Wednesday, February 20, 2013

U.S. Unveils New Strategy to Combat Trade-Secret Theft

The White House unveiled a new strategy to exert pressure on China and other countries that engage in corporate espionage against the U.S. as part of a new Obama administration push to counter cyberattacks and commercial spying.

The strategy, released Wednesday in a report that was the subject of a White House meeting, raised the prospect of stepped-up U.S. trade restrictions on products and services derived from stolen trade secrets. Officials also outlined a series of diplomatic actions to reinforce the administration's commitment to curbing such thefts.

The new push comes on the heels of fresh revelations of Chinese cyberspying and represents an effort by Washington to respond to growing complaints about theft of military and corporate secrets, with a number of the allegations focusing on China. (more)  

Trade restrictions and diplomatic actions are historically ineffective, not to mention unrealistic and counterproductive when trying to develop a global economy. These hand slaps are likely viewed as a cost of stealing doing business. Reward outweighs punishment. 

The missing element in intellectual property protection... 
Holding caretakers responsible. If your information would hurt the country if stolen, there should be a legal duty to protect that information. Add that element to trade restrictions and diplomatic actions, and you may just have a workable counterespionage strategy. Hey, it works for the other guys. (more)

P.S. "Promote Voluntary Best Practices by Private Industry to Protect Trade Secrets" (Section 2 of the report) is both vague and voluntary. It will never be adopted. Why? Two words... Risk Analysis. Think HIPAA or Sarbanes-Oxley would work if they were just voluntary best practices?

Don't get me started.