"Months after the discovery of a massive breach of U.S. government personnel records, the Obama administration has decided against publicly blaming China for the intrusion in part out of reluctance to reveal the evidence that American investigators have assembled," according to The Washington Post .
"The administration also appears to have refrained from any direct retaliation against China or attempt to use cyber-measures to corrupt or destroy the stockpile of sensitive data stolen from the Office of Personnel Management."
"The response to penetrations targeting government-held data has been more restrained, in part because U.S. officials regard such breaches as within the traditional parameters of espionage. Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr. and others have even expressed grudging admiration for the OPM hack, saying U.S. spy agencies would do the same against other governments. Economic espionage occupies a separate category — supposedly off-limits to U.S. spy agencies and seen as deserving of a forceful response when committed by foreign adversaries."
"In making such a distinction, the United States may be adhering to unwritten rules that other countries disregard. The administration risks sending a signal that it is willing to go further to defend the secrets of U.S. industry than it is to protect employees of federal agencies."