Cybercrime: Admit nothing and deny everything – Barack Obama says he is ready to talk with Xi Jinping about Chinese cyber-attacks. That makes one of them

Xi Jinping’s first meeting with President Obama as head of state on June 7th is also the first such summit to feature prominently the issue of alleged Chinese cyber-attacks on American companies and interests. It has taken a long time for the issue to take centre stage in diplomatic relations between the two countries. After years of ineffectual and perhaps overly discreet grumbling about Chinese hacking, American officials are finally forcing the issue.The prospects for effective public diplomacy on hacking appear grim. The Americans have placed some hope in “naming and shaming” China for hacking, and in recent months there has been no shortage of that. Senior American officials, big Western news media and Mandiant, a security firm, have issued a series of detailed reports and accusations of widespread Chinese hacking: of defence industry technology, of energy companies, of blueprints for American infrastructure, and of the e-mail systems of American officials and journalists. Mandiant’s report in February traced many attacks to the area around a People’s Liberation Army facility in Shanghai. see:Obama and Xi Tackle Cybersecurity as Talks Begin in California
President Obama, midway through much-anticipated weekend talks with President Xi Jinping of China, said Friday night that there was no parallel between the cyberattacks on American businesses and government interests that it blames on China and the United States government’s surveillance of phone and Internet traffic to foil terrorists.Mr. Xi sidestepped a question from a reporter about whether China was complicit in the hacking of America systems, and countered that his country was also a victim of cyberattacks. Both presidents said their countries and others must work to develop what Mr. Obama called “common rules” for cybersecurity to protect economies and militaries globally.

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