During a recent panel discussion, NSA official and former White House cybersecurity coordinator, Rob Joyce, stated that the Chinese government has violated the 2015 cyber-espionage agreement. Mr. Joyce was part of a panel discussion being hosted by the Aspen Institute at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco. According to Mr. Joyce, the NSA has seen a sharp change in Chinese cyber-activity that shows a “troubling trend.” When the agreement was made in 2015, the language of the agreement was such that not only could neither government participate in cyber-espionage for economic reasons, but they could not also knowingly support it either. This is an important distinction to make, since the Chinese government has a documented history of utilizing proxy groups to do their bidding online. While no one should be surprised to hear that China has been seen breaking their side of the agreement, it is surprising that a government official would make such a statement publicly when tensions involving trade agreements are so high.
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