DOJ's Tone Deaf Criminal Charges Against Chinese Hackers Helps No One, Opens US Officials Up To Similar Charges
from the what-is-the-point? dept
And, in fact, people are already pointing out that by firing the opening shot with criminal charges, the DOJ may be opening the floodgates against the NSA, FBI and others for similar charges in other countries. Obviously, China will almost certainly hit back with charges -- possibly even trying to arrest some folks in that country. But the ridiculousness of the situation may also lead other countries to levy charges against specific individuals within US intelligence -- thereby making life a lot more difficult for US intelligence officials in the near future.
So, the downside to this indictment seems fairly high. And for what upside? It's difficult to see any real upside. The US is clearly never going to get its hands on the specific individuals named in the indictment. China certainly isn't going to hand them over. And for all of the DOJ's bluster about finally having "proof" of criminal activity, no one is that interested. Everyone already knew the People's Liberation Army did this kind of hacking. Instead, the only real impact of this indictment seems to be the backlash, as people compare it to the lengths that US intelligence has gone to to spy on the rest of the world (including the Chinese).
In the end, the whole thing seems incredibly tone deaf on multiple levels. It calls more attention to questionable US activities, opens up US intelligence employees to criminal charges around the world, and does nothing to harm the Chinese. Doesn't anyone at the DOJ think these things through?