Bipartisan Effort to Punish Nation-State Cyber Hackers

Washington, D.C. - Today bipartisan leaders from the House and Senate will launch new efforts to punish criminals backed by China, Russia or other foreign governments for cyber spying and theft. The Cyber Economic Espionage Accountability Act, introduced today by Reps. Mike Rogers, R-Mich; Tim Ryan, D- Ohio and Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wisc. will send a clear message to offending nations that this behavior will no longer be tolerated.

“This is a vital step to let China know that there are real consequences to stealing American intellectual property and robbing U.S. ingenuity and innovation in order to gain competitive advantage,” Rogers said. "It’s happening at an alarming rate. It is one of my top national security concerns. This rampant theft is crushing American jobs. We need to identify these economic cyber criminals and create valid consequences to prevent them from undermining our economy and compromising U.S. national security.”

"Theft of U.S. intellectual property is costing our economy an estimated $300 billion a year. It costs American jobs, innovation, and threatens national security,” said Senator Ron Johnson. “It's time there are repercussions for these brazen acts taken by foreign actors. This bill is a simple, common-sense measure. It directs the Administration to develop a list of cyber spies, make that list public, and enforce penalties for those bad actors. I support recent statements by the Administration on the importance of countering cyber espionage, and encourage the President to make this a topic of discussion with Chinese President Xi Jinping tomorrow."

“This bill will give the President and Congress the power and oversight to deal with foreign cyber espionage in a meaningful way,” said Congressman Tim Ryan. “Stealing intellectual property not only threatens the manufacturing jobs we have—it threatens the jobs we are trying to create. We need to ensure that countries like China and Russia no longer gain a competitive advantage through cyber crimes.”

The Cyber Economic Espionage Accountability Act calls for the Department of Justice to bring more economic espionage criminal cases against offending foreign actors.  The bill would also deny foreign agents participating in cyber crimes from applying for visas to enter the United States.  And if they are currently residing in the U.S., their visa can be revoked and their financial assets frozen.