IP Czar: Piracy Threatens Economy, Security

Stolen or knock-off versions of software, networking equipment and semiconductors pose much bigger problems than the just the enormous loss of revenue to legitimate U.S. companies, according the country’s top intellectual property enforcement official.

As Datamation reports, Victoria Espinel and other top government officials are just as concerned about the potential threats to national security posed by counterfeit IT equipment and software that could potentially be used by U.S. military and government agencies.

Espinel said that her team is working with the DoD to establish more rigorous oversight of the influx of high-tech equipment into military and to develop systems to safeguard intellectual property within the branches to combat high-profile leaks, such as the gaffe last year that saw the Pentagon’s plans for the $300 billion Joint Strike Fighter Project surface on a peer-to-peer network.

“Selling counterfeit products to our military is reprehensible and must be stopped,” she pledged.

Today’s hearing, the first oversight proceeding of the newly formed office, comes a day after Espinel released the administration’s joint strategic plan on intellectual property enforcement.

The White House’s top intellectual property cop outlined the administration’s plans to crack down on piracy at a Senate oversight hearing Wednesday morning, pledging stronger coordination with domestic and foreign law-enforcement authorities and committing to elevate IP issues in negotiations with U.S. trade partners, particularly China.

Victoria Espinel, who serves as the country’s first intellectual property enforcement coordinator, told the panel that the abuse of intellectual property has an effect well beyond the industries that are often at the forefront of the debate, such as software, entertainment and pharmaceuticals.

“The risks posed by counterfeit products are significant,” Espinel said, describing a trickle-down effect where knock-off goods circulate throughout all corners of the economy, raising particular concern for IT buyers both in industry and the government.

Read the full story at Datamation:

White House IP Czar Pledges Privacy Crackdown

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