May 25, 2013 4:43 AM GMT
From Bloomberg Businessweek,
The U.S. government doesn’t deny that it engages in cyber espionage. “You’re not waiting for someone to decide to turn information into electrons and photons and send it,” says Hayden (former head of NSA and CIA under Bush). “You’re commuting to where the information is stored and extracting the information from the adversaries’ network. We are the best at doing it. Period.” The U.S. position is that some kinds of hacking are more acceptable than others—and the kind the NSA does is in keeping with unofficial, unspoken rules going back to the Cold War about what secrets are OK for one country to steal from another. “China is doing stuff you’re not supposed to do,” says Jacob Olcott, a principal at Good Harbor Security Risk Management, a Washington firm that advises hacked companies.
Intelligence officials say one way to exert pressure on China is to change the subject from spying to trade—threatening restrictions on imports of goods made using stolen technology, or withholding visas for employees of companies that make such products.
The bottom line: Using automated hacking tools, NSA cyberspies pilfer 2 petabytes of data every hour from computers worldwide.