Less than a year after the White House confronted China with evidence of its cyber attacks on U.S. companies, the Obama administration is looking at new ways of tackling what has become a growing problem.
Among the options being considered are trade sanctions, diplomatic pressure, indictments of Chinese nationals in U.S. courts, and cyber counter measures, according to the Wall Street Journal
Following a formal diplomatic protest to China on cyber espionage in January, President Barack Obama and top administration officials have escalated their warnings on the issue, the Journal reported Monday.
On April 13, Secretary of State John Kerry announced the two countries will create a working group on cyber security.
The heightened concern comes in the wake of new intelligence showing China’s military is behind much of the hacking as well as a shift in American companies’ willingness to complain about Chinese cyber warfare, reports the Journal. The newspaper noted that political and business leaders have previously been hesitant to push back for fear of threatening national security and business interests.
“After several years of making very little progress to improve behavior, it’s reasonable to throw out what you’ve done in the past and use new instruments to try to get them to behave responsibly,” Alec Ross, a former Internet policy adviser at the State Department, told the newspaper.
Chinese officials, however, have repeatedly denied the charges and claimed China is a victim rather than an instigator of cyber attacks.
Christopher Johnson, a former CIA China analyst, told the Journal that China’s alleged cyber spying “has the power to be a destabilizing element” in U.S.-Sino relations.
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