A judge's gavel

A satirical indictment of American legal hypocrisy.

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Government prosecutors in China have filed criminal complaints against President Barack Obama and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder for exposing the methods of China’s top-secret surveillance program of American corporations. The two are charged with theft, “unauthorized communication of national defense information,” and “willful communication of classified communications intelligence information to an unauthorized person,” according to the complaint.

The range of trade craft secrets and other sensitive espionage techniques exposed in this case is significant and demands an aggressive response,” Chinese Justice Minister Wu Aiying said on Monday. He added: “We cannot have national security if our secrets can’t be kept on our methods of gathering information.”

In text released ahead of a lengthy interview to be broadcast on Sunday, Wu admitted that China does not limit its espionage to issues of national security, and cited German engineering firm Siemens as one target. “If there’s information at Siemens that’s beneficial to Chinese national interests – even if it doesn’t have anything to do with national security – then we’ll take that information nevertheless,” he said.

Further details, commentary and analysis on the indictments can be found here and here.

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Photo by Bloomsberries released under a Creative Commons No Derivatives license.