tv BBC Newsnight WHUT February 13, 2011 8:00am-8:30am EST
>> "bbc newsnight" is presented by kcet, los angeles. funding for this presentation is made possible by the freeman foundation of new york, stowe, vermont, and honolulu. newman's own foundation. the john d. and catherine t. macarthur foundation. and union bank. >> union bank has put its financial strength to work for a wide range of companies, from small businesses to major corporations.
what can we do for you? >> now, "bbc newsnight." >> this week, newsnight investigates the robot ent. -- net. and the growing threats for the economy and the infrastructure. >> we could be part of a bot net without you knowing it. >> court in brown oppose a government said they could do nothing to prevent it. >> i made it absolutely clear that we had a new role in making the decision about the future. >> they did almost everything they could to make it happen.
and the chinese extract from materials from africa. they do things like make chickens go faster. >> [uni>> it sort of swells up. the chinese are selling in inflatable chickens? >> yes, sir. >> hello. our world is wired. we are utterly dependent on digital systems, but a cyber attack on the financial infrastructure could bring much of our everyday world grinding to a whole -- halt. bot net attacks, thousands of computers crashed website or harvest credit card details. it might be in every one of our computers without even knowing
it. here's our science editor. >> these days, the world famously never sleeps. shocking, working, banking, and communicating is on line. anytime, anywhere. dependence means it is not just our personal data that is at risk. but the smooth running of our global economy. to keep it all going, there are a few key hubs. nobody likes to say too much about where they are. inside of this a secure facility as part of one of the internet's 13 root name servers. without them, you would not be
able to send e-mail or visit a web site. >> how they interact with us about 30 times a day on average. every time someone sends an e- mail or looks up a dot-com, it hits our network. >> as internet users increase, so do attacks on the system. in these flood of websites had so many requests, they failed. thousands of computers linked together in a giant networks. the volume of data from that the clients has increased roughly 100 fold in the last decade or so. at the moment, they are keeping ahead. >> they are interested in making
sure that the internet is available. every day, every single location, people want to access it. >> there are companies you can pay to protect you, but you are unlikely to find out who is behind a single attack. >> although you will have concentrations, they are global. especially dealing with large armies, hundreds of thousands of machines out there. it is difficult. >> they provide software for intelligence agencies and companies to help work out who is behind the attack. there harvesting financial and personal information for more traditional fraud.
there were over 100,000 computers linked to crossed 75 different countries -- across 75 different countries. you used to have to be his -- and technical experts. these days you couldn't buy -- can buy a bot net kit. those with very limited technical capability set it up and often go spirit -- off it goes. >> a group called anonymous organize attacks against visa, mastercard, and paypal. they willingly downloaded software similar to those with organized crime spearheaded what
they have to unwittingly signed up for more? >> who is to know that it stops there? that machine is still available for use. >> and one of the most high- profile cyber attacks in the commercial world came earlier this year. it seems organized crime targeted the carbon markets. under the emissions trading scheme, allowances for carbon credits that exist only on line are bought and sold in an attempt to cut back on carbon emissions. >> it became apparent that the whole system was quite vulnerable. these accounts exist. you are supposed to be able to transfer from one account to the other.
>> is not anything good enough. a broker in prague recorded that he had credit stolen. the european commission closed the entire carbon market. it seems that a total of 3.2 million carbon credits have been reported stolen in the last few months. details remain murky. >> the details are still not known if this is a coordinated attack. it suggests a high level of organization for criminals. >> it was a shock to the carbon market system. they are only now being deemed sufficiently secure to be open.
it revealed that hackers have been breaking into the system and they share confidential documents. she also apprised -- helps president obama before stepping down. >> of the biggest threat is the degree of industrial espionage that is being conducted against our businesses. and the illegal copying of intellectual property that is really leading had and will enable those that are stealing it to leap ahead. >> of the british foreign secretary cited a real example of that kind of attack. >> a national-security interests of the u.k. were targeted in a deliberate attack.
posing with a report, it was sent him by someone pretending to be an employee of another defense contractor. its purpose was undoubtedly to steal information related to our most sensitive defense project. >> attacks like that take people with unusual skills. one of the biggest problems in cyber security is finding the people best suited for keeping online system safe. here at the cyber security challenge, they are trying to stop the individuals that might be training to become the next generation of elite cyber professionals. >> it was the quality of the cyber threat emanating from
china. 25,000 people are being added to the chinese economy every year. a world-class level. >> governments want us all to pay more attention to online security. it is not just concerned for our well-being. each and every one of our own computers could become foot soldiers in an army. >> the more you protect your own assets, the smaller the potential of bot nets. >> cyberspace is home to multinational corporations, government, and citizens. the government wants more dialogue on companies from cyber spies, criminals, and
terrorists. but how realistic is that in a world where traditional boundaries and traditional allegiances are increasingly fuzzy? >> the british prime minister decided to release papers revealing that the last british government tried to get the man convicted and return to libya. the administration did all it could to facilitate the release. the former prime minister gordon brown was a leader during that time and it was made by the scottish justice that the hat and no one else. -- deputy, and no one else. >> they released the man convicted of putting an airline bomb over 22 years ago.
they send him back to libya, described as the best outcome. labour ministry's has said that it was nothing to do with them. gosh i made it absolutely clear to him that we had a new role in making the decision about his future. because it was a matter legislated by the scottish parliament, it was a matter over which we could not interfere and have no control over. >> his successor says that the report was not the whole picture. >> this tells us something that was not clear at that time. the former prime minister and former secretary gates.
