birth here in the U.S. so their children can gain American citizenship and the benefits that come with it, such as a better and cheaper education. It is not illegal, the 14th Amendment guarantees citizenship to all people born or naturalized in the United States. The protestors however say it is a form of birthing tourism which should not be tolerated in a residential neighborhood. Spokesperson for the group, “Not In Chino Hills" Rossana Mitchell joins “Starting Point” this morning to discuss her concern for the community regarding the maternity hotel operation.
Mitchell who is also a candidate for city council in the neighborhood says there was a three to four month long investigation into the whereabouts of the townhouse by a detective from the Chino Hills police. Originally police were concerned about the possibilities of human trafficking but the investigation later concluded the townhouse was being used as a hotel for pregnant women.
On the topic of the 14th Amendment, Mitchell went on to say “apparently there’s a loophole, where you can have a U.S. born baby and get dual citizenship and essentially fly back to your country and … then get all the benefits that we get as U.S. citizens.” Mitchell adds that “they are buying their U.S. citizenship and these types of businesses are promoting that” through websites.
Mitchell says although a letter was sent to the hotel from the city council, members of her organization and other protestors “don’t know how long this process is going to take.” Mitchell adds her ultimate goal is to pressure the person running the business and inform him “we don’t want this here in Chino Hills. We’re a family oriented community. We welcome everyone who wants to be here, raise their families and be part of our community but this type of behavior we’re not going to condone.”
This morning, the Chinese government announced that activist Chen Guangcheng could apply to travel to the United States to study, a development that was seen as an encouraging sign of progress in a controversial diplomatic standoff between the two countries.
"I think the way is now open to resolving this crisis," says Jerome Cohen, a friend of Chen Guangcheng who is the co-director of NYU School of Law's U.S.-Asia Law Institute.
Cohen sat down with Soledad O'Brien on Starting Point this morning to discuss his correspondence with Chen over the past few days and to weigh in on the latest development in the activist's case.
"This is a very quiet, low key Chinese solution to the problem," Cohen explains. "We can now go ahead and resolve the issue and put it behind us... We hope we'll see Chen and his family in the U.S. in the near future."
A tense and sensitive diplomatic drama is unfolding in China this morning over the fate of Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng, who left the protection of the U.S. embassy in Beijing yesterday after the State Department brokered a deal with Chinese authorities over his future.
Chen now says that he regrets leaving the refuge of the agency and wants U.S. officials to help get him and his family to the United States.
Reggie Littlejohn, Women's Rights Without Frontiers president, has been leading the international effort to free Chen and she tells Soledad O'Brien this morning that she thinks that the U.S. needs to grant Chen and his family political asylum.
Littlejohn is critical of how the State Department has handled the issue, arguing that the "U.S. government wanted to get rid of the issue so that they could focus on trade talks," which began yesterday. As a result, Littlejohn claims that the U.S. has lost "a golden opportunity to be a knight in shining armor and bring Chen to safety."
Regarding the potential repercussions of this diplomatic showdown, Littlejohn asserts that the American government has "let down the entire nation of China" and caused "significant damage" to the United States' relationship with the Chinese people.
A shocking and daring escape of an activist in China could create big fallout in our relationship with China.
Blind Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng evaded layers of guards after 18 months under house arrest, and reportedly made his way 370 miles northwest to the U.S. Embassy in Beijing. This comes just days before Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner are expected in the Chinese capitol for long-planned economic and strategic talks.
Neither the Obama Administration nor the Chinese government have confirmed Chen Guangcheng's whereabouts, but a former senior China analyst at the CIA says "This is the greatest test in bilateral relations in years, probably going back to '89." And 1989 of course was when Tiananmen Square unfolded.
This morning on "Starting Point with Soledad O'Brien," author and Forbes.com columnist Gordon Chang explains why the Chen Guangcheng scandal could affect U.S./China talks, even though it shouldn't.
Boston University's Kevin Gallagher explains the recent rise in investment by Chinese development banks.
Gordon Chang, author of "The Coming Collapse of China," discusses China's economic challenges with the Starting Point panel and weighs in on the success of Obama's foreign policy approach with the country.
Starting Point airs weekdays from 7am to 9am ET on CNN. Check in often to join the daily conversation.