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Hacking America: The China vs. Russia Question

Matthew Hanley, Staff Writer

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Upon the dawning of the New Year, it becomes ever more apparent that the American media has made great investments into the pursuit of our Russian counterparts. More specifically, our Russian counterpart’s hackers. Given the frenzy and outcry expressed by the American people, one would at first imagine these hackings to be the first the United States have ever suffered. This is far from the truth.

Little more than two years ago, the United States was accosted by hackers even further East. Russia’s neighbor, China, has been held responsible for a number of cyber-attacks on the United States. Their attacks are launched often and are intended to damage not only the United States, but also its many corporations and industries. It is estimated that Chinese hackers have stolen tens of millions of dollars from the United States alone. If we were to include China’s neighboring states, the number would be much higher.

The United States’ response to the Chinese cyberattack was in stark contrast to Russia’s. The White House’s actions taken against Russia have been much more severe, resulting in the disposal of Russia’s diplomats on American soil.

When asked about the White House’s harsh response to the Russian hackings and leniency on the Chinese attacks, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest responded, “I’m not downplaying the significance of it, I’m just saying that it is different than seeking to interfere in the conduct of a U.S. national election. I can’t speak to the steps that have been taken by the United States in response to that Chinese malicious cyber activity.”

The most recurring consequence of Russia’s persistent attack this year has been the suspected tampering of the presidential election. The most recurring consequence of China’s many attacks is the filtering of money and intellectual property from large corporations and businesses who have little to no ties to their consumers. The Presidential election is popularly regarded as a sacred routine of the nation, in which our constitution and liberties are able to be exercised.

To tamper with that is certain to elicit outrage. As exemplified by most social media platforms, it is primarily the democrat voter base that has displayed great disapproval of the act. Some have even gone so far as to blame the cyberattack for Secretary Clinton’s loss in November. Many republican voters have demonstrated their anger over the hacking attempt, albeit in fewer numbers. President-Elect Trump condemned the hacking over Twitter, stating, “He [Putin] shouldn’t be doing it. He won’t be doing it.”

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