Hoekstra: Cybercrime Charges Against Chinese 'Needed First Step'

Monday, 19 May 2014 02:23 PM

By Courtney Coren

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The charges brought by the Justice Department against five Chinese military officials alleging espionage and computer hacking is "a needed first step in terms of bringing cybercrime under control," says former House Intelligence Chairman Pete Hoekstra.

"We know that the Chinese have been going after different parts of the U.S. government and different parts of the U.S. economy for years," Hoekstra told J.D. Hayworth on "America's Forum" on Newsmax TV.

The Chinese, Hoekstra explained, have also targeted U.S. "trade secrets, the world of commerce, trying to steal patents, trying to steal new intellectual property before it even became commercialized," he said Monday.

Story continues below video.

Too often things such as new aircraft carriers, satellites, and fighter jets in China "always seem to have striking similarities to U.S. technology that had just been introduced and had just been commercialized," Hoekstra said.

Stealing technology from the United States has enabled the Chinese to cut back on their own costs and to steal technology that hasn't even been released yet, the Michigan Republican explained.

"It's a whole lot easier to steal secrets and to steal technology than to develop and pay for it yourself," Hoekstra said.

"A lot of the technology development that you've seen come out of China both in the military sector and in the private sector is actually a result of them stealing technology, not only from our corporations, but also going into our research universities, and in some cases stealing technology and commercializing it before the U.S. folks who actually developed the new breakthroughs had the time to patent it," he added.

The Justice Department has indicted five Chinese military officials on charges of espionage and hacking U.S. computers in industries such as nuclear power, metals, and solar.

The lawsuit filed in a Pennsylvania federal court alleges that the Chinese officials have stolen information from U.S. entities to make Chinese companies more competitive.

U.S. companies named by the Justice Department include Westinghouse Electric Co.; subsidiaries of SolarWorld AG; United States Steel Corp.; Allegheny Technologies Inc.; United Steel, Paper and Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied Industrial Services Workers International Union; and Alcoa Inc.

China's Foreign Ministry responded Monday by saying that the allegations are "made up" and that they will "damage Sino-American cooperation and mutual trust."

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