Colucci: Cyberwar is a real war. Act like it

Lamont Colucci, associate professor and chair of politics and government and interim director of the Center for Politics and the People at Ripon College, wrote an opinion piece about the cyberwar — economic and industrial espionage.

It was published by U.S. News & World Report. Click here to read the full article.

He wrote that when countries like Russia and China attack us electronically, we need to hit back.

“On April 1, President Barack Obama signed an executive order, ‘Blocking the Property of Certain Persons Engaging in Significant Malicious Cyber-Enabled Activities,’ ” Colucci writes. “This would allow the United States government, through the secretary of the treasury (in consultation with the attorney general and secretary of state) to apply sanctions to individuals or groups that engage in economic espionage.

“President Obama’s benchmark threats are those that ‘create a significant threat to U.S. national security, foreign policy, or economic health or financial stability of the United States.’ Although this is a long overdue step in the right direction, it may again reflect the Obama administration’s instinct to take the minimalist path of least resistance.”

Colucci says effects of the cyberwar are staggering, with economic espionage estimated to be costing the American economy and American jobs up to$500 billion annually. Russia and China — the two biggest “cyberadversaries” of the United States — are reported to have hacked into hundreds of American, European and Asian companies, stealing valuable intellectual property.

“These are state actors of the two greatest power threats to United States interests using their intelligence arms to attack U.S. corporations,” Colucci writes. “This is not a case for the attorney general and secretary of the treasury to impose sanctions. This is warfare, and it should be treated as such.”


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Lamont Colucci