How Obama should work with business to combat China cyberspying

May 29, 2013

Irving Lachow

If the US wishes to stop Chinese economic cyber-espionage, it will need to increase the costs and reduce the benefits to China of such activities. US government actions are important, but the key players in this game sit in the private sector. A true public-private partnership is needed.

The United States has made it clear to China that its cyber-espionage activities are a serious concern.

The Washington Post reported this week that several US military weapons systems and technologies have been compromised by Chinese hackers, according to the Defense Science Board. As alarming as that news is, China’s cyber-spying attacks are also bombarding US businesses.

If the US wishes to stop this Chinese economic cyber-espionage, it will need to increase the costs and reduce the benefits of such activities. That will cause China and other competitors to rethink whether such activities are worth it. Government actions are important, but the key players in this game sit in the private sector. A true public-private partnership is needed.

The threat of Chinese cyberspying to US businesses is clear. A report released last week by the Commission on the Theft of American Intellectual Property states that: “China is two-thirds of the intellectual property theft problem, and we are at a point where it is robbing us of innovation to bolster their own industry, at a cost of millions of jobs.”

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