Declaring cybercrime a “national emergency,” President Obama today empowered Treasury to freeze assets that are the fruits of cybercrime, according to an Executive Order issued this afternoon. The agency can block money or property in the United States or in the control of any United States person determined to have engaged in “cyber-enabled activities” originating or directed from outside the United States. Targeted activities include harming computer networks in critical infrastructure sectors; significantly disrupting a computer network; or causing significant misappropriation of trade secrets and other protected information. The EO also enables seizure of money or property of any persons involved in misappropriating trade secrets by “cyber-enabled means” that impact the national security, foreign policy, or economic health or financial stability of the United States.
TSW is tracking the EO and will report further developments.
Tensions recently escalated in the United States and China’s ongoing exchange over online security and technology policies, as China adopted the first in a series of policies it previously approved at the end of last year. Among other things, the newly adopted regulations require foreign technology companies that sell computer equipment to Chinese banks to submit to obtrusive audits, set up research and development centers in the country, build “back doors” into their hardware and software, and, perhaps most disconcerting, disclose intellectual property to the Chinese government, including proprietary source code.
This marks the inaugural “Five Minutes With” feature that Trade Secrets Watch will run occasionally. These will be question-and-answers with notable figures in the trade secrets world.
TSW got a chance to sit down with UC Hastings College of the Law professor and Liberty, Security & Technology Clinic founder Ahmed Ghappour. He had a lot to say about trade secrets, cybersecurity, and encrypting “all the things.”
TSW: Ahmed, TSW is dying to know what you’ve been up to lately in the world of economic espionage. What’s the inside scoop?