WASHINGTON (July 29, 2013) - The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) praised the efforts of U.S. Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) to develop new legislation to enhance cybersecurity enforcement and reduce the incidence of trade secret theft against American businesses. The draft bill, released today, would upgrade the Economic Espionage Act to make it easier to prosecute hackers working on behalf of foreign governments or state-subsidized corporations.
"State-sponsored cyber espionage is an increasingly dangerous problem, as illustrated by the revelation that a major corporate cyberattack may have been orchestrated by the Chinese military," notes Robert Atkinson, President of ITIF. "Stricter enforcement mechanisms will assist U.S. agencies in better addressing this challenge, while also serving as a stronger deterrent to potential hackers."
According to the Intellectual Property Commission, IP theft, which includes trade secret theft, costs U.S. businesses approximately $300 billion annually. The Commission also found that a significant portion of this theft, between 50 to 80 percent, was undertaken by China, whose national industrial policy encourages the practice as a means for enhancing domestic innovation. Whitehouse and Graham's bill follows the development of a new comprehensive strategy to address trade secret theft, announced by the White House in February, as well as an Executive Order designed to create broad cybersecurity standards for all government agencies.
"This bill will enhance the efforts of the U.S. government to create a broader policy framework for addressing cyber espionage and intellectual property theft, which will protect American businesses and jobs and promote the continued growth of the knowledge-based economy," Atkinson says. "It will also serve notice to other nations that efforts to promote hacking of U.S. enterprises and theft of American IP will not be tolerated."
The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) is a non-profit, non-partisan think tank whose mission is to formulate and promote public policies to advance technological innovation and productivity internationally, in Washington, and in the states. Recognizing the vital role of technology in ensuring prosperity, ITIF focuses on innovation, productivity, and digital economy issues. Learn more at www.itif.org.