Washington: Top American lawmakers and experts have warned that the massive cyber-hacking emanating from China seriously threatens the bilateral relationship and urged the Obama administration to take all necessary measures to counter the threat.
"We`ve seen in the last few years it`s not only American companies that are the targets, it`s media and it`s human rights organisations - something particularly important to Congressman Smith and me.
Journalist writing about corruption in China find their computer systems hacked and their passwords stolen," Senator Sherrod Brown said during a Congressional hearing yesterday.
"For human rights organisations and activists dealing with hacking attacks from China is almost a daily fact of life. We can`t sit idly by. That`s why I support a comprehensive common sense bipartisan approach to hold China accountable," he said.
"With the growing prevalence of computer networks in America`s heavily wired economy, cyber-attacks represent an increasingly growing threat alongside more traditional forms of intellectual property theft. China simply doesn`t play by the same rules as we do. Chinese governments deny these attacks even though there is evidence of Chinese involvement," he added.
"Cyber-attacks on Congress are only a small, but not insignificant part of a much larger pattern of attacks that have targeted the executive branch, the Pentagon and American businesses," Congressman Christopher Smith said in his remarks, alleging that his own computers have been hacked by sources originating in China.
Senator Carl Levin said reports submitted to the US government indicate China to be the worst offender by far.
"As far back as 2011, the National Counterintelligence Executive said in its annual report to Congress to, quote, "Chinese actors," are the world`s most active and persistent perpetrators of economic espionage," he said.
Levin along with other Senators had recently introduced a legislation -- Senate Bill 884, the Deter Tech Cyber Theft Act - which requires the director of National Intelligence to produce a report that includes a watch list and a priority watch list of foreign countries that engage in economical or industrial espionage against the United States in cyberspace.