On February 12, 2020, the U.S. Department of Education announced that it is launching an investigation into Harvard and Yale for their failure in disclosing about $375 million in gifts and contracts coming from China and Saudi Arabia during the last four years.
Lately, the Education Department has been cracking down on foreign influence, especially foreign influence from China. The Wall Street Journal reported that U.S. universities have failed to disclose $6.5 billion in contributions from foreign nations since 1990.
A large portion of the suspected foreign influence on universities comes through gifts and grants, which are generally accompanied with strings attached and might sully their academic independence.
“This is about transparency,” U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos declared in a statement on February 12. “If colleges and universities are accepting foreign money and gifts, their students, donors, and taxpayers deserve to know how much and from whom. Moreover, it’s what the law requires. Unfortunately, the more we dig, the more we find that too many are underreporting or not reporting at all. We will continue to hold colleges and universities accountable and work with them to ensure their reporting is full, accurate, and transparent, as required by the law.”
In addition to failing to divulge possible financial threats to academic freedom, Harvard even sponsored a 30-year old Chinese national who has made attempts to steal research.
The individual in question, Zaosong Zheng, was arrested at Boston Logan International Airport for allegedly possessing 21 vials of cancer research material that he was trying to smuggle into China. Prosecutors contend that he tried to steal this material in order to bring it to China so that he could carry out his own research in his laboratory.
Further, Charles Lieber, the chairman of the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Harvard, was arrested last month for charges of lying about his connections to the Chinese government’s Thousand Talents Plan.
Lieber also allegedly revealed that Harvard does not have the capacity to track very large donations, which the Education Department’s statement called attention to.
“The Department is also concerned Harvard University may lack appropriate institutional controls over foreign money and has failed to report fully all foreign gifts and contracts as required by law,” the Education Department statement noted.
U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling claimed last month that the Boston region is a major hub for Chinese government espionage and research theft.
“This is a small sample of China’s ongoing campaign to siphon off American technology and know-how for Chinese gain,” he stated. “Chinese economic espionage and theft is a real and daily occurrence that we must begin to confront.”
“As demonstrated by these cases, on the academic side, the Chinese government uses partnerships and exchanges with U.S. schools and research institutions to access cutting-edge research and equipment,” Lelling continued. “Obviously, most visiting Chinese academics and researchers are here to work in good faith in U.S. institutions. But some of them are not.”
In light of these incidents, the Trump administration will need to double down on immigration reforms and restrict student visas from adversarial countries such as China.
Warfare has changed in the 21st century and countries are now exploiting the U.S. immigration system’s flaws to undermine America from within.
Thanks to Spineless, Establishment Republicans, Senate Panel Delays Vote to Subpoena Big Tech CEOs
Republicans Continue to Show Pathetic They are on the Issues that Matter Most
America First nationalist’s hopes of having Big Tech CEOs testify before Congress about allegations of censorship directed towards the Right were temporarily dashed on October 19, 2020.
Politico reported that the Senate Judiciary Committee delayed plans to vote on subpoenas to force the CEOs of Twitter and Facebook to go before the Senate and be questioned about their anti-Right wing censorship policies.
Some Republicans ended up having cold feet and decided to postpone the vote much to the disappointment of right wing activists who have complained about Big Tech’s anti-free speech policies.
President Donald Trump and a number of nationalist Republicans have sharply criticized Facebook and Twitter over their censorship of a controversial New York Post report that exposed Hunter Biden, Democrat presidential candidate Joe Biden’s son, and his corrupt behavior.
Originally, GOP officials in the Judiciary Committee announced plans to hold a markup on October 20 to determine if they would subpoena Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to get his perspective on allegations concerning his company’s policies that muzzle conservative viewpoints. Twitter denies claims regarding Twitter’s censorship policies.
South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, who is the Chair of the Judiciary Committee, revealed that the planned vote would also call on Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to testify.
The panel stated on October 19 that it would determine whether they would issue subpoenas during a executive session on October 22 where it will also allegedly approve Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett. The committee declared in a statement that it will maintain negotiations with the companies “to allow for voluntary testimony” by the CEO. However, if an agreement cannot be reached, the panel will proceed to take a vote on the subpoenas “at a date to be determined.”
The subpoenas would compel the tech big wigs to testify on the reports of “suppression and/or censorship” of New York Post stories and on “any other content moderation policies, practices, or actions that may interfere with or influence elections for federal office,” according to a committee document released on October 19.
Texas Senator Ted Cruz, who is the chair of the Judiciary’s Subcommittee on the Constitution said to reporters that he’s expecting the committee to preside over testimonies from the Twitter and Facebook chiefs “shortly” regardless of whether they come to the decision on their own volition.
“One way or another, either voluntarily or pursuant to subpoena, they will testify and they will testify before the election,” Cruz stated.
In a separate hearing for the Senate Commerce Committee, Zuckerberg and Dorsey will join Google CEO Sundar Pichai on October 28 for a hearing on Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which generally shields Big Tech companies from a liability.
Cruz, who is a member of both Judiciary and Commerce committees, wants each panel to carry out their own hearings with the tech chiefs before election day. “I believe we need a separate hearing in Judiciary because the issues being discussed in the two committees are different,” Cruz remarked.
Big Tech has become too powerful, especially during a time when social media has become the de facto public square. Republicans will need to get serious about making online speech receive the same treatment as general political speech.
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