During a campaign stop in New Hampshire, presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton discussed the importance of focusing on cybersecurity as she claimed that China tries to “hack into anything that doesn’t move in America,” bringing cybersecurity to the forefront of campaign issues for the moment.
The presidential hopeful and also former Secretary of State accused China of “stealing commercial secrets, blueprints from defense contractors, stealing huge amounts of government information — all looking for an advantage…Make no mistake: they know they’re in a competition, and they’re going to do everything they can to win it,” she said, according to TIME.
Three months ago the United States learned of a security breach of federal databases that compromised the records of millions of federal employees, and according to TIME, this hack and several others have been traced to China over the past several years.
“State officials believe the hackers were operating out of China, an allegation Beijing has called ‘irresponsible and unscientific.’ A year ago, The New York Times reported that U.S. security agencies traced a similar incident last March to China, though it remains unclear if those hackers were state mercenaries or acting alone.”
Clinton’s stance on China and cybersecurity is thought to be an attempt to separate herself from the other Democratic contenders, as most have thus far refused to take a firm stance on what is being labeled as China’s aggressive cyber warfare.
Several Republican candidates, however, have already spoken out on “China’s bravado;” according to TIME the Republican camp “is harmonious in its frankness: last month, Chris Christie called for a ‘military approach’ in response to China’s bravado;Mike Huckabee thinks the U.S. should ‘hack China back.'”
“As innovation blogger Dominic Basulto put it for the Washington Post: ‘Cybersecurity is like global terrorism before 2001 – it’s something that percolates in the background until something tragic happens that moves the issue front and center,'” said The Christian Science Monitor.
The overall goal of political discourse on cybersecurity is to prevent aggressive cyber warfare in the future, however, the job isn’t quite done.
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