It is unreasonable for the U.S. to target the Chinese rather than industrial surveillance, according to the report

For years, civil rights groups have accused the U.S. Department of Justice of discriminating against scientists of Chinese descent. Now, a new report provides data that could quantify some of their claims.

the study, published by Committee 100, an association of prominent civic-American civic leaders, found that individuals with a Chinese heritage were more likely to be prosecuted under the Economic Espionage Act-and more great very little likely to be convicted.

“The main question tested in this study is whether Asian-Americans are treated differently with respect to intelligence suspicions,” said the report’s author, Andrew C. Kim, an attorney and visitor. scholar at South Texas College of Law Houston. “The answer to the question is yes.”

The study, which looked at data from economic espionage cases brought in the United States from 1996 to 2020, found that less than half of all defendants were accused of stealing secrets that would benefit. in China. This is much lower than the numbers put forward by U.S. officials to justify the China Initiative’s head office.

The study found that 46% of all defendants were accused of stealing secrets that would benefit China, while 42% of the cases involved American businesses.

According to the report, 46% of the defendants charged under the Economic Espionage Act were accused of activity that would benefit Chinese people or entities, while 42% of the defendants were accused of stealing secrets that would benefit American businesses.

The numbers directly contradict much of the Department of Justice’s messaging around the China Initiative, launched in 2018 to combat economic intelligence. The department is publicly declared – for example, in first line of the home page for the China Initiative—About 80% of its prosecutions will benefit the Chinese state, showing “theft to the extent that it represents one of the largest transfers of wealth in human history,” according to FBI director Christopher Wray CEBU it will be in 2020.

Since 2019, the program has largely focused on academic researchers.

“Strong evidence on charges with less evidence”

The report is based on an analysis of public court submissions, as well as press releases by the Department of Justice, for all Economic Espionage Act prosecutions between 1996 and 2020. This is an update to a previous analysis. , published in Review of Cardozo Law, covering the period up to 2016.

Charges of “theft of trade secrets” and “economic espionage” are both included, with “economic espionage” fees requiring proof of a “nexus of the foreign entity” and accompanied by a much higher penalty. (These two categories comprise only a fraction of the charges under the China Initiative; Kim briefly mentioned “incorrect statements and criminal processes,” and people were also charged with providing fraud and falsification of visa applications, and other crimes.)

Because demographic information and citizenship data were not included in court submissions, Kim used the names as proxies for the race, and he used Google searches when names, such as Lee and Park, not clear on ethnicity. As for citizenship, Kim noted that press releases often make famous mention of whether an accused is a “foreign national,” so he assumes that defendants are all citizens unless shown.

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