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Intelligence Chairman: U.S. Fighting Cyber War 'Every Day'

Michigan Republican Rep. Mike Rogers, chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, said “most Americans” do not realize that the United States is currently in the middle of a “cyber war.”

Rogers also said “talks” with China about their “intellectual property” theft are not working and further action must be taken.

“We are in a cyber war today. Most Americans don’t know it. They go about their lives happily and that’s a good thing other than the fact that we are in a cyber war today,” he said at the International Institute for Strategic Studies.

“We’re in that fight right now, every day, and we haven’t protected ourselves.”

Rogers recommends that the U.S. government not engage China on any issues until they get answers on their government’s “cyber espionage” efforts.

“Let’s start going after the individuals. Let’s make this really uncomfortable for the individuals who are sitting at those machines stealing intellectual property. We’re going to make sure that they can’t get visas to the United States,” Rogers said.

He stressed that the U.S. does not steal intellectual property from other nations.

The House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific held a hearing on Capitol Hill Tuesday on “The Cyber Security Battleground” in Asia.

“Theft of intellectual property not only takes away American jobs and hurts innovation and competitiveness, but it costs U.S. businesses anywhere between $200 billion and $400 billion a year,” said Ohio Republican Rep. Steven Chabot, the chairman of the subcommittee.

James Lewis, director of the Technology and Public Policy Program 
at the Center for Strategic International Studies, touched upon the challenges facing America in reaching a cybersecurity agreement with China.

“China is too important as a market, and the U.S. is too important as a guarantor of regional stability. Asian nations would prefer not to have to choose between the two. Political issues will complicate efforts to reach agreement on cybersecurity,” Lewis said in his testimony.

“Many Asian nations want to regulate content, citing pornography and online gambling as examples of Web services that they would like to block. It is also too early to measure the effect of the Snowden revelations on U.S. efforts to build international agreement on cybersecurity.”

He added that “a sustained engagement” with China and “cooperative arrangements with other Asian nations” are required to prevent Asia from becoming “a cybersecurity battleground.”

Phyllis Schneck, vice president and chief technology officer at McAfee, recommended a better public-private partnership to make the Internet safer.

“I think what companies can do is work with government to make it harder for the adversaries to win this. We keep our Internet, but we also build in better controls. It’s not about products,” she said.

“It’s about how you assess your risk, how you make boardroom-level decisions, to make things safer, whatever you buy and whatever you do. But that is a global private-to-government discussion that needs to be had very powerfully right now.”

Lewis said the U.S. should carefully use “punitive measures” to “encourage” China.

“They’re afraid of us. Right? They look at us, and they know we are infinitely more capable than them. We are all over their networks, right? Their networks can’t be defended,” he said.

“We don’t have to send the message we’re mad at you and we could overpower you. They already know it. So I want to find a way to work with them.”