China agrees to cease cyber-attacks on Canadian private sector

Officials representing the Chinese and Canadian governments signed an important agreement that concerns Canada’s private sector.

Both countries have agreed not to conduct cyber-attacks that target commercial proprietary data. China was represented by their Communist Party’s Wang Yongqing, and Canada was represented by national security and intelligence advisor Daniel Jean.

The bilateral pact materialized four days after a phone call between Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang. The Canadian government publicized the deal in a statement dated 22 June 2017.

In 2014, Chinese attackers penetrated the network of Canada’s National Research Council, affecting really sensitive data. The recent agreement pertains to attacks that are classified as economic espionage, so general cyber-attacks on the Canadian government aren’t covered under this deal. Canada’s private sector is the main beneficiary of the agreement.

A press release from the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Canada stated: “The two sides have confirmed their future cooperation framework. Some common goals are expected to be reached under the framework, such as initiating a discussion on an extradition treaty and finalizing an agreement on sharing and returning recovered assets.”

A statement from the Government of Canada added: “The two sides agreed that neither country’s government would conduct or knowingly support cyber-enabled theft of intellectual property, including trade secrets or other confidential business information, with the intent of providing competitive advantages to companies or commercial sectors.”

The bilateral pact marks a significant turn for Canada’s cybersecurity and relationship with China. According to a senior Canadian government official who was involved in the talks, “This is something that three or four years ago (China) would not even have entertained in the conversation. For us, having the commitment on paper is good because we can refer to it. The fact that we do this doesn’t mean we won’t be vigilant, but at the same time, if things happen we can go back (to the pact).”

Source: Info Security

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