Hacked U.S. Tech Contractors Oppose Anti-China Procurement Law

April 5, 2013

Technology contractors are warning Congress that a new counter-cyber spy law will leave agencies even more vulnerable to breaches by slowing the purchase of security systems to screen for Chinese-made components.

It might seem counterintuitive for companies allegedly robbed of proprietary designs by Chinese hackers to oppose protections. And it’s worth noting that information technology businesses generally are reluctant to publicly accuse China of hacking, partly because they have Chinese customers. 

But the firms say discriminating against China could encourage retaliation and additional federal security audits could prevent the timely installation of safe network controls.
 
"The requirement to assess every IT product purchase, absent any triggering threshold,  will likely slow the federal acquisition process and put impacted federal agencies behind the security innovation curve because they would not be acquiring and using the latest security innovations," 11 technology associations wrote in an April 4 letter to House and Senate leaders. The cosigners include TechAmerica, the Software and Information Industry Association that represents federal cloud providers; and the Chamber of Commerce, whose own data reportedly was compromised by Chinese hackers.
 
The mandate, signed into law on March 26, applies to the departments of Commerce and Justice, NASA and the National Science Foundation

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