we were told about facilitating contact or a game plan. the cabinet secretary's report says that policy was never progressively developed. it should do all it could to facilitate an appeal by the libyans to the scottish government. and >> people have known the extent to which behind the scene, labour ministers are actively working to get him released and return to libya. the outcry might have been even greater than it actually was here in britain and america. david cameron says there was not a labor conspiracy. hethe labour ministers at the te contradict what is published in
the documents in london. >> the dust was a radio interview by the school minister. >> the failure of judgment to release them, none of us wanted to see the release. it was a decision made by the scottish executive. gosh. the office memo. -- >> here is the office of. >> really need to make sure he is -- we need to make sure he is released on compassionate grounds. >> you will see how much the british public was kept in the dark. but ministers on both sides of the border have always denied his release had to do with oil or bp. bp's plans in lybia were --
libya were certainly on their minds. britain was planning with libya. >> libya made it clear if he was not released, the contract would not be signed. he said the bp deal was significant for scottish and wider british interests. >> he met his libyan counterpart and devised what route he might pursue. >> he offered to communicate libyan interests with scottish governments. while making it clear this was exclusively a matter for scottish government.
>> his report makes it clear that at no time did british ministers put pressure on edinburgh. to see him released, labour ministers were worried that the government might not be that helpful. have the scots might use it as an excuse to do nothing. the pledge made by britain to the americans that he would serve out the rest of his sentence in scotland. what is fascinating is the way in which he shows that labour ministers advise the scottish counterparts with that pledge to washington not rock-solid. don't worry, britain seems to be sane. you couldn't wriggle -- you can wriggle out of it. >> they did give a commitment
that the accused would serve out the sentence in scotland. the commitment was not absolute. there were robust attempts to get a definitive commitment. we held out the possibility. our relations with libya might change. >> in the end, he released him under the terms of britain oppose a new transfer agreement. and under scottish law, that is specifically where prisoner has three months or less to live. in the autumn of 2008, less than 12 months before he was released, it was thought that he had a 50% probability of living between 18 months into years -- and two years.
>> that bit has been blocked out. >> without further application, this auction did not look promising for the libyans. >> why were compassionate grounds now ok? this cancer get worse? we can't know. the medical details were left out as private. >> while many in the west view africa as a land of poverty, the chinese see it as limitless business opportunity. they charge the extraordinary phenomenon of chinese migration to africa and the instances of china of the development of the continent. >> it is the vast infrastructur.
that is not a limit to china's influence here. and you need go no further than african street market. this is the main market in the capital. chinese influence here extends right down to the food. they say you have to wake up early in business to beat the chinese. that is certainly true here at the market. the chinese chicken farmers have been here since 1:00 in the morning. hello, sir. in the middle of the market, high that one of dozens of chinese chicken sellers. -- i met one of dozens of chinese chicken sellers.
he and his wife traveled 7,000 miles to africa because they heard it was easier to do business here than in china. >> i was making household furniture. but i did not have large amounts of money. in china, there are also lots of opportunities. it is fierce. >> what has changed in china, where people like you are coming out and setting up businesses across the world? >> we are richer and more powerful than before. chinese people feel safe and relaxed. when i was younger, chinese people abroad were bullied by foreigners. now that doesn't happen.
in the future, it is certain that more and more chinese people will go. >> there has been a staggering number of chinese people from africa. they are leaving in doing business. the competition is not popular with everyone. back at the market, i tracked down some of the zambian chicken sellers. >> all our customer has bought a chicken from chinese. >> they get there first. how much business the you think you have lost here? >> rumors were about that the chinese were doing strange things to accelerate the growth of their chickens.
got a boost did then. it will make their flesh look bigger. >> you are telling the chinese are selling inflatable chickens? gosh yes, sir. -- >> yes, sir. these chickens sellers indicate that chinese are destroying those businesses. it will be crushed by chinese traders. chinese business people [unintelligible] >> it is a really tough place to do business. there are vast reserves of
copper, cobalt, and other rare metals. it has left the history of terrible violence. they killed millions of people. this is the wild west of the mining world. and the chinese are major players here. it is the local people that wage a primitive struggle to unearth the mineral wealth. he is one of the men that makes his living in these unstable and dangerous earth works. selling copper and cobalt to the dozens of chinese traders in this remote region. >> these people are stealing from us because the price they pay is just 500 francs per kilo . these people are just crooks.
it is estimated that 90% of the minerals go to china. it has created a massive demand for resources. there are lots of mall chinese businesses smelting copper and exporting minerals. china's influence in africa has deeper roots. i am writing a short stretch of one of the longest railways of the continent. it was built by thousands of chinese laborers back in the 1970's. there is a huge pride in communist china. >> how did you feel that it was suggested that you come here to work on the railway? >> [unintelligible]
>> china's support for tanzania was based on socialist solidarity. now it is raw capitalism. the end of the line, i met the director of the railway. how does china compare with other countries in terms of making investments? >> [unintelligible] and an easy access to funding. >> and now the chinese are coming in, they feel upset? maybe jealous? >> [unintelligible] between the west and china.
>> of the chinese attitude africa is very different from us in the west. china doesn't see where countries in need of help, it sees business opportunities. in the army of chinese entrepreneurs intends to claim as much of that market as they can. >> that is all for this week. >> funding for this presentation has been brought to you by the freeman foundation of new york, stowe, vermont and honolulu. >> union bank has put its financial strength to work for a