Google’s new Digital Attack Map reveals that the U.S. experiences daily cyber attacks. Though much of the map’s real-time cyber activity is untraceable, the map does confirm that China heavily targets the U.S. This underscores the need for the U.S. to make China feel a cost for its cyber espionage and theft.
Earlier this year, the cyber security firm Mandiant reported that the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has stolen hundreds of terabytes of information from over 140 U.S. organizations. Also earlier this year, the Commission on the Theft of American Intellectual Property reported that the U.S. loses $300 billion per year from cyber espionage,
chiefly from China. This does not even begin to calculate the national security risks the U.S. faces.
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Beyond threatening other nations, China’s cyber activities are also directed toward maintaining domestic control using the “Great Firewall” to censor online access and content. In fact, cyber actors within China targeted the personal email accounts of human rights activists in China, the U.S., and Europe. News of this latest breach drove Google to end its cooperation with Beijing, believing that China’s cyber exploitation cannot coexist with business security, private-sector profits, economic progress, or global Internet freedom.
Apart from securing its own cyber networks with essential legislation—focusing on supply chain security and private-public information sharing—the U.S. should turn from its current ambivalence and advance its cyber security internationally. Partnering with friends from around the globe would allow the U.S. to lead the struggle for Internet freedom and make cyber crime too economically and politically costly to continue.
Mind you – all things being equal – one of the biggest reasons why the USA advocates having the United Nations located in the U.S. is the notion of, “Keep your friends close, but always keep your enemies closer.”
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