The FBI has repeatedly warned U.S. universities about visiting researchers stealing intellectual property on behalf of China.
That’s according to emails reviewed by the Associated Press, which paint a picture of a nationwide effort to convince colleges to be on guard against intellectual property theft. The emails underscore the extent of U.S. concerns that universities, as recruiters of foreign talent and incubators of cutting-edge research, are particularly vulnerable targets.
“When we go to the universities, what we’re trying to do is highlight the risk to them without discouraging them from welcoming the researchers and students from a country like China,” Assistant Attorney General John Demers, the Justice Department’s top national security official, said in an interview.
Agents have lectured at seminars, briefed administrators in campus meetings and distributed pamphlets with cautionary tales of trade secret theft.