Chinese hacker indictment a publicity stunt, says former governor Ridge
Former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge, the nation's first Homeland Security chief, told the Tribune-Review on Tuesday that he considers the recent federal indictment of five Chinese military hackers to be merely a publicity stunt.
U.S. Attorney David Hickton, Western Pennsylvania's top federal prosecutor, joined U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder last month in Washington to announce charges accusing the hackers of stealing trade secrets from U.S. companies, including several in the Pittsburgh area and the United Steelworkers union.
“I frankly thought indicting five Chinese military officers was a public relations stunt,” Ridge said after a fundraising event Downtown for his archives at Mercyhurst University in Erie.
“They're not going to be extradited, and we're not going to try them, so what's the value? I guess there's a public relations value, but I don't think there's an American alive who thinks the Chinese are just going to extradite those folks. I don't see the strategic value of it,” Ridge said.
Hickton, whose office last week charged Russian hackers with infecting as many as 1 million computers worldwide and stealing more than $100 million in online attacks, has defended the indictments.
“I believe it will be harder to (bring the hackers to justice) than if they lived in Western Pennsylvania; I accept that. But it is not futile. And it's an effort we're going to undertake,” Hickton told the Trib last week. “By bringing the criminal charges, we've signaled that we're escalating our effort to protect people from cybercrime.”
Ridge attended a luncheon at the Duquesne Club to raise money for his archives at Mercyhurst, where the school's intelligence studies program is named after him.
Marlene Mosco, who chairs Mercyhurst's board of trustees, said the Ridge Collection is expected to be ready for researchers in about a year. Organizers have set a $1 million fundraising goal; they have collected about one-third of that amount to date, Mosco said.
The collection will mainly span Ridge's tenure as governor, though Ridge said he hopes to include items from his time overseeing Homeland Security, first when it was a White House office from 2001 to 2003 and then from 2003 to 2005 after it became a Cabinet-level department.
Tom Fontaine is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7847 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Dormont man missing since Wednesday found dead at Station Square
- Pittsburgh Mayor Peduto works to smooth path for business ties with Cuba
- U.S. Marshals task force arrests homicide suspect in Monroeville
- Bethel Park teacher’s profane tweet raises eyebrows
- $750K earmarked to help Allegheny County ‘Live Well’
- Police seek help finding missing Squirrel Hill man
- Newsmaker: Doug Ogden
- State lawmaker proposes changes to Penn State’s board of trustees
- Penn Hills votes to sell, lease vacant school space
- Kennywood fanatic, 82, rides Jack Rabbit 95 times in a row
- Allgheny County charter school students give more than $11K to assist homeless children