Trade Group to U.S., China: Action On Security Threats Needed
In the wake of widely reported hacking incidents involving major newspapers, the U.S.-China Business Council has asked the two countries to take action to prevent future incidents.
With a number of major security incidents originating from China in the news, one association with interests in both countries is looking for a diplomatic solution to the problem. More details:
What happened: In the past two years, three major newspapers suffered security breaches that originated from China. The incidents, revealed to the public last week, were most serious in the case of The New York Times, which suffered data loss, the theft of employee passwords, and damage to employee computers caused by malware. After The Times wrote a report about the incident, similar breaches were reported by The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post. (I wrote about the issue in my blog post earlier this week.)
The response: In the wake of the reports, the U.S.-China Business Council, which represents hundreds of U.S. companies with Chinese operations (though not any of newspapers affected), asked both countries to do more to protect U.S. companies from such incidents. “What we’re saying is it is becoming a concern, a serious concern. We’d like to see the two governments try to work on it together and see if it can be addressed regardless of the source, and we would encourage them to do so … this year,” the group’s president, John Frisbie, said in a news conference on Monday.
Next steps: President Barack Obama often meets with Chinese President Hu Jintao during larger international events, but Frisbie suggests that regular summits outside of the context of a larger meeting could help with the current security issue. The trade relationship, which benefits both countries, continues to grow—a report of 2012 numbers, expected out on Friday, will likely show imports from China to the U.S. topping $400 billion, and exports from the U.S. to China topping $110 billion. Both numbers would be record totals.
China says that it, too, suffers from serious hacking incidents that originate there. Frisbie expressed concern that inaction on the issue could “threaten to undermine a constructive trade relationship.”