U.S. Cyber Activity and Global Trade Transactions — They are Related.


Cyber activity (snooping) and global transactions are related. In more ways than you think. It’s more than just stealing trade secrets. It is clear that the recent disclosures concerning NSA surveillance is already  generating a great deal of debate within the United States and abroad.
It is also clear that this disclosure will impact relations with China and the EU. This will be in the context of various issues including  cyberespionage, data privacy, foreign direct investment (in the U.S. and abroad), and global trade relations.
The forthcoming G-20 meeting is already scheduled to address the three big “T” issues relating to global transactions — trade, tax and transparency (corruption). I would not be surprised that another “T” or issue would be added — Telecommunication and Internet Security. After all, the revolution in information technology and telecommunications is the basis of global trade today.
The recent disclosure of various secretive cyber and telecommunication activities by the U.S. government has implications outside of U.S. domestic politics. This story has only just begun.
We’ll see how the debate develops over data privacy, national security in the digital age, and global trade.
…. The disclosure of the NSA surveillance of phone records and social media will transform the entire terms of debate with China over trade and cyberespionage.  “America and China and Entwined in a Web of War.Financial Times (June 8, 2013).
…. The “Three Ts” of Global Transactions — Trade, Tax and Transparency (Corruption) — are going to be the focus of the forthcoming G-8. “G8 Leaders Braced for Battle on Evasion.Financial Times (June 11, 2013).
…. Also to be considered may be a new “T” — Telecommunications — in light of the recent NSA disclosures. “Hopes Shrink for EU Trade Deal.” Washington Post (June 14,            2013).

About Stuart Malawer

Distinguished Service Professor of Law & International Trade at George Mason University (Schar School of Public Policy).
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