Corporate America’s Tough Choices

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Last year, a company called Telvent, which monitors pipelines, discovered that Chinese hackers had broken into its computer systems. Today, Stuart Staniford alerts me to this remarkable paragraph in a New York Times story about the incident:

At a moment when corporate America is caught between what it sees as two different nightmares — preventing a crippling attack that brings down America’s most critical systems, and preventing Congress from mandating that the private sector spend billions of dollars protecting against that risk — the Telvent experience resonates as a study in ambiguity.

I guess that’s the kind of thing that really keeps American CEOs up at night. Which is more apocalyptic: the prospect of Chinese hackers destroying their infrastructure, or the prospect of a government regulation that tries to stop Chinese hackers from destroying their infrastructure? Decisions, decisions…..

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Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2020 demands.

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