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 US researchers on front line of battle against Chinese theft

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US researchers on front line of battle against Chinese theft Vide
PostSubject: US researchers on front line of battle against Chinese theft   US researchers on front line of battle against Chinese theft Icon_minitimeMon Oct 07, 2019 4:46 am

As the U.S. warned allies around the world that Chinese tech giant Huawei was a security threat, the FBI was making the same point quietly to a Midwestern university.

In an email to the associate vice chancellor for research at the University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign, an agent wanted to know if administrators believed Huawei had stolen any intellectual property from the school.

Told no, the agent responded: "I assumed those would be your answers, but I had to ask."

It was no random query.

US researchers on front line of battle against Chinese theft 8eb7fa37cb99596bfaf131739826edfd

The FBI has been reaching out to colleges and universities across the country as it tries to stem what American authorities portray as the wholesale theft of technology and trade secrets by researchers tapped by China. The breadth and intensity of the campaign emerges in emails The Associated Press obtained through records requests to public universities in 50 states. The emails underscore the extent of U.S. concerns that universities, as recruiters of foreign talent and incubators of cutting-edge research, are particularly vulnerable targets.

Agents have lectured at seminars, briefed administrators in campus meetings and distributed pamphlets with cautionary tales of trade secret theft. In the past two years, they've requested the emails of two University of Washington researchers, asked Oklahoma State University if it has scientists in specific areas and sought updates about "possible misuse" of research funds by a University of Colorado Boulder professor, the messages show.

The emails show administrators mostly embracing FBI warnings, requesting briefings for themselves and others. But they also reveal some struggling to balance legitimate national security concerns against their own eagerness to avoid stifling research or tarnishing legitimate scientists. The Justice Department says it appreciates that push-pull and wants only to help universities separate the relatively few researchers engaged in theft from the majority who are not.

Senior FBI officials told AP they're not encouraging schools to monitor researchers by nationality but instead to take steps to protect research and to watch for suspicious behavior. They consider the briefings vital because they say universities, accustomed to fostering international and collaborative environments, haven't historically been as attentive to security as they should be.

https://www.yahoo.com/news/us-researchers-front-line-battle-122400311.html
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