Thursday, November 3, 2011

China cheats

So now our government has made it official--China's primary source of technology is what it either forces American businesses to give them as a prerequisite for doing business with them--or steals it outright, through a massive, covert, ceaseless cyberwar conducted against us.

As many have known for a long, long time. The real question is what should we do about it? We're in an interesting position since the Republicans financed two wars and huge giveaways to the richest Americans by borrowing from the Chinese (and others--but the Chinese have a huge share).

We could mount a cyberwar to steal technology from the Chinese, but the reason they're stealing so much of ours is that theirs sucks. Of course we should invest massively in countermeasures, but should we do anything besides trying to build higher, better walls?

And if we do, what would be proportionate?

A start might be to revisit the treaty with Taiwan that Nixon abrogated in his efforts to suck up to the People's Republic.Of course at that time Chiang Kai Shek's government claimed sovereignty over mainland China, basically saying everyone had to choose between recognizing the PRC or Taiwan. Well, that was idiotic to be sure. But now Taiwan claims no such thing. At the same time its government is playing footsy with China and Chinese and Taiwanese business interests have become entwined, so it's not a simple situation. But just restoring our formerly close relationship with Taiwan would be a tiny start at reigning in China's imperial ambitions and rampant theft of American intellectual property.

Note that the second biggest cyberthief of American IP is Russia. No surprise there either. Here again the trick is a proportionate response. After all, we can't even get an astronaut into space without going to the Russians hat in hand, due to our Republican government of 2000-2008 tossing our manned space program under the bus.

But I wonder if a covert op would be possible that ground Russian Internet access to a crawl as long as Russia's rulers continue behaving like a crime family posing as a government?

One principle I am sure of: governments should never complain about anything they aren't prepared to do something about. I look forward to seeing what the current administration does about these two thieving countries.

No comments: