Cyber security on Obama administration`s top priority: White House

The issue of cyber security is a high priority for the Obama Administration, the White House on Monday said, asserting that it would not tolerate any cyber espionage and other attacks that badly hit the American national security and economic interests.

PTI| Last Updated: May 20, 2014, 01:08 AM IST

Washington: The issue of cyber security is a high priority for the Obama Administration, the White House on Monday said, asserting that it would not tolerate any cyber espionage and other attacks that badly hit the American national security and economic interests.
"(US) President (Barack) Obama has made cybersecurity a high priority for his administration. It is specifically the case that the president has expressed publicly and directly with his Chinese counterpart our concern over government- sponsored cyber-enabled theft of trade secrets and other sensitive business information for commercial gain," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters.

"This is an issue that has been brought up by Obama with (Chinese) President Xi (Jinping) in their meetings as recently as in March as a general problem that we have seen, and reflects the president`s overall concern about cybersecurity," Carney said.

Carney`s remarks hours after a federal jury indicted five Chinese military hackers for computer hacking, economic espionage and other offenses directed at six American victims in the US nuclear power, metals and solar products industries.

The indictment alleges the Chinese hackers conspired to hack into American entities, to maintain unauthorized access to their computers and to steal information from those entities that would be useful to their competitors in China, including state-owned enterprises (SOEs).

"We have consistently and candidly raised these concerns with the Chinese government. Today`s announcement reflects our growing concern that this Chinese behavior has continued. Now, we remain committed to developing a constructive and productive relationship with China and are ready to work with China to prevent this activity from continuing," he said.

Carney said Obama has conveyed his general concern about this issue to his Chinese counterpart.
"We have made it a top-line topic of conversation in our interactions with our Chinese counterparts. The overall challenge posed by cybersecurity matters is one that this president has made a top priority for his administration, and we`re going to continue to do that," he said.

"I think that the President would like to see, and has made this clear too to his Chinese counterparts, cooperation and coordination on issues of cybersecurity rather than disagreement on matters like this," he said.

He said there is and has been an opportunity for cooperation and coordination on cybersecurity issues with the Chinese, and that is certainly what the US has have sought.

"But let`s also be clear that the (US) President has identified this as a challenge. He has made clear all along that when there are threats posed to our cybersecurity, to our government as well as our businesses, that he expects action to be taken and for there to be accountability," he said.