What's the Latest Development?
A recent National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) report, said to represent "the consensus view of the U.S. intelligence community," claims that the US is experiencing a multifaceted campaign of cyber-espionage that is serious enough to affect the country's economic competitiveness. The hacking involves a number of different sectors, including finance, aerospace, automotives, and even journalism. Although the report names Russia, Israel, and France as cyberspies, it makes it clear that China is by far the primary perpetrator. The Chinese government strongly denies any involvement in hacking.
What's the Big Idea?
Once considered limited to intelligence and the military, the issue has grown to the point where "[s]ome experts have said that cyber-espionage’s cost to the U.S. economy might range from 0.1 percent to 0.5 percent of gross domestic product, or $25 billion to $100 billion." The details included in the NIE are expected to help the Obama administration as it takes steps to overcome past passivity towards the problem; one former government official noted that "foreign cyber-espionage...is invisible, and invisibility promotes inaction."
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