POLITICO features the Cyber Statecraft Initiative’s Cyber Risk Wednesday: Rethinking Commercial Espionage in a discussion on US involvement in cyber espionage to benefit US companies:

Instead of decrying the fact that China and other nations are hacking US companies to steal trade secrets that benefit local firms, the US should consider getting in the game, Crowdstrike co-founder Dmitri Alperovitch suggested at an Atlantic Council discussion Wednesday. “The lever of the US intelligence community essentially having a declaratory policy that we will punish companies engaged in this activity … by perpetrating economic espionage against them … could have a deterrent effect that is very useful,” Alperovitch said.

Another panelist at the event, former National Security Agency (NSA) General Counsel Stewart Baker, disagreed. Outside any ethical considerations, Baker argued, the intelligence community likely wouldn’t be very good at hacking foreign companies to benefit US firms because it doesn’t have clear enough insight into what information would be most useful. And it would be difficult to share the stolen information in a way that wouldn’t favor one US company over another. Alperovitch suggested the IC could just ask the Commerce Department what data would be most useful. As for not privileging one company over another, he suggested simply posting the information online for all to see. “You can leverage WikiLeaks; I’m sure they’d like it,” he said, seemingly half-joking.

Read the full article here.