House Foreign Affairs committee and staff in Silicon Valley in wake of Google-China spat
With all the news about technology theft in China related to Beijing’s battle with Google, many forget that the legal mechanisms for deciding what technologies to export there haven’t been fundamentally updated since 1979. That’s not to say people aren’t working on the problem. The White House has started a review to determine how to ...
With all the news about technology theft in China related to Beijing’s battle with Google, many forget that the legal mechanisms for deciding what technologies to export there haven’t been fundamentally updated since 1979.
That’s not to say people aren’t working on the problem. The White House has started a review to determine how to update technology export rules and Howard Berman, the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs committee, is working a bill that would do just that.
Berman and staff are in Silicon Valley today, coincidentally holding a hearing on the issue in the very location where so many of the 34 companies compromised as part of recent Chinese cyber espionage issues are located. The failure of the government to determine what "dual use" technologies are ok to give to countries like China is not only an economic, but a national security issue as well, he said.
"There is a growing consensus among security experts that due to legal and technological developments in recent years, our current export-control regime, founded during the Cold War and last revised by statute in 1979, is out of date," Berman wrote in this morning’s Silicon Valley Mercury News, "It needs to be modernized in order to continue protecting sensitive technologies while also maintaining U.S. technological leadership."
Testifying at the hearing will be John Hennessy, president of Stanford University, William Potter, director for Nonproliferation Studies of the Monterey Institute of International Studies, and Karen Murphy, senior director for trade at Applied Materials, Inc., a leading manufacturer in the semiconductor industry.
You can be sure the Chinese are closely watching the administration review and the formation of Berman’s bill, which could come in weeks. After all, the Chinese did electronically infiltrate the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security, which implements duel use technology export rules, in 2006, forcing that whole office to throw all their computers in the garbage and start over.
Josh Rogin covers national security and foreign policy and writes the daily Web column The Cable. His column appears bi-weekly in the print edition of The Washington Post. He can be reached for comments or tips at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Previously, Josh covered defense and foreign policy as a staff writer for Congressional Quarterly, writing extensively on Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantánamo Bay, U.S.-Asia relations, defense budgeting and appropriations, and the defense lobbying and contracting industries. Prior to that, he covered military modernization, cyber warfare, space, and missile defense for Federal Computer Week Magazine. He has also served as Pentagon Staff Reporter for the Asahi Shimbun, Japan's leading daily newspaper, in its Washington, D.C., bureau, where he reported on U.S.-Japan relations, Chinese military modernization, the North Korean nuclear crisis, and more.
A graduate of George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs, Josh lived in Yokohama, Japan, and studied at Tokyo's Sophia University. He speaks conversational Japanese and has reported from the region. He has also worked at the House International Relations Committee, the Embassy of Japan, and the Brookings Institution.
Josh's reporting has been featured on CNN, MSNBC, C-Span, CBS, ABC, NPR, WTOP, and several other outlets. He was a 2008-2009 National Press Foundation's Paul Miller Washington Reporting Fellow, 2009 military reporting fellow with the Knight Center for Specialized Journalism and the 2011 recipient of the InterAction Award for Excellence in International Reporting. He hails from Philadelphia and lives in Washington, D.C. Twitter: @joshrogin
More from Foreign Policy
Saudi-Iranian Détente Is a Wake-Up Call for America
The peace plan is a big deal—and it’s no accident that China brokered it.
The U.S.-Israel Relationship No Longer Makes Sense
If Israel and its supporters want the country to continue receiving U.S. largesse, they will need to come up with a new narrative.
Putin Is Trapped in the Sunk-Cost Fallacy of War
Moscow is grasping for meaning in a meaningless invasion.
How China’s Saudi-Iran Deal Can Serve U.S. Interests
And why there’s less to Beijing’s diplomatic breakthrough than meets the eye.