FILE PHOTO: Plain clothes U.S. security authorities surround the entryway of China’s Consulate after Chinese staff members left the structure, in Houston, Texas, U.S., July 24,2020 REUTERS/Adrees Latif
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – China’s consulate in Houston had long been on the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s radar as a base for Chinese efforts to steal U.S. intellectual home, the U.S. Justice Department’s leading national security authorities said on Wednesday.
In a conversation provided by a Washington think tank, John Demers, the Assistant U.S. Lawyer General for National Security, stated that Houston was “not chosen at random” when the administration of President Donald Trump last month moved to close down the consulate.
Demers told the Center for Strategic and International Researches that the U.S. federal government’s relocation to close the consulate was planned to disrupt “what we had been tracking for a long time.” He was conscious of 50 instances in 30 various U.S. cities where comparable industrial and copyright espionage for China’s advantage had actually recently been reported. Houston was just the “tip of the iceberg,” he said.
Demers said a major U.S. federal government concern leading to current transfer to curb use of China’s TikTok app was that Americans are giving the app access to sensitive personal data, sometimes consisting of individual contact lists and place data.
The use of technology made by the Chinese giant Huawei in the development and structure of U.S. 5G information and telephone networks would leave Americans open up to a lot more exposure of their information, which is why the Trump administration has actually also launched a “tremendous effort” to persuade U.S. allies in Europe and Asia to be wary and back away from enabling Chinese-made equipment into their brand-new networks, Demers said.
He added that more U.S. criminal indictments declaring Chinese involvement in computer system hacking are to be anticipated throughout the course of2020 The Justice Department was re-assigning prosecutors to work on Chinese-related prosecutions, he stated.
Reporting By Mark Hosenball; editing by Richard Pullin