In April 2015, American officials detected a breach at the General Services Administration’s Office of Personnel Management that exposed the records of more than four million government employees. The Wall Street Journal described it as one of the largest known thefts in US government history. Cyber security experts told CNN that the hack “appears designed to build a vast database in what could be preparation for future attacks by China against the U.S.”

Three months later, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton accused China “of trying to hack into everything that doesn’t move in America. Stealing commercial secrets, blueprints from defense contractors, steal huge amounts of government information, all looking for an advantage.”

The US State Department cautions Americans visiting China that “hotel rooms (including meeting rooms), offices, cars, taxis, telephones, Internet usage, and fax machines may be monitored onsite or remotely, and personal possessions in hotel rooms, including computers, may be searched without your consent or knowledge.“[1]

[1] US State Department website updated Dec. 2, 2015; accessed April 20, 2016. <https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country/china.html>

“Hotel rooms (including meeting rooms), offices, cars, taxis, telephones, Internet usage, and fax machines may be monitored onsite or remotely, and personal possessions in hotel rooms, including computers, may be searched without your consent or knowledge.“

-U.S. State Department, Travel Information for visitors to China