The Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) last Friday released a fact sheet showing its priorities in safeguarding U.S. industry’s key technologies given China’s and Russia’s legal and illegal efforts to transfer these technologies for their respective national goals.
The fact sheet, put out by the National Counterintelligence and Security Center (NCSC), prioritizes artificial intelligence, autonomous systems, the bioeconomy, quantum information science and technology, and semiconductors as areas “where the stakes are potentially greatest for U.S. economic and national security,” the NCSC says. “These sectors produce technologies that may determine whether America remains the world’s leading superpower or is eclipsed by strategic competitors in the next few years.”
China is the top strategic competitor to the U.S. given its resources and strategy in pursuit of its own goals, the fact sheet says, specifically pointing to the country’s military-civil fusion policy and law requiring all “Chinese entities to share technology and information with the PRC military, intelligence, and security services.”
China’s focus on key technologies is for its economic and military future, the NCSC says.
Russia is focused on these advanced technologies “as a national security priority,” it says.
Some of the methods used by one or both strategic adversaries include intelligence services, academic and scientific collaboration, joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions, talent recruitment, developing insider threats, foreign investment, front companies, and legal and regulatory actions.
The fact sheet lists basic steps organizations and individuals can take to mitigate the counterintelligence risks posed by China and Russia, including identifying and prioritizing key technologies and capabilities to protect, knowing your suppliers, understanding that all Chinese entities are required to share information with their government, follow cybersecurity best practices, being careful about what you post on social media, understanding that you may be targeted during travel to a foreign country, and when traveling abroad don’t expect privacy and avoid wi-fi networks, which are regularly monitored by security services.