Governance & Risk Management , Standards, Regulations & Compliance

US Takes Aim at Illicit Advanced Technology Reaching China

Disruptive Technology Strike Force Set to Target Governments Abusing Tech
US Takes Aim at Illicit Advanced Technology Reaching China
Deputy Attorney General Lisa O. Monaco speaking at Chatham House on Feb. 16, 2023 (Image: Chatham House)

The U.S. government on Thursday unveiled a task force aimed at preventing advanced technology from reaching repressive regimes, including the People's Republic of China.

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The task force's work will focus on investigating and prosecuting criminal violations of export laws domestically and internationally in cooperation with allies.

Speaking to an audience at London think tank Chatham House, U.S. Deputy Attorney General Lisa O. Monaco decried autocracies that "seek tactical advantage through the acquisition, use, and abuse of America’s most innovative technology."

"We will use intelligence and data analytics to target illicit actors, enhance public-private partnerships to harden supply chains, and identify early warning of threats to our critical assets, like semiconductors," Monaco said.

The task force will be led by personnel in the Justice Department's National Security Division and the Department of Commerce's Bureau of Industry and Security.

Among the key technologies that will demand task force attention are artificial intelligence and cryptocurrency, Monaco said.

China's appetite for Western advanced technology will also be a large focus of the task force, and Monaco repeated a common warning that Chinese domestic law requires companies operating there to cooperate with intelligence agencies, "which requires turning over data to the state."

The task force will closely monitor the flow of capital to private technology companies and observe how the adversary nations are using the investment to prevent them from gaining "national security advantage," Monaco added.

Her announcement comes at a moment of increased tension between China and the United States after President Joe Biden ordered the military to shoot down a Chinese spy balloon in American airspace. Even without the balloon incident, tensions between the two countries have mounted over multiple areas of disagreement that include sustained Chinese state-sponsored hacking of U.S. intellectual property and personal data (see: Feds: Chinese Hacking Group Undeterred by Indictment).

About the Author

Akshaya Asokan

Akshaya Asokan

Senior Correspondent, ISMG

Asokan is a U.K.-based senior correspondent for Information Security Media Group's global news desk. She previously worked with IDG and other publications, reporting on developments in technology, minority rights and education.

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