For over a year, the world has heard one news story after another revealing the cyberespionage exploits of America’s national security apparatus thanks to leaked documents provided by whistleblower Edward Snowden. Although these insights into America’s secrets were both embarrassing and undermined the credibility of the United States, they were a particular problem when it came to addressing the Chinese government’s efforts to help Chinese businesses outflank American businesses by stealing secrets for them.
It appears the Obama Administration finally saw an opportunity to strike back at this one seriously hypocritical critic of America’s cyberespionage programs thanks to a lull in reports about America’s activities and China’s increasingly aggressive assertion of its interests. Because the activities of the Chinese government are aimed at private economic and technology interests, the Obama Administration’s decision to charge officials responsible for China’s cyber espionage is a very important step for our Country when it comes to getting serious about protecting America’s private economic and technology interests from national actors.
Unfortunately, bringing those individuals responsible to American justice is unlikely while China’s decision to stop cooperating with the US on cybercrime is regrettably, but the decision to confront China is more important. At the same time, it appears the Obama Administration is recycling the tactics it is using against Russia by targeting individuals instead of confronting whole countries. In some respects, this is unsettling as we can expect similar targeting of Americans as these tactics become more common; however, it is a way to force change in disruptive governments without siding against the Peoples of nations.
That said, the overall bad behavior of the US and Chinese governments, among many others, undermine economies, international cooperation, and the free sharing of information, thus all the revelations, criticism, and actions now being taken are all constructive steps in preventing governments from abusing information technology, when they should be fighting those who commit cybercrimes.
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