(Fortune) Believe it or not, the time may be ripe for a cyber deal with Russia that would aim to protect average Americans from cyber hacks during peacetime. While the idea might not sit well with those investigating Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election, the United States would lose nothing by seeing whether an accord might work.
At a similar juncture in 2015, the United States was able to reach a cyber accord with China. Beijing, like Moscow now, had just been blamed for a massive hack. China was accused of stealing security clearance records for millions of government employees and contractors at the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, leaving U.S. intelligence officers unmasked and vulnerable to blackmail. The U.S. Justice Department charged five Chinese military officers—just as it has now charged two Russian intelligence officers—with cybercrimes.
The China case centered on corporate espionage against U.S. companies, and marked the first time that cyber charges had been brought against foreign officials by any country. China agreed to mutual limits with the United States on corporate espionage, fearing that sanctions might otherwise follow. The accord seems to have had at least some affect, as Chinese corporate hacking against the United States fell in its aftermath, even though no one knows how long the accord will last, or whether Chinese hackers have just gotten more sophisticated about hiding their intrusions. […]
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