For many years, we've talked about just how bogus
the numbers are that get thrown around for "losses" and "job losses" due to copyright infringement. And yet they keep getting repeated. Two years ago, we were particularly stunned by a report from the ITC that claimed $48 billion dollars in losses directly due to Chinese piracy. But, as we looked at the methodology, the whole thing was completely ridiculous
. It was based on just asking a bunch of companies how much they thought
they must have lost to Chinese infringement. Not only is that a horribly unreliable and biased way to try to determine what's actually going on, it's difficult to see how companies would even know that information in the first place.
Outside of piracy, we've also noted that the stats used to support "cybercrime" and "cybersecurity" efforts are often just as bogus
. And here we have a story that brings the two subjects together.
points us to a NY Post article about Chinese cyberhacking
which builds off of the Mandiant report that got so much attention. The article is bizarre in that it claims that the US isn't fighting back against Chinese hackers and somehow that we're sitting on our hands while a great "cyberwar" is being waged against us. Apparently, the author, Ralph Peters, is wholly unaware that some of the only confirmed "attacks" via a computer system were by the US
. All this "woe is us" hand-wringing is just bizarre. But then Rogers tosses out these bogus and debunked numbers as if they're proof that we must attack China online:
According to the US International Trade Commission, Chinese intellectual property theft cost the United States $48 billion in 2009, as well as taking away 2 million jobs. Since then, the amount of theft has worsened, so the total loss is likely around $300 billion. But US companies, afraid that making their losses public will shake consumer confidence, won’t go public with their outrage.
Except, there's no way those numbers are even close to accurate. Again, they're based on self-reporting, and any estimate of "value" is guaranteed to be grossly overweighted. Then, take those numbers and, for reasons that make no sense at all, you don't just "grow" the $48 billion, but expand it more than six times
to claim it must be up to $300 billion by now? Really? And we're using that totally bogus and made up number as the basis of an argument for why we need to kick off a "cyberattack" on China? As if that won't escalate things even further? Incredible.