There is an increasingly loud (and public) debate within the U.S. government about how to respond to Cyber War. The U.S. has lost hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of technology to China. While much of this stuff is covered by patents, details that must accompany the patent application do not contain all you need to replicate the patent illegally. China has been going after these unpublished trade secrets and other essential items not made public but essential to make stolen technology work. This involves a lot of trade secrets considered too valuable (to illegal duplication) to even patent. China has stolen a lot of stuff and that includes purely military secrets like wartime plans and procedures.
The Department of Defense has lots of useful ideas about how to retaliate but lawyers and American war planners have so far blocked these plans. Some of the retaliation plans involve dismantling China’s internal Internet spying and censoring system as well as making Chinese Internet based information and control systems unusable. Some government lawyers consider many of these operations illegal, or at least unclear in the legality department. Some American war planners caution that it is best to not reveal just how much damage we can do because that gives the Chinese an opportunity to adjust their defenses. A growing number of Department of Defense officials believe the Chinese are already on the offensive in the Cyber War department and the U.S. is not helping itself by waiting for the lawyers and paranoid planners to be placated before actually doing something to discourage the Chinese and other nations waging Cyber War against the United States. This is becoming increasingly popular because, so far, there is little risk of retaliation.