The US may soon begin banning Chinese nationals from hacking events

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Following its decision to charge five Chinese officials for allegedly stealing trade secrets, the US is apparently ready to take further action. Reuters reports that the US government may impose visa restrictions on Chinese computer experts, stopping them from attending the high-profile Def Con and Black Hat hacking conferences in August. Black Hat currently has three Chinese speakers lined up to present, while Def Con has none on its roster. The move is said to be part of a “broader effort to curb Chinese cyber espionage,” after cybercriminals were said to have infiltrated six American private-sector companies to help give Chinese state-owned firms a competitive advantage.

Washington is considering using visa restrictions to prevent Chinese nationals from attending popular summer hacking conferences in Las Vegas as part of a broader effort to curb Chinese cyber espionage, a senior administration official said Saturday. The official said that Washington could use such visa restrictions and other measures to keep Chinese from attending the August Def Con and Black Hat events to maintain pressure on China after the United States this week charged five Chinese military officers with hacking into U.S. companies to steal trade secrets. China has denied the charges, saying they were “made up.” Organizers of the two conferences said they knew nothing about any efforts under consideration by Washington, but that they believed limiting participation from China was a bad idea. Jeff Moss, founder of both Def Con and Black Hat, could not be reached, although he posted his thoughts on Twitter: “First I have heard of it, boarding flight to D.C. now. I don’t think it helps build positive community.”

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