Spy vs. spy?
Spying always has been a fact of life, and it always has incorporated state of the art technology. Enemies spy on enemies. Friends spy on friends because, otherwise, how do you know they deserve that status?
There is little shocking, then, about the discovery that a unit of the Chinese Army has conducted sophisticated Internet hacking operations not only against the U.S. government but against U.S. industries and even media companies that report on political oppression in China.
The problem with the revealed campaign is its scope, due to the pervasiveness of the Internet.
Americans can take some comfort in that the U.S. likely has a sophisticated campaign of its own, at least regarding national security issues. The "stuxnet" virus that set back the Iranian nuclear program, for example, is believed to be a joint effort of the United States and Israel.
But on the commercial side, the United States should ensure that a heavy cost is attached to the discovery of breached patents or stolen data. Even the spy game has limits, and China must be coerced into recognizing them.