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By Bruce Sussman
Fri | Jan 4, 2019 | 12:00 PM PST

When we interviewed Colonel (Ret.) Cedric Leighton at a SecureWorld cybersecurity conference, he explained that China likes shortcuts to success, which is one reason it is such a threat to businesses around the globe—regardless of industry.

"If an oil and gas company is starting to explore in a certain area of the world and the Chinese national gas company is also interested in that, they will go in and go through computer files of the U.S. company to find out exactly what is happening, what their geologic readings are, what their geological assessments are and they will use those same assessments to underbid their U.S. competitor."

China is stealing U.S. intellectual property; this has been going on for a while now.

And in 2018 another issue popped into full view: concern that China is selling us technology that allows its hackers to have secret access to networks and information or hidden tracking powers.

“It is clear that China is determined to use every tool in its arsenal to surpass the United States technologically and dominate us economically," says Democrat Senator Mark Warner.

"China continues to conduct a coordinated assault on U.S. intellectual property, U.S. businesses, and our government networks and information with the full backing of the Chinese Communist Party,” says Republican Senator Marco Rubio.

Now the two U.S. senators (one Republican, one Democrat)  are introducing a proposal to fight back against all of these Chinese threats.

5 new ways to combat Chinese technology threats

Their bill would create the Office of Critical Technologies and Security. Here are five things the new office would take on to combat Chinese technology crimes against the United States:

  1. Stop the transfer of critical emerging, foundational, and dual-use technologies to countries that pose a national security risk
  2. Maintain United States technology and ensure supply chain integrity and security for such technologies.
  3. Reduce reliance on foreign products identified by the Federal Government that pose a national security risk to the United States in
    critical public sector supply chains
  4.  Develop a strategy to inform the private sector about critical supply chain risks
  5. Develop specific policies and actions to enforce intellectual property and cybersecurity standards to deter and prosecute industrial espionage and other similar measures

Rubio and Warner have teamed up before on the issue of Chinese threats.

They sent a letter to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau urging his country to reconsider Huawei’s inclusion in any aspect of Canada’s 5G development or maintenance.

And they also authored legislation to enforce full compliance by Chinese telecom company ZTE with a number of probationary conditions.

We'll let you know if the bill to establish the Office of Critical Technologies and Security gets any traction in Congress.