The U.S. Congress has been presented with a ‘what’s good for the goose is good for the gander’ option to hit back at Chinese companies that are hacking their American counterparts to pilfer data.
The proposal suggests lawmakers allow American companies to hack back into the offending companies to retrieve and save the data. The suggestion is made in the annual report of The US-China Economic and Security Review Commission, which was established by Congress “to report on the national security implications of the bilateral trade and economic relationship between the United States and the People’s Republic of China.”
The tit-for-tat suggestion is worded in a way that hides its politically inappropriateness as it runs contrary to a a cyber peace-agreement announced between China and U.S. on the recent visit to the States by Chinese leader Xi Jinping.
It encourages Congress to consider introducing laws “conditioning the provision of market access to Chinese investors in the United States on a reciprocal, sector-by-sector basis to provide a level playing field for US investors in China.”
The annual report notes that Beijing is considering “a requirement that US technology companies and their customers turn over source code, encryption software, and create backdoor entry points into otherwise secure networks.”
It also alleges that China discriminates against foreign investors, and has “abusive legal or administrative processes that particularly favors indigenous companies over US firms” while “refusing to protect the intellectual property of US companies from piracy and counterfeiting.”
The report also suggests that Congress investigate if China’s practices contravene its World Trade Organisation commitments, and also to “study the feasibility of a foreign intelligence cyber court.” This would be an international recognized court which would hear the complaints of cyber victims and decide on appropriate actions.