The Complex

What will it take to get China to curb IP theft?

Killer Apps kicked off the week with a quote about the true cost of cyber crime being equivalent to a rounding error when compared to the size of the overall economy. We're going to end it with an interesting quote about what might quell China's campaign of cyber-espionage and trade-secret theft.

"The old trope was always, the Chinese will begin to respect our intellectual property when they have intellectual property of their own to defend," said James Mulvenon, VP of intelligence at Defense Group, a consulting firm, during a breakfast in Washington yesterday. "What we're starting to see on the Chinese side is the intra-company hacking between Chinese companies is having almost more effect on their attitude about a cybersecurity regime in China, than it is about responding to our demarches about their activity."

We've been bombarded with messages from cyber security firms to lawmakers about a massive Chinese cyber espionage campaign for years. U.S officials have been increasingly vocal in calling out China and the White House just released its new strategy aimed at combating the theft of trade secrets via law enforcement and increased diplomatic pressure on China. One of the criticisms that I've heard many times is, what can the U.S. do if China simply ignores its requests to stop stealing U.S. trade secrets? If Mulvenon is correct, maybe we all we have to do is wait.



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