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Thursday, April 17 2014 @ 01:43 AM CDT

White House Strategy to Protect Trade Secrets Mischaracterizes WikiLeaks, Criminalizes Hacktivists

Human Rights

The administration of President Barack Obama released a strategy aimed at protecting trade secrets. As White House press secretary Jay Carney stated, the strategy aims to “protect the innovation that drives the American economy and supports jobs in the United States.” He said, “We know that trade secret theft can cripple a company’s competitive advantage in foreign markets, diminish export prospects around the globe, and put American jobs in jeopardy.” That was why the White House had put together a strategy.

White House Strategy to Protect Trade Secrets Mischaracterizes WikiLeaks, Criminalizes Hacktivists

By Kevin Gosztola
February 20, 2013

The administration of President Barack Obama released a strategy aimed at protecting trade secrets. As White House press secretary Jay Carney stated, the strategy aims to “protect the innovation that drives the American economy and supports jobs in the United States.” He said, “We know that trade secret theft can cripple a company’s competitive advantage in foreign markets, diminish export prospects around the globe, and put American jobs in jeopardy.” That was why the White House had put together a strategy.

The strategy notes, according to the Office of National Counterintelligence Executive (ONCIX), the “pace of economic espionage and trade secret theft against US corporations is accelerating.” It adds, “US companies, law firms, academia, and financial institutions are experiencing cyber intrusion activity against electronic repositories contain­ing trade secret information.” This is placing the “security of US economy in jeopardy.”

Given how vulnerable companies, law firms, academia and financial institutions seem to be, it is reasonable for the government to want to take some kind of action, especially if “foreign competitors of US corporations, some with ties to foreign govern­ments, have increased their efforts to steal trade secret information through the recruitment of current or former employees.” That is why it is alarming that part of the strategy focuses on the alleged actions of “hacktivists” and also names the media organization, WikiLeaks.

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