We now know the reality that both countries engage in extensive cyber-hacking and are each victims of the other's attacks. The good news is that it has now become possible for the U.S. and China to develop a frank, realistic and shared analysis of the threat posed by cyberespionage
Almost immediately, the press invoked George Orwell to characterize the drama unfolding around Edward Snowden's revelation of the NSA's digitally omniscient domestic surveillance program. It should have been Aldous Huxley.
The question, then, is not whether China or the U.S. is the bigger spy. Rather, it continues to be: What should America do to protect its own self-interest in the face of China's government-sponsored cyber warfare?
With the advent of cyber warfare the complexity of what is war is even more clouded and the application of law to this is even murkier.
Snowden's revelations have dramatically undercut Washington's effort to corner Beijing on the issue. They allow Xi to counter Obama's complaints by saying that the rest of the world, including China, is a potential victim of this massive and formerly secret American cyber-surveillance program.
Clearly, establishing a worldwide regulatory framework for Internet security will require staying power, juridical skill and a strong belief in the need to protect both the integrity of vital Internet resources and the lives of those threatened by cyber insecurity.
One of the principle questions moving forward will be how the United States and China can manage to contain their disagreements over cyberspace without an escalation in cyber rivalry and the risk of a full-scale cyber war.
Verizon has been giving the National Security Agency (NSA) daily information on all calls, both domestic and international. So what, exactly, is Verizon handing over after you call your mom to wish her a Happy Mother's Day?
The government is not above the people, but below it. "We the people" created this government; when it encroaches on our freedoms, it is our constitutional right and duty to encroach on its freedoms.
No matter what President Obama and China's President Xi Jinping agree this week, China will not stop cyber espionage.
Ultimately, who we imagine as "civic hackers" is important, because it determines what problems we see around us and what solutions we create to address them.
Fortunately, there is one major area where Xi and Obama have already found common ground and can move the relationship forward - countering the nuclear threat from North Korea.
Keep in mind that stealing information is a big business, and hackers are everywhere. Most of them are professional. Some are foreign government sponsored. Some are sophisticated criminal organizations with significant resources
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