Hugh Pickens writes writes: "What may once have sounded like the behavior of a raving paranoid is now considered standard operating procedure for officials at American government agencies, research groups and companies as the NY Times reports how businesses sending representatives to China give them a loaner laptop and cellphone that they wipe clean before they leave and wipe again when they return. “If a company has significant intellectual property that the Chinese and Russians are interested in, and you go over there with mobile devices, your devices will get penetrated,” says Joel F. Brenner, formerly the top counterintelligence official in the office of the director of national intelligence. The scope of the problem is illustrated by an incident at the United States Chamber of Commerce in 2010 when the chamber learned that servers in China were stealing information from four of its Asia policy experts who frequently visited China. After their trips, even the office printer and a thermostat in one of the chamber's corporate offices were communicating with an internet address in China. The chamber did not disclose how hackers had infiltrated its systems, but its first step after the attack was to bar employees from taking devices with them “to certain countries,” notably China. "Everybody knows that if you are doing business in China, in the 21st century, you don’t bring anything with you," says Jacob Olcott, a cybersecurity expert at Good Harbor Consulting. "That’s ‘Business 101’ — at least it should be.”"