US issues unprecedented espionage charges against China

19 May 2014 16:16  [Source: ICIS news]

US issues unprecedented espionage charges against ChinaWASHINGTON (ICIS)--The US on Monday announced unprecedented criminal indictments against five officers of the Chinese army, alleging that they and co-conspirators hacked into US company computers to steal trade secrets.

US Attorney General Eric Holder said that the Department of Justice (DOJ) would seek to apprehend and prosecute the five officers for trial in a US court of law.

It was unclear whether or how the US might be able to apprehend foreign army officers, but Holder said that the effort was necessary because the information stolen from six American firms was “significant and demands an aggressive response”.

Holder said that among the six US entities allegedly victimised by Chinese army hacking campaigns were aluminium producer Alcoa, Westinghouse Electric, US Steel and the United Steel Workers Union (USW).

The indictment was issued by a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Several of the companies said to have been targeted by the alleged Chinese hacking campaign have headquarters or operations in Pennsylvania.

President Barack Obama's administration and members of Congress have long accused the Beijing government of conducting overt industrial espionage against the US, but Monday’s charges are the first to be issued against foreign government officials.

Paul Hodges studies key influences shaping the chemical industry in Chemicals and the Economy

By: Joe Kamalick
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