A state-owned Chinese company is denying claims by a U.S. congressional advisory panel that it "hijacked" massive amounts of Internet traffic from the U.S. government and military earlier this year.
In e-mails Thursday to international news agencies, China Telecom said it had not hijacked any Internet traffic. Chinese media ridiculed the report, with the Communist party-run Global Times saying the imagination of U.S. congressmen "is as good as Hollywood."
The U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission said Wednesday that China Telecom rerouted the highly sensitive data through Chinese servers for 18 minutes on April 8.
The commission said the redirection affected traffic to and from the websites of all four branches of the U.S. military and the office of the Defense Secretary.
Other affected sites included those of U.S. space agency NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
The panel of scholars, former U.S. officials and diplomats said it has no way to determine whether Chinese telecom firms did anything with the data. But it said such incidents could have serious implications, including enabling surveillance of specific Internet users or sites.
The commission said the rerouting of Internet traffic also affected the websites of major U.S. corporations such as Dell, Yahoo!, Microsoft and IBM.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Global Times