WMAC (Weapons of Mass Annoyance Commission) Slams China
Think Sino-American relations are lousy now, wait until Beijing gets word that a congressional advisory panel has identified Chinese espionage as the “single greatest risk” to the American technology sector.
In its annual report to Congress, the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission accused China of enlisting engineers and scientists to acquire critical U.S. technology “by whatever means possible–including theft.” Said an official familiar with the report, “What the government cannot get through licit means, they are conducting an aggressive program of industrial espionage to acquire.”
To what end? Why, “cyber attacks” on American infrastructure, of course. Said Commission panelist USSTRATCOM Commander General James E. Cartwright, “I think that we should start to consider that [the sense of disruption and chaos] associated with a cyber attack could, in fact, be in the magnitude of a weapon of mass destruction.”
An unsettling hypothesis to say the least, although to be fair, not every panelist bought it. Said James Lewis from the Center for Strategic and International Studies: “The effect [of a cyber attack is] usually to solidify resistance, to encourage people to continue the fight, and if you haven’t actually badly damaged their abilities to continue to fight, all you’ve done is annoy them, and what many of us call cyber attacks [are] not weapons of mass destruction but weapons of mass annoyance.”