We have created a database to understand the China Initiative. Then the government changed its record.

The Department of Justice itself is not going to come much. As we explain in our main section, DOJ officials have so far failed to provide a clear definition of what the China Initiative case is, or how many cases have been reported as a whole. This lack of transparency makes it impossible to understand what the China Initiative is, what it has achieved, and what it has cost those disproportionately affected.

“I would like to see a balance sheet,” said Jeremy Wu, who held senior civil rights and ethics positions in the US government before co-founding the APA Justice Task Force, one of the groups that China Tracking the initiative independently. “What did we gain? How many spies did we catch, compared to how much he lost?” [been] Not just for individuals, but for the future of American science and technology? ”

Our database is not that balance sheet. But it is also an important step in answering some of Wu’s questions – questions that the US government has not yet answered. Rather, it adds to the confusion: Two days after we received a request for comment, the Department of Justice made major updates to its web page, removing cases that led to a successful anti-intelligence effort. Do not support this statement.

How did we do that

This spring, we began searching for all press releases linked to the Justice Department’s China Initiative web page, followed by another scrap of its data in August. We then pulled out thousands of pages of federal court records relating to each case and used that information to build our database.

We also searched through additional court documents and public statements from FBI and DOJ officials for cases that were removed from the webpage or that were never included. We then provided this information with interviews with defense attorneys, defendants’ family members, collaborating investigators, former U.S. prosecutors, civil rights advocates, lawmakers, and foreign scholars who have studied the measure. ۔ We found more cases that were left out of the DOJ’s public list but were either publicly cited as part of the move or as a sample of general facts by academics accused of concealing ties with Chinese institutions. The hackers have been accused of working for the Chinese government, or of illegally transferring technology.

Our goal was to create as comprehensive a database as possible of the China Initiative Prosecution. We know that more could happen, and our database may grow as we confirm the presence of additional cases. If you have more information about China Initiative Cases, please contact us at tips@technologyreview.com.

Our tracking efforts intensified in June, when the Justice Department stopped updating its China Initiative web page. This time frame almost coincides with the resignation of Assistant Attorney General John Demmers, who was in charge of the National Security Division overseeing the move.

Once we created a rough database and analyzed the data, we compared the notes with the APA Justice Task Force’s VO, and the Asian American Advancing Justice. AJC, another civil rights group investigating cases, and we shared our preliminary findings with a small group of lawmakers, civil rights representatives, and scholars and asked for their comments.

What has the Justice Department changed?

November 19 – Two days after the MIT Technology Review contacted the Justice Department with questions about the initiative, including a number of cases that we believe have been dropped. Or added by mistake.

These changes were far-reaching, but they did not really dispel the confusion surrounding the move. In fact, in some ways they made it worse.

While he did not answer our specific questions, Wynn Hornbuckle, a spokesman for the DOJ’s National Security Division, notified us by email that the staff had “updated our web page to reflect some changes, updates and dismissals.” Is in the process of being done. ”

He also mentioned his department’s numbers. “Since November 2018, in partnership with the PRC, we have brought or resolved nine cases of economic espionage and seven cases of theft of trade secrets. Have brought, “he wrote.

We’ve found significantly more than 12 research integrity cases – but only 13 of the 23 research integrity cases in our database are currently on the website. (One of the cases was settled before the charges were filed.) Six of the cases ended on criminal pleas. Seven are still pending.

Seven of the eight investigative integrity cases that ended with dismissal or acquittal were previously on the website, but the DOJ has now removed them from its list.

Our analysis shows 12 cases since November 2018 in which allegations of theft of trade secrets or economic espionage have been made. Ten are listed on the Justice Department website. (There were two related prosecutions, although they were indicted separately.) Seven of the 10 were indicted. Only Theft of trade secrets and economic espionage are not serious allegations. One accused of spying for the economy and the other for stealing trade secrets. The other two cases involved hacking – one involving economic espionage, and one involving the theft of trade secrets.

The Justice Department did not respond to requests for further details of its numbers.

Our subsequent analysis reveals that the DOJ has removed 17 cases and 39 defendants from its China Initiative page, adding two cases[withKalpanchamadAlihanandtheexistingcasesareaccompaniedbyconvictionandtrialinformationwhereavailable[withatotaloffivedefendantsandupdatedexistingcaseswithsentencingandtrialinformationwhereavailable[کلپانچمدعاعلیہانکےساتھ،اورموجودہکیسزکوسزااورٹرائلکیمعلوماتکےساتھاپڈیٹکیاہے،جہاںدستیابہے۔[withatotaloffivedefendantsandupdatedexistingcaseswithsentencingandtrialinformationwhereavailable

Hornbuckle did not respond to a follow-up request for comment on what these removers say about transparency.

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