Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and Control of Cyber Attacks

by edwardmroche

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) treaty is not one for cyber arms control, but at least it does go a way in spelling out national concerns over improper use of hacking and industrial espionage through cyber means.

The TPP obligates all signatories to guarantee the free flow of data, protect individual (and corporate) privacy, and put in place more robust cyber security measures.  It also has a mechanism that will allow economic sanctions against companies that are caught engaging in industrial espionage through cyber means.

This could be a more powerful deterrent that at first it seems.  It appears to envision a situation in which a cyber attack against one signatory can be punished by all members of the TPP putting in place economic sanctions against the offending company.  This is a powerful weapon, if it is ever used.

In addition, there are rules that target common practices in China, such as forced technology transfer and forced intellectual property transfer.

Although the TPP is primarily an economic trade pact, the underlying mechanism for coordination of cyber security issues might be studied to learn lessons about how countries in the future can respond credibly to cyber attacks.