Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 14, 2016

Chinese Hacking Case Riles Up Pa. Lawmakers

Two Pittsburgh-area House members want federal agencies to spell out whether they have the authority to impose sanctions on companies that use cyber-espionage to steal trade secrets.

The proposal, made yesterday on the House floor, comes after recent allegations of Chinese hacking of U.S. companies’ networks. Several of the targeted entities, including U.S. Steel and Alcoa, have big presences in Pittsburgh.

Sponsored by Democrat Mike Doyle and backed by Republican Tim Murphy, the measure was offered yesterday as an amendment to a fiscal 2015 spending bill that covers the Commerce and Justice Departments as well as various science agencies. The amendment would focus on the Commerce Department, the U.S. Trade Representative and the International Trade Commission.

“And while these indictments are the first of their kind, businesses in the United States have been facing cyberattacks like this for years,” Doyle said yesterday. “Now I’d like to think that these cyber-spies will be prosecuted and imprisoned for their actions at some point. But that won’t do anything to reverse the damage that they’ve done.”

“Let’s send a clear message to the bad actors around the world that the United States has the power and the will to punish those that engage in criminal  trade practices,” Doyle said.

Doyle withdrew the amendment, and while it’s unclear precisely why he withdrew it, the chairman of the Appropriations subcommittee with jurisdiction indicated that it could re-emerge as the legislative process moves forward. “This is one of the better amendments offered today,” said Frank R. Wolf, R-Va., a vocal critic of the Chinese government. “Frankly I will do everything I can to make sure this is in the bill when it becomes a conference report.”

Last week, CQ Roll Call’s David Harrison reported that New York Democratic Sen. Charles E. Schumer called for the “United States to file a lawsuit with the World Trade Organization to punish China for allegedly hacking into the networks of American businesses, an action that would raise the profile of the charges in the trade world and potentially draw other nations into the dispute.”

  • Hans Ohff

    The argument between the liberty school and the collectivists is not one about improvement, but rather about the best ways of doing so.

  • Yonatan YONATAN

    The Republican and democratic parties, have both FAILED the millions of unemployed families without an UNEMPLOYMENT EXTENSION since late last December. For over five months now, the republicans have held the extension bill “HOSTAGE” in the senate, for political leverage, and party agenda. While millions of these families were facing EVICTIONS, HOME FORECLOSURES, BANKRUPTCY, AND HOMELESSNESS, the politicians were playing “party politics” and using them as bargaining chips. Both party’s have totally walked away from this crisis, preferring not do anything further more about it. When so many families are struggling, and hurting financially, and watching their credit becoming destroyed, the congress approved a foreign aid package for the Ukraine, worth BILLIONS of tax payer dollars. How can this be possible? What ever happened to taking care of Americans here at home? Both parties have shown a total lack of human compassion, and common decency towards these unemployed families. Americans need to demonstrate out in the streets across this country, and demand CHANGE. We need to REMOVE these career politicians, and replace them with “PUBLIC SERVANTS” again, that will truly represent the people.

  • iontech

    “Chinese hacking Riles PA lawmakers”. Hmmm. So, US hacking of other nations, foreign private businesses in the name of national security and whatever else is acceptable, legal and legitimate. What sort of legal standing is that, or moral, ethical standing is that? Can’t lecture others when one is committing the exact same crime – yes crime. But the well we are the only super power (super hero out to save the world from them evil Asians hacking), so we are allowed to do anything we want – but no one else can do it. They do, it is a GREAT OFFENSE. Now that is from Emperor of the Imperial State!!

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