Google is helping China's People's Liberation Army, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff has told Congress on Thursday.
"The work that Google is doing in China is indirectly benefitting the Chinese military," Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford told the Senate Armed Services Committee.
"Frankly, 'indirect' may be not be a full characterization of the way it really is," Dunford continued. "It's more of a direct benefit to the Chinese military."
Google announced last year that it will cease working with the Pentagon on a project to have artificial intelligence analyze footage from drones, yet the massive tech company has opened an artificial intelligence center in Beijing.
"I have a hard time with companies that are working very hard to engage in the market inside of China, and engaging in projects where intellectual property is shared with the Chinese, which is synonymous with sharing it with the Chinese military, and then don't want to work for the U.S. military," Dunford said on Nov. 17 at the Halifax International Security Forum in Canada.
On Thursday, Shanahan told Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) that $5 trillion of the Chinese economy comes from state-owned business, which share their technology with the People's Liberation Army.
"The fusion of commercial business with military is significant," Shanahan said. "The technology that is developed in the civil world transfers to the military world – it's a direct pipeline. Not only is there a transfer, there is also systemic theft of U.S. technology that facilitates even faster development of emerging technology."
In June 2018, Google CEO Sundar Pichai said his company is "not developing AI for use in weapons."
Yet China expert Patrick Cronin said the U.S. government is only beginning to understand China's military-industrial complex and how the People's Liberation Army accesses information.
"Technological mastery is a core element of the CCP's [Chinese communist party's] indirect and largely unrestricted warfare campaign to challenge the United States," Cronin, Asia-Pacific security chair at the Hudson Institute think tank in Washington, D.C., told Task & Purpose. "Stealing know-how, accumulating big data, aiding national champion corporations, coopting foreign friends in high places, identifying vulnerabilities in U.S. telecommunications, and perpetuating the mythological narrative of 'peaceful rise' are among the specific goals of Beijing."
Cronin noted that is hard to believe Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, who recently claimed China would never ask Chinese businesses to transfer information to the government, thus putting the economic benefits to foreigners above China's own national security interests.
"In fact, Beijing's forceful detention of more than a million Uighurs and other Chinese based on their ethnic and religious identity suggests it is always CCP first, other considerations last," he said.
In a scathing letter, a top Navy legal official on Sunday expressed "grave ethical concerns" over revelations that government prosecutors used tracking software in emails to defense lawyers in ongoing cases involving two Navy SEALs in San Diego.
The letter, written by David G. Wilson, Chief of Staff of the Navy's Defense Service Offices, requested a response by Tuesday from the Chief of the Navy's regional law offices detailing exactly what type of software was used and what it could do, who authorized it, and what controls were put in place to limit its spread on government networks.
"As our clients learn about these extraordinary events in the media, we are left unarmed with any facts to answer their understandable concerns about our ability to secure the information they must trust us to maintain. This situation has become untenable," Wilson wrote in the letter, which was obtained by Task & Purpose on Monday.
Rebekah "Moani" Daniel and her husband Walter Daniel. (Walter Daniel/Luvera Law Firm)
The Supreme Court on Monday denied a petition to hear a wrongful death case involving the controversial Feres Doctrine — a major blow to advocates seeking to undo the 69-year-old legal rule that bars U.S. service members and their families from suing the government for injury or death deemed to have been brought on by military service.
FORT IRWIN, California -- Anyone who's been here has seen it: the field of brightly painted boulders surrounding a small mountain of rocks that symbolizes unit pride at the Army's National Training Center.
For nearly four decades, combat units have painted their insignias on boulders near the road into this post. It's known as Painted Rocks.