US reaches economic cybersecurity agreement with China

September 25, 2015

Colin Lecher

Today, President Obama, appearing with Chinese President Xi Jinping, announced that the United States and China had reached an agreement to curb "cyber-enabled theft of intellectual property" between the two countries. Obama, at the announcement, said he had "indicated it has to stop," and that the two had come to a "common understanding."

According to a statement from the White House, the two countries now "agree that neither country's government will conduct or knowingly support cyber-enabled theft of intellectual property, including trade secrets or other confidential business information, with the intent of providing competitive advantages to companies or commercial sectors."

But the announcement, following talks between Obama and Xi at the White House, comes at a contentious moment for the future of cybersecurity between the two countries. The Obama administration, according to The New York Times, recently weighed possible responses against China for the Office of Personnel Management hack, which it reportedly believes the country is responsible for.

That hack seems to get worse with each passing week. On Wednesday, it was announced that the fingerprints of 5.6 million federal workers had been stolen during the breach.

The two countries also announced other, broader agreements about cybersecurity. According to the White House statement, "the US and China agreed to cooperate, in a manner consistent with their respective national laws and relevant international obligations, with requests to investigate cybercrimes, collect electronic evidence, and mitigate malicious cyber activity emanating from their territory."

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