The White House on Monday announced an International Strategy for Cyberspace, which recognizes that intellectual property theft is a serious challenge to workers and businesses all around the globe, whose products are often stolen and distributed for profit by international criminal enterprises. As Commerce Secretary Gary Locke told the New York Times: “The effort to build trust in the cyberspace realm is one which should be pushed in capitals around the world.” We couldn’t agree more.
The report lists protecting intellectual property, including commercial trade secrets, from theft as one of its top policy priorities:
“The same global networks that power innovation also open up new avenues for industrial espionage and the theft of intellectual property and commercial information. Cyberspace can be used to steal an unprecedented volume of information from businesses, universities, and government agencies; such stolen information and technology can equal billions of dollars of lost value. Individual incidents often go unreported or undetected. Results can range from unfair competition to the bankrupting of entire firms, and the national impact may be orders of magnitude larger. The persistent theft of intellectual property, whether by criminals, foreign firms, or state actors working on their behalf, can erode competitiveness in the global economy, and businesses’ opportunities to innovate. The United States will take measures to identify and respond to such actions to help build an international environment that recognizes such acts as unlawful and impermissible, and hold such actors accountable.”
Full Copy of the Report