Showcasing our researchers’ work and their latest media appearances as they weigh in on developments at the intersection of national security and emerging technology.
The Washington Post
Micron’s $20 billion investment in a new chip factory is among the U.S. chip production investments announced since the passing of the CHIPS and Science Act. As The Washington Post reported, while the construction of domestic semiconductor manufacturing plants is booming, staffing them could be a challenge. According to a report by CSET Research Fellow Will Hunt that was cited in The Post, more than 30,000 high-tech foreign workers could be needed to staff new fabs.
The Atlantic reached out to Research Analyst Dahlia Peterson to learn about the challenges faced by companies such as investigative organization Internet Protocol Video Market (IPVM) in accessing Chinese information on surveillance technology. “That information is still out there,” said Peterson, “but it is increasingly becoming a cat-and-mouse–type situation, where they are throwing up more technical barriers to the outside world.” IPVM’s work has shed light on China’s surveillance technology and its geopolitical ambitions, including its treatment of Uyghurs and other minorities. “They could just be a company that runs objective tests on video-surveillance technology and leave it at that, and not get involved on the ethical side,” she said. “However, they very much take a moral stance against the abuse of surveillance technologies, and their contributions are invaluable.”
In an opinion piece for Lawfare, Research Analyst Micah Musser discussed why China’s new algorithmic regulations are not just a power play. New regulations in China, which require companies deploying recommendation algorithms to file details about those algorithms with the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC), have been mischaracterized, Musser wrote. “The lack of details in the information publicized (and, apparently, requested) by the CAC should undermine the assumption that the central government intended to use the legislation to vacuum up technical information from companies or to micromanage algorithms directly.”
South China Morning Post
Cases of Chinese espionage continue to raise U.S. security concerns after former Chicago graduate student and member of the U.S. Army Reserve Ji Chaoqun was convicted, the South China Morning Post reported. While cases involving cyber theft and government-directed espionage garner considerable attention, the United States suffers far greater damage from extralegal transfers of data and technological know-how, according to Lead Analyst William Hannas. Vulnerabilities that largely escape scrutiny, Hannas said, include technology transfer centers, returned scholar parks, and Beijing’s Thousand Talents program, which recruits leading international experts in scientific research and other areas. China’s theft of intellectual property and tech secrets is a global problem, but Hannas also warned against overreacting. “No one I know, in any country, wants Chinese students excluded. Quite to the contrary, we all value their contributions,” he said.
The South China Morning Post also reached out to Research Fellow Emily Weinstein for her views on concerns among the United States and its allies about China’s influence over the app TikTok and its access to user data. “The current discussions appear to be a continuation of what we saw during the Trump administration, although the fact that European countries are also expressing concern now is a newer development,” Weinstein said.
The Wire China
According to a new study by researchers from Princeton University, Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Chinese academics are leaving the United States at an accelerated pace, The Wire China reported. The results showed that almost three-quarters of respondents feel unsafe as academic researchers in the United States. Half of the respondents intended to avoid federal grants due to the Justice Department’s now-discontinued China Initiative, given that many scientists prosecuted under the program were charged in connection to administrative infractions on federal grant applications. “It’s very concerning for U.S. competitiveness,” said Weinstein. “Government agencies need to do something to reassure researchers, whether it’s improving training [for law enforcement] on research processes or clarifying just what a conflict of interest [for researchers] looks like.”
Director of Biotechnology Programs and Senior Fellow Anna Puglisi joined Stanford University’s Hoover Institution for their podcast Pacific Century to discuss just how widely and successfully Chinese spies have penetrated American business, government, and academia.
Spotlight on CSET Experts: Anna Puglisi
Anna Puglisi is CSET’s Director of Biotechnology Programs and a Senior Fellow. She has previously served as the National Counterintelligence Officer for East Asia and played a prominent role in drafting the U.S. National Counterintelligence Strategy.
Her latest reports include Mapping Biosafety Level-3 Laboratories by Publication, China’s State Key Laboratory System, and China’s Industrial Clusters. She has been featured and quoted on her expertise in counterintelligence and China in a variety of outlets, including Reuters, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and National Public Radio.
Interested in speaking with Anna or our other experts? Contact External Affairs Specialist Adrienne Thompson at firstname.lastname@example.org.