The US government has prepared economic sanctions contained in an executive order last April. The sanctions allow for "asset freeze and block of trade interactions with perpetrators of cyber espionage," according to Reuters.
However, US State Department spokesman Mark Toner said that the agency does not confirm or deny on the planned sanctions. "The US still has profound disagreements with China concerning cyber activity," Toner added. The issue involves Chinese officials trying to unlawfully gather personal and business data.
According to a few administration officials, the Obama administration is not yet decided on the issuance of these penalties, but expects to finalize on them soon, probably as early as two weeks or after Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit in September. The issue of cyber theft will be examined and reviewed when Xi Jinping visits Obama soon.
The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) report has estimated a yearly cost of at least $445 billion for cases of cybertheft and economic espionage to the global economy. It is lower than Obama's $1 trillion estimate, but the sanction places cybercrime as one type of drug trafficking that is causing a massive global economic loss.
China is the major suspect in an enormous hacking of a government agency. It has compromised various records of at least 4 million existing and former employees. China reportedly refuted to be involved in this case.
Stewart Baker, co-author of the report, said that the costs of cyber theft are huge and currently rising. As governments realize these costs, the more they will put their laws into line to prevent these losses.
The report revealed that the most progressive countries such as U.S., Germany and China suffer the biggest losses. Most of the cases were caused by intellectual property crime by offshore governments. Thus, the document does not mention any country behind the crime, but China has been named by the US government to be the main cause of cyber crimes against the United States.