Senate Primary Candidate Tom Campbell: “I am a vigilant protector of privacy over the internet”

For weeks now, we’ve reached out to all the candidates from both sides in the uber-important race for Barbara Boxer’s Senate seat, and also to the Republican primary candidates for the Governor’s race.  We’ve used all our social networking tools to boot.  No Democratic candidates for the governor’s race have been made official, but we surely welcome all in these vital races for the technology industry and for the state where we reside.  Finally, the never-sheepish Silicon Valley veteran, Congressman Tom Campbell, who is leading former HP leader Carly Fiorino, by a wide margin, has stepped up to the plate and voiced his support for the privacy issues of all Americans.
Here is what we asked Congressman Campbell:
    "We feel China is a focal point for both California and Silicon Valley.  Our community is Silicon Valley and its workers and leaders all over the state and country.  We want to know your feelings about the way the last two administrations have dealt with China and we hope to learn a new direction with the stakes so high.  What do you feel the stakes are and what would you do differently about the Google issues, technology trade issues and how do we build better lines of communications as most business people are not happy with the way we are dealing with the security issues or the trade issues."
We included those links to the articles we have published on the topic which include the many links to what the industry has said, as well as, the articles we have found from China.  Those include: ; ; .
Here is the response we received today from Congressman Campbell: 
    "Google’s security breach that occurred in China is outrageous.  Apparently authored by China, or at least agencies supported by the Chinese government.  I would vote for sanctions against China if Google or any other Internet/technology company continues to be attacked.  China has to know we’re serious.

     "In case you were not aware, I was one of the very first Congressmen to support the strongest protections of internet privacy. Please check with the founders of the on-line privacy organizations on this. No information should be shared without the explicit permission of the individual; that means opt-in not opt-out. 

     "I am a vigilant protector of privacy over the internet, and oppose searches and seizures without a warrant, except in the most special circumstances of imminent threat."

Our response to this is that we have been following and serving the security global security markets since we began this company in 1998.  The bottom line is, China has suffered attacks from the very same incursion.  Furthermore, there simply isn’t any definitive way to determine if in fact the attacks came from China, and we have no definitive evidence their government is responsible.  It is possible individuals inside China were responsible, and it is also possible technology was used that was developed by individuals inside China to cause this incursion.  However, one thing we do know is that it is just as likely to have happened in some other place.  This is why we wanted to first examine motive in this as it doesn’t add up.

If it was the government responsible, why would they have hit their own sites?  They surely suffered a worse fate economically than our businesses.  The implication is that Google technology secrets, namely their coveted "algorithms," were stolen.  It is possible but in spite of all the accusations, no one in security believes it can be proven.
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More importantly, we believe the stakes are very high and we believe that before we go lashing out at the hand that is ostensibly feeding our economy, we ought to have more than the usual accusations.  It’s terrific that Campbell is on record as our "protector of privacy" but it is equally important that we consider all the facts and the players before rushing to judgment and sabotaging the most important trading partner we have.
Kudos and many thanks to Tom Campbell for his response and we hope the channel opens wider so we can get the sort of dialog that solves the problems we face.  We invite the candidates to share their ideas and we would love to host a webinar on the specifics for Silicon Valley and for technology workers across the country and globe.
Now we also understand that politics in our country requires a certain bravado and a no prisoners attitude to the public.  We don’t worry much about embarrassing ourselves by making rash decisions, even when we are utterly off the mark.  It just seems to us that Google finds themselves in hot water daily and invites challenges from every hacker on the planet, and possibly beyond the natural borders of it.  To alienate the government of China before the facts are in seems high risk, and low reward.  We would hope to see a delegation of diplomacy reach out and quietly, very quietly, try to insure our relationship with China grows instead of flounders.  Instead of more inflamed rhetoric, we feel it is time to find a better balance just in case China decides to pull the plug on Silicon Valley, the State of California and our country.  They do have other options.

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