The U.S. Energy Department on Friday told staff they are banned from taking part in foreign recruitment programs as the agency seeks to stop China and other countries from illegally acquiring sensitive research in supercomputing and other technologies.
Dan Brouillette, the Energy Department’s deputy secretary, said in a memo the agency that recruitment programs sponsored by certain countries “threaten the United States’ economic base by facilitating the unauthorized transfer of technology and intellectual property to foreign governments.”
Potential recruits are offered prestigious positions at foreign research institutes, labs and universities, it said.
Employees will have to leave the department if they participate in recruitment programs from countries it determines to be “sensitive,” the memo said.
The Energy Department oversees a network of 17 national labs that work on sensitive issues including advanced nuclear energy, nuclear weapons and supercomputing, some of which is classified.
The memo, first reported by the Wall Street Journal, did not name specific countries, but successive U.S. administrations, including that of President Donald Trump, have been concerned about China obtaining U.S. intellectual property.
A Department of Energy official said on condition of anonymity that the administration was not specifically targeting China, and that the initiative could help the agency learn more about which foreign programs have been seeking to recruit department employees.
“It gives employees a chance to disclose that information,” the official said. “It’s basically giving them the chance to say, ‘OK I want to be paid by DOE or I want to be paid by this outside, state-funded initiative’.”
Some foreign government-sponsored talent recruitment programs “have taken advantage of America’s openness to collaboration to infiltrate our labs, steal our technology and use our own resources against us,” a DOE press official said.
The Chinese embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Trump has Republicans ‘in a vice’ as bad as Charlottesville and Access Hollywood: MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace
Donald Trump's increasingly toxic rhetoric against women of color has put the Republican Party in a "vice" of choosing between loyalty to the White House and voters disgusted by the bigotry the president had been broadcasting.
"Donald Trump today has the Republican Party in a vice the likes of which they haven’t experienced since Charlottesville and before that, in the aftermath of the “Access Hollywood” tape," Wallace explained, citing the biggest moments of Trump displaying his respective racism and misogyny.
"Republicans -- who have hardly been profiles in courage -- today found just over a dozen of their members break rank and slowly, timidly, begin to call out Donald Trump’s flagrant, bellicose, racist attacks against four female members of Congress," she reported.
Italy seizes air-to-air missile along with neo-Nazi propaganda and Hitler memorabilia from far-right sympathizers
Italian police seized an air-to-air missile, machine guns and rocket launchers during raids sparked by an investigation into far-right extremist groups on Monday, a huge haul of weapons that authorities said was almost without precedent.
Police arrested three people, including Fabio Del Bergiolo, 50, a former candidate for the neo-fascist Forza Nuova party, whose home was found to contain a huge stash of arms as well as neo-Nazi propaganda and Hitler memorabilia.
Fireflies’ glow could soon be extinguished by human actions
Species’ extinction rates are accelerating on a global scale. We need solutions that match the severity of the problem.
Say goodbye to one of the dreamiest things about childhood. In the Midwest, fireflies are dying off.
For many Americans, it’s hard to imagine summer nights without the magical glow of dozens of bioluminescent bodies fluttering above the grasses and fields, and lighting up the dark skies above.