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In a first, Chinese hackers are arrested at the behest of the U.S. government.


Stashed in: China, Chinoi Moderne, Cyberwar!

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The arrests come amid signs of a potential change in the power balance between the U.S. and Chinese governments on commercial cyberespionage, one of the most fraught issues between the two countries. For years, U.S. firms and officials have said Beijing hasn’t done enough to crack down on digital larceny. Experts estimate that Chinese industrial hacking costs U.S. firms tens of billions of dollars annually.

In recent weeks, U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies drew up a list of the hackers the United States wanted arrested.

“We need to know that you’re serious,” was the way one individual familiar with the matter described the message. “So we gave them a list, and we said, ‘Look, here’s these guys. Round them up.’”

China's president promises to cooperate on cyber security issues

Play Video1:03

Chinese President Xi Jinping said that China is ready to embark on a joint effort with the United States to fight cybercrimes. (AP)

Now, administration officials are watching to see if China will follow through with prosecutions. A public trial is important not only because that would be consistent with established principles of criminal justice, but because it could discourage other would-be hackers and show that the arrests were not an empty gesture.

Yeah, I wonder if China considers this an escalation. 

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