Group of senators propose new law to battle cyber theft

A proposed new law, the Deter Cyber Theft Act, would help defend U.S. companies against data theft and computer espionage by foreign interests, a bipartisan group of senators said this week.

Republican and Democratic senators including John McCain and Carl Levin proposed the Deter Cyber Theft Act, which aims to curb the loss of “billions” in trade secrets to foreign firms and countries via cyber theft.

The Deter Cyber Theft Act would require the Director of National Intelligence to compile an annual report of “foreign economic and industrial espionage”. This would include a list of foreign countries and companies that engage in cyber theft, plus a list of technologies and information stolen via such espionage. The legislation would also require the president to block import of products containing stolen U.S. technology, according to a statement on Democrat Carl Levin’s web page.

“It is time that we fought back to protect American businesses and American innovation. We need to call out those who are responsible for cyber theft and empower the president to hit the thieves where it hurts most – in their wallets, by blocking imports of products or from companies that benefit from this theft,” said Levin.

“Some foreign governments, businesses and state-owned enterprises are today using cyber espionage to steal American intellectual property and rob U.S. ingenuity and innovation in order to gain competitive advantage,” said Republican John McCain.

“This kills American jobs, undermines the competitiveness of our businesses and compromises U.S. economic and national security interests, and it must stop now. This bill provides the President with the authority to target those who are attempting to unfairly and illegally benefit from cyber crime at the expense of America’s interests.”

Author Rob Waugh, We Live Security

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