Saudi Access to NASA Cut Off While Closer Ties Sought by NASA

Why Has NASA Banned Access to its Partner Saudi Arabia?, SpaceRef

"Last week NASA Administrator Bolden announced that access to NASA computer networks and facilities would be curtailed for citizens of various countries. Among the countries listed was Saudi Arabia. It is more than a little unusual to see Saudi Arabia targeted like this given the strong relations between the Saudis and the U.S. in a wide range of scientific and technological fields. It is even more odd that NASA would publicly snub a major U.S. ally in the Middle East in the midst of a presidential trip to the region. ... Right now there is a contingent of NASA JPL employees in Saudi Arabia discussing space-related issues. .... It will be rather awkward for the former Caltech president, now in the same position at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, to have to explain to his Saudi staff and students why JPL (located at Caltech) won't let them have access any more."

But the issue at hand was security regarding technical information - not human rights or religion. To be certain, China, Iran, and North Korea are bad actors when it comes to transfer of sensitive information, human rights, etc. But it is rather hard to find instances where citizens of Burma, Eritrea, Sudan, Uzbekistan or Saudi Arabia have been accused of hacking into NASA computers or stealing sensitive information. So why does the list of nationalities banned from NASA by Bolden look more like a list of counties associated with human rights and religious discrimination than a list of countries known to seek out U.S. technology? Who gave who gave Bolden this list of countries to ban? Did he think it up himself or did Rep. Wolf give it to him?

Who are the top hacker countries in the world?,

"Despite all the bad press China is getting for its recent hacking activity, the US remains firmly on top in terms of sheer volume. This remains true for rankings tabulated by different think-tanks like Symantec and NCCGroup. Usual suspects China and Russia are consistently within the top five, while Germany and the UK show up consistently within the top ten."

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This page contains a single entry by Keith Cowing published on March 25, 2013 9:17 AM.

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