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China, US take aim at cybercrime

Updated: Jun 16,2016 7:22 AM     China Daily

China and the United States have pledged to work closer to fight cybercrime and vowed to prioritize cases related to cybertheft of intellectual property for commercial gain.

They will clamp down on the spread of online pornographic information involving children, using technology and telecommunications to assist violent and terrorist activities, internet scams committed through emails and phishing websites, and trading firearms online, the Ministry of Public Security said on June 15 following the second High-Level Joint Dialogue on Cybercrime and Related Issues in Beijing.

An agreement was reached on the scope and procedures for a hotline to fight cybercrime and related issues, which will undergo a trial run before September.

In recognition of the need to increase manpower and other resources, both sides are to enhance contact between national supervisory bodies involving criminal judiciary assistance, the statement said.

Tao Wenzhao, a researcher in Sino-US relations at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said, “The joint dialogue mechanism is expected to narrow differences in the two countries’ stances on cybersecurity issues and develop collaboration in this regard into a major area of cooperation.”

He said they are likely to work more closely on activities involving business intelligence, which will be managed differently from activities related to political intelligence.

A high-level joint dialogue mechanism on fighting cybercrime and related issues was set up in September during President Xi Jinping’s state visit to the US. The dialogue is scheduled to occur twice per year. Both sides agreed to establish a hotline for the escalation of issues that may arise in the course of responding to such requests.

The first dialogue was held in Washington in December. The Ministry of Public Security said the two countries will hold the third dialogue in Washington this year.

Under the mechanism, the US secretary of homeland security and the attorney general will co-chair the dialogue, with participation of representatives from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the US intelligence community and other agencies.

The second dialogue in Beijing on June 14 was attended by Minister of Public Security Guo Shengkun and Suzanne Spaulding, an undersecretary at the US Department of Homeland Security. Other senior officials from both countries also participated.

US Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson and Attorney General Loretta Lynch had been scheduled to attend the meeting, but they withdrew after the mass shooting in Orlando, Florida.