Bipartisan Group of Senators Seeks Report on DOJ Actions Against CCP Intellectual Property Theft

The CCP’s theft of intellectual property cost Americans up to $600 billion per year.

A bipartisan group of senators unveiled legislation on Thursday that they say would fully inform the public of how the Justice Department responds to the national security threats posed by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

The bill, introduced by Sens. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) and Gary Peters (D-Mich.), represents Congress’s latest bid to push the federal government to address the CCP’s persistent efforts to acquire technological know-how—using tactics including intellectual property theft and forced technology transfer—to power its economy and advance its military.
“Last year, it was reported that there are seven secret surveillance centers operated by the Chinese Communist Party in some of America’s largest cities,” Ms. Blackburn said in a statement announcing the bill, called Countering Chinese Espionage Reporting Act.

“This infiltration of our country must not be allowed to continue,“ she said, adding that the new bill would ”ensure that the Department of Justice is doing everything in its power to safeguard our national security.”

The new bill requires the attorney general to prepare a comprehensive report every year, outlining the specific measures the Justice Department implemented to thwart the CCP’s efforts to steal U.S. trade secrets and other forms of intellectual property. The report should also include a breakdown of operations aimed at countering “threats from non-traditional collectors,” such as researchers in laboratories, universities, and defense industrial base facilities.

The CCP’s theft of intellectual property cost Americans up between $225 billion to $600 billion per year, the United States Trade Representative’s Office said in its 2018 report.

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The U.S. officials have repeatedly called out the CCP on the issue. In 2022, FBI director Christopher Wray revealed that his bureau opened a new counterintelligence case against the Chinese regime every 12 hours, and was conducting more than 2,000 investigations into the regime’s attempted theft of information and technology. “​​There is just no country that presents a broader threat to our ideas, our innovation, and our economic security than China,” Mr. Wray said at the time.

In a rare move, Mr. Wray and other Five Eyes intelligence chiefs jointly issued a public warning on the Chinese regime’s IP theft in October 2023. The CCP has set its sights on a broad array of cutting-edge technologies, including artificial intelligence, quantum computing, and biotechnology. The Australian Security Intelligence Organisation’s director, Mike Burgess, described the scale of Beijing’s espionage campaign as “unprecedented in human history.”

Last September, Rep. Scott Fitzgerald (R-Wis.) introduced similar legislation in the House of Representatives.

The bill Ms. Blackburn and Mr. Peters introduced on Thursday would go further. In addition to mandating the regular reporting of allocated resources in addressing the national security emanating from the CCP, the bill the senators introduced requires the Justice Department to detail the specific measures it implements to safeguard the civil rights, civil liberties, and privacy rights of Americans.

“It’s absolutely critical to both our national security and economic competitiveness that we protect U.S. intellectual property—like academic research and technological innovation—from being stolen and used by our adversaries,” Mr. Peters, chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, said in a statement.

“I’m proud to help lead this bipartisan bill to ensure the Justice Department is protecting American ideas and innovation from threats posed by the Chinese government, while respecting Americans’ privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties. This is something I’ve long been focused on in the Senate and I look forward to continue working to see this bill passed into law.”

The measures also stipulate the report to be publicly available on the Justice Department’s website. A potential classified index could be included for submission to the Senate Judiciary Committee and House of Representatives.

Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.) heads to the floor of the Senate for a vote on Capitol Hill in Washington on Feb. 11, 2024. (Samuel Corum/Getty Images)
Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.) heads to the floor of the Senate for a vote on Capitol Hill in Washington on Feb. 11, 2024. (Samuel Corum/Getty Images)

The U.S. lawmakers’ move comes amid rising concerns over the CCP’s espionage campaigns in the United States and other democratic countries.

Ms. Blackburn highlighted that last April, the U.S. Justice Department charged two individuals over allegedly running a secret CCP police station in New York.
According to Safeguard Defenders, a Spanish-based nonprofit, the police station in Manhattan’s Chinatown is one of more than 100 overseas stations operated by the Chinese authorities in 53 countries.

These police outposts are linked to the CCP’s United Front department, an agency that works to advance the regime’s interests abroad, including by suppressing dissident movements, gathering intelligence, and facilitating the transfer of technology to China.

Aside from the police station, the United Front Department also operates other outposts on U.S. soil, including the one called Overseas Chinese Service Centers, which triggered alarms among U.S. senators last summer.
Anxiety also mounts in Europe following a wave of CCP spy arrests. In April, British officials unveiled a charge against a parliamentary researcher and another man for “providing prejudicial information to a foreign state, China.”

Meanwhile, German prosecutors accused a longtime aide to a member of the European Parliament of passing on discussions and decisions in the assembly to the CCP’s intelligence agency. The aid also allegedly works for the regime’s secret service and spies on Chinese dissidents in Germany.

Earlier this week, the U.S., British, Canadian, Australian, and New Zealand intelligence services warned that the CCP actively hires current and former military officers from Western countries to help bolster its military capability.

Original News Source Link – Epoch Times

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