By John Ubaldi,
In an unprecedented move the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph Dunford issued a stunning rebuke to the tech company Google, by warning about their recent investments in China and its implications to America’s national security.
Dunford plans to meet with the tech giant to “discuss” its responsibility to its home country the United States, and benefits America has provided to the company and continues to provide as the business expands its many commercial enterprises.
Speaking before the Atlantic Council Dunford stated “In my judgment, us assisting the Chinese military in advancing technologically is not in U.S. national interests, so it’s a debate we have to have.”
Top Military Commander Warns Congress about Google
This would align with his statements he made before a Senate hearing early this month, where he stated that Google was “indirectly benefiting the Chinese military” by conducting operations in China, as he believed that no company can do any sort of business in that country without its technology being siphoned off.
Currently, this is one of the reasons why the Trump administration has levied tariffs on China for its refusal to end its practice of forcing companies in transferring their intellectual properties and technology to the Chinese for the cost of doing business inside the country. This is a clear violation of the World Trade Organization (WTO) standard one in which China has stated it would adhere to, but failed to follow.
The way it works, if a company wants to do business in China that they are required to partner with a Chinese state owned company, then they are required to transfer its intellectual property, and technology to that company which really is no difference then working for the Chinese Communist Party, the government and the Chinese military.
Google Helps China Develop Artificial Intelligence Technology
Dunford reiterated that “Ventures to help develop artificial intelligence in China are going to do two things. They are going to help an authoritarian government to assert control [over] its own population. Again, our country exists for the individual. China exists for the Chinese communist party.”
What Dunford is extremely concerned about and views as a national security threat to U.S., if Google does not change its business practices it will enable the Chinese military to use the forced technology and intellectual property it has acquired directly or through theft which was developed in the United States against this country.
Google must understand that this this technology transfer and intellectual property giveaway has second- and third-order effects on U.S. national security. China will use this technology to gain leverage over the United States to degrade the U.S. military’s strategic advantage and with it the possibly of transferring that technology directly or indirectly to our adversaries such as Iran, Russia and North Korea.
China Gain’s Advantages through Cyber-Attacks
The issues which worries Dunford is this is much bigger than just with Google, China targets every major American company with cyber-attacks on its intellectual properties, one only has to remember that Beijing perpetrated a cyber-attack on the United States Office of Personnel Management (OPM) in 2015, obtaining the personnel information of over 21.5 million Americans.
The real problem is that both the defense establishment and the tech world look at each other with deep suspicion, just last year Google decided not to extend its contract with the Pentagon on artificial intelligence (AI) with regard to a joint collaboration on Project Maven which would have used this type of technology to analyze drone videos.
Tech Companies have Aversion with Working with the Pentagon
The main issues for Google numerous employees’ objected to working on a project that perpetrates a business of war and thus signaled they would resign in protest of this partnership with the defense establishment continued.
Google isn’t the only tech company that has an aversion with working with the Pentagon, Microsoft employees wrote a letter stating that “We are a global coalition of Microsoft workers, and we refuse to create technology for warfare and oppression. We are alarmed that Microsoft is working to provide weapons technology to the U.S. Military, helping one country’s government “increase lethality” using tools we built. We did not sign up to develop weapons, and we demand a say in how our work is used.”
Dunford mentioned that in the case of Google, “In the case of Google they were highlighted because they have an artificial intelligence venture in China. I think it is a reasonable assertion, even in an open venue like this, to assert the benefit of that venture for artificial intelligence for China, one of many ventures of our companies that are there, indirectly benefits the Chinese military and creates a challenge for us to [maintain] a competitive advantage.”
China Trying to gain Technological Advantage
The current risk is if China gains the technology with regard to 5G network through nefarious methods it will not only affect the U.S. strategic advantage but also how we interface with our allies.
As Dunford mentioned, “Our relationships rely on trust, and that trust, in part, is the assurance that the data that we exchange, the intelligence we share, the information we share can be done in a way where it’s not compromised. And the issue of 5G addresses both potential vulnerabilities in our systems due to how reliant we will be on 5G for the internet of things, our combat systems, but also exchanging information with our allies and partners.”
The national security implications are sever if China obtains the 5g technology before the U.S. puts the United States at huge disadvantage, this is why the America needs to be at the for front and dominate 5G if we do not we will pay a hefty price.
One only has to remember the quote by Vladimir Lenin, “The Capitalists will sell us the rope with which we will hang them.” Something to think about!