This may the most important reason why the fight between Google and China is so important.
The presidency has never gone so public with criticism of China’s human rights policy and its disregard for intellectual copyright law. But that’s not the reason why it has become so involved in the controversy. Google is the most powerful presence on the internet, with the largest repository of data in the world. And for all its global reach, it’s an American company. The Chinese hack goes well beyond a plot to nick ideas on improving the manufacture of widgets. Attack Google and you attack America’s critical infrastructure. Washington regards this as a major security issue.
Warfare using projectiles, explosives, and incendiaries is a relic, perhaps ineluctable, of the 20th century and our Neanderthal past. Now, cyberwarfare unfolds out of science fiction into empirical fact. What I don’t understand is why it has to be war.