Mitt Romney said China was “stealing our intellectual property” and “hacking into our computers.”
President Obama did not respond.
In November 2011, the Office of the National Counterintelligence Executive issued a report on cyber-spying that said Chinese entities “are the world’s most active and persistent perpetrators of economic espionage. Chinese attempts to collect U.S. technological and economic information will continue at a high level and will represent a growing and persistent threat to U.S. economic security."
Members of Congress and independent analysts have said that China has a policy of stealing intellectual property through hacking attacks on U.S. and Western businesses and infrastructure, although many attacks cannot be clearly traced.
The Obama administration has been reluctant to raise the issue publicly because the U.S. government engages in cyber-espionage for national security purposes. In addition, U.S. businesses are often unwilling to acknowledge when they have been the victim of a computer attack or cyber-theft.