US presents plan against industrial cyber-espionage

Last Updated: Thu, Feb 21, 2013 05:40 hrs

Washington, Feb 21 (IANS/EFE) The US government has presented a comprehensive strategy to fight industrial cyber-espionage and hacker attacks against the country that infringe on property rights and compromise company secrets.

Attorney General Eric Holder Wednesday introduced the Trade Secret Protection Strategy at a White House press conference.

He said that there are foreign countries and entities who want to take advantage of the US' high level of innovation and noted that a "hacker in China can acquire source code from a software company in Virginia without leaving his or her desk".

Washington's new approach will reinforce diplomatic action so as to give "clear" signals to other nations that preventing the theft of secrets is the priority of the US, Robert Hormats, under secretary of state for economic growth, energy, and the environment, said during the White House event.

The strategy is aimed at hampering the entry of foreign goods or services that have been produced using information gleaned from the theft of company secrets.

The presentation of the initiative - at which Victoria Espinel, US intellectual property enforcement coordinator for the White House, and Deputy Secretary of Commerce Rebecca Blank were also present - was made a week after President Barack Obama signed an executive order to strengthen the fight against cyberattacks.

It also comes shortly after the occurrence of attacks on US firms attributed to China.

"In some industries, a single trade secret can be worth millions - or even billions - of dollars," Holder said. "Trade secret theft can require companies to lay off employees, to close factories, to lose sales and profits ... or even to go out of business."



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