- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 2, 2012

Chinese theft of U.S. intellectual property through hacking and computer espionage is “the greatest pillaging of wealth in history,” Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper told lawmakers Thursday.

Testifying before the House Intelligence Committee, the top U.S. intelligence officials talked about cyberthreats as part of a wide-ranging discussion of national security issues.

The threat in cyberspace would “equal or surpass” that from terrorism “within a few years,” said FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III.

Mr. Clapper said the computer activities of foreign adversaries, as well as criminal or terrorist groups and other nonstate actors, are “a profound threat to this country, to its future, to its economy, to its very being.”

He added that the Obama administration has proposed legislation to strengthen U.S. cybersecurity but that it is one among as many as 50 bills on the topic in both chambers of Congress

“There are profound policy issues, who’s-in-charge issues,” that have to be resolved in order for the legislation to move forward, Mr. Clapper said.