Monday, November 28, 2011

Tips for Visiting a Closed Society with Your Electronics

Ken Lieberthal of the Brookings Institution does a lot of work in China. Visiting about 10 times a year...

Like a lot of us these days, Lieberthal carries electronics with him to do his work. However, he takes a bit more precaution than many business travelers, as he tells weekends on All Things Considered guest host Rachel Martin.

"I first of all get a loaner laptop."
"I first of all get a loaner laptop. And the USB that I bring, I clean digitally before I bring it, so it's totally blank," Lieberthal says.

Lieberthal then disconnects the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth functions, sets email filters and a virtual private network, or VPN. That's all before the trip. While in China, he never lets his Blackberry leave his side, never uses a wireless Internet connection while he has his USB drive plugged in, and he also physically hides his fingers when typing passwords.

When he gets home, everything gets digitally wiped and cleaned.
Why take all this precaution? Espionage...

The cloak-and-dagger world of corporate espionage is alive and well, and China seems to have the advantage. Their cyber-espionage program is becoming more and more effective at swiping information from America's public and private sectors. The U.S. government has even blamed China publicly for hacking American industries. (more) 

Visiting closed societies on business? 
This is good advice.
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