Senators Markey, Cortez Masto, Brown Demand Answers from Administration Over Reports of Chinese Manipulation of U.S. Technology


Letter Calls for the Administration to Answer Questions on the Extent of China’s Activities Affecting U.S. Government and Private Sector Technology


Washington (October 11, 2018) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and Ranking Member of its East Asia Subcommittee, led a letter with fellow Senate Democrats Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), calling on the Trump administration to look into reports of Chinese government efforts to secretly manipulate U.S. technology. According to a October 4 Bloomberg Businessweek report, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) “designed and manufactured” microchips to be surreptitiously planted within the motherboards of servers assembled by Super Micro Computer Inc. (also known as Supermicro). Elemental Technologies, which has contracts to sell technology to U.S. national security agencies, installed these motherboards in servers eventually used by the Central Intelligence Agency and the Department of Defense. This Chinese government effort also is alleged to have affected at least 30 companies.


Noting the severity of the reports, the letter states, “If true, the U.S. government servers, networks, and the sensitive information they contain could be compromised by a country that poses a significant strategic challenge to the United States. Additionally, any malicious PLA effort could have severe implications for the privacy of data for American consumers purchasing products from American technology firms.”  


A copy of the letter can be found HERE


In the letter, the senators ask the Trump administration to provide timely answers on the extent of U.S. government ownership of technology with Chinese government microchips, whether such devices are still in use, and any information concerning these microchips being implanted in technology that is utilized by U.S. companies.