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US and China in urgent talks on cybersecurity deal, says report
The United States and China have been engaged in urgent negotiations in recent weeks on a cybersecurity deal and may announce an agreement when the Chinese president Xi Jinping arrives in Washington on Thursday, according to reports.
The agreement could address cyber attacks on power stations, cellphone networks and hospitals, according to unidentified officials cited by the New York Times on Saturday.
The initial agreement, however, was likely to fall short of offering any protection against most of the attacks - including espionage and the widespread poaching of intellectual property - that China has been accused of conducting in the United States, the Times said.
The White House declined to comment.
President Barack Obama called last Wednesday for an international framework to prevent the internet from being "weaponised" as a tool of national aggression, while holding out the prospect of a forceful US response to China over hacking attacks.
He also said cybersecurity would be a major focus in his talks with Xi, a topic that has become a point of friction in US-Chinese relations.
According to the Times, one aim of US negotiators is to have Chinese leaders embrace a code of conduct adopted recently by a working group at the United Nations.
One of the principles of the UN document is that no state should allow cyber activity that cripples another's critical infrastructure during peacetime.
[Source: The Guardian, Reuters, London, 20Sep15]
Privacy and counterintelligence
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