US Claims Progress in Cybersecurity Concerns with China

The US Government claims progress in getting China to agree to working together to achieve a common code of conduct for cyberspace and the betterment of cybersecurity, according to a report in the Associated Press.

The claim was made after the recent talks wherein China encouraged the US to bring up the means and reasons to have regular talks and summits on cybersecurity.

Following talks, US Secretary of State John Kerry told assembled reporters from around the world that the US had made it “crystal clear” that any cyberattack originating from China, whether or not sanctioned and sponsored by the state was “completely unacceptable.”

“There was an honest discussion, without accusations, without any finger-pointing, about the problem of cyber theft and whether or not it was sanctioned by government or whether it was hackers and individuals that the government has the ability to prosecute,” Kerry said.

Is progress possible?

While no specific details have been revealed from the talks just yet, President Obama said he “urged China to take concrete steps to lower tensions” in cyberspace, giving the long history of tension between the two countries. Senior officials and politicians have frequently claimed that Chinese hackers and state-sponsored hacker cells to be the culprits behind many major cyberattacks. This includes the recent data breach that compromised millions of U.S. Federal Employees’ personal data.

In response, China has always denied such allegations and has denied being involved in cybersecurity incidents while accusing the US Government of trying to target Chinese state officials and companies through means of multiple cyberattacks.

For all of the above reasons and more, experts believe the coexistence and peaceful partnering in being formidable against the threat of cyberattacks is hard to achieve between the two nations.

A case for real progress

In emphasizing their joint collaboration in combating climate change and preservation of the ocean by combating illegal fishing in the North Pacific, a case can be made for progress in the bi-lateral relationship between the two nations.

Kerry further noted that U.S. businesses locally have been hurt due to cyber intrusions in recent years before stressing that the two countries should determine the appropriate level of behavior in cyberspace, by working together.

“We need to work together in order to define [acceptable international norms of behavior], and then live by them,” Kerry added in sharing his views with reporters, courtesy of Reuters. “I think that message was clearly delivered and received and hopefully that work will begin in earnest very, very quickly.”