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(NEW YORK) — The U.S. is targeting a foreign government in an unprecedented crackdown on cybercrime, ABC News has learned.

For the first time, the U.S. government is going to accuse another country of hacking American business interests to gain unfair economic advantage.  Federal prosecutors are expected to announce criminal charges as soon as today.  

ABC News has been told the country in focus is China, and top Chinese government officials are expected to be accused of state-sponsored hacking and economic espionage, stealing so much research and development from companies in this country that it’s affecting national security.

The officials charged will not be in custody, as they are still out of the reach of the U.S. government. The U.S. does hope to arrest the officials, who will be considered international fugitives, in the near future.

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