QUESTION: A different topic. Do you have any comment on China’s use of the so-called “Great Cannon” and on the broader topic of what appears to be elevated levels of media censorship?
MR RATHKE: So the United States is committed to protecting the internet as an open platform on which all people can innovate, learn, organize, communicate, free from censorship or interference. And we believe a global, interoperable, secure, and reliable internet is essential to realizing this objective. And we view attacks by malicious cyber actors who target critical infrastructure or U.S. companies and U.S. consumers as threats to national security and to the economy of the United States.
Now in the case of the cyber attack to which you’re referring, we are concerned by reports that China has used a new cyber capability to interfere with the ability of worldwide internet users to access content hosted outside of China. The cyber attack manipulated international web traffic intended for one of China’s biggest web services companies and turned it into malicious traffic directed at U.S. sites. We have asked Chinese authorities to investigate this activity and provide us with the results of their investigation. At the same time, we’re working with all willing partners to enhance cyber security, promote norms of acceptable state behavior in cyber space, and to protect the principle of freedom of expression online.