Group Sees Spy Threat in Lenovo PCs

Citing fears of espionage, the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission (USCC) said Monday it would call for a probe into the plans for Lenovo to supply 15,000 computers to the U.S. State Department. The USCC said the computers could be bugged to spy on the U.S. government.

The group's reservations about a deal highlight the increasing concern among those in the United States of foreign companies' dealings with American firms. However, Lenovo is not standing in the group's way, and invited an investigation saying it had "nothing to hide."

Vice president of government relations at Lenovo Jeff Carlisle told BBC News that the charges were baseless and that the boards used in the computers are made in Taiwan, not China. The small island nation has been known for its resistance to mainland rule and its policies.

However, this fact is not enough for those who sit on the board of the USCC. They claim there is an "enormous" opportunity for the Chinese government to use the deal as a way to spy on the U.S., and expected a probe by Congress shortly.

"If you're a foreign intelligence service and you know that a [US] federal agency is buying 15,000 computers from [a Chinese] company, wouldn't you look into the possibility that you could do something about that?" USCC chief Larry Wortzel told the BBC Monday.

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