Friday, October 01, 2021

Don't Trust China: China's Harvesting American Genetic Information is a Threat According to the National Counterintelligence and Security Center (NCSC)

In all the post-election excitement, perhaps you missed this Feb 2021 report from the National Counterintelligence and Security Center (NCSC).

What use can China make of such information? Let your imagination work out the possibilities, but I don't think they are up to any great good things.

National Counterintelligenc... by lawofsea

UPDATE: Some in Congress are on the issue: See here for a press release from Senator Cotton and Rep Gallagher:

BGI also attempted to take advantage of the pandemic to acquire U.S. data, reaching out to the governors of six states with offers to build advanced COVID-19 testing labs before top U.S. intelligence officials convinced states to reject BGI’s offers. Most recently, reports revealed that BGI was selling prenatal tests to pregnant women around the world and using the tests to collect vast swathes of genetic data on different populations.

The Party’s focus on biotech also extends to biotech’s potential military applications. The former head of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) National Defense University identified biology as one of seven “new domains of warfare,” including the possibility of “specific ethnic genetic attacks,” in a 2017 publication.

BGI has a history of collaboration with the PLA and serving the PLA’s interests. A review of 40 publicly-available research papers demonstrates BGI’s work on PLA priorities, such as improved high-altitude soldier performance, neuroscience, and pathogens. BGI’s worldwide prenatal test was itself developed in collaboration with the PLA. BGI has also partnered with the PLA’s National University of Defense Technology (NUDT) to advance bioinformatics research and leverage supercomputers for biological research. Joint BGI-PLA research could have an application in future bioweapons—which is especially concerning because BGI’s national gene bank is presumably made available for military research.

Given BGI’s and other Chinese biotechnology companies’ support for and collaboration with the PLA, I urge you to include BGI and other Chinese biotech companies on the NS-CMIC List, the Entity List, and the Section 1260H Chinese military companies list. The United States must not turn a blind eye to the threat posed by Chinese biotechnology companies operating at the CCP’s behest. Blacklisting BGI and its fellow biotech companies will help the United States counter the Chinese Communist Party’s efforts to capture Americans’ most private information—their DNA. (emphasis added)

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