United States may lose ‘cyber domain’ to China, says Senate report

WION Web Team
Washington, United StatesUpdated: Jul 22, 2020, 02:30 PM IST

File photo of US President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping. Photograph:(Reuters)

Story highlights

The 58-page long report warns against China's ''mounting influence'' which will transform into 'digital authoritarianism'.

United States and its allies have not taken sufficient measures to counter Beijing's efforts at mass surveillance and censorship, according to a report released Tuesday by the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

The 58-page long report warns against China's ''mounting influence'' which will transform into "digital authoritarianism" and very soon it will ''write the rules of the Internet as a leading tech superpower if necessary steps are not taken to halt its progress.''

“Three and a half years into the Trump administration, the United States is now on the precipice of losing the future of the cyber domain to China,'' the report states.

''If China continues to perfect the tools of digital authoritarianism and is able to effectively implement them both domestically and abroad, then China, not the United States and its allies, will shape the digital environment in which most of the world operates.'' 

The report which was published on Tuesday is the latest glaring sign of the distrust toward China that now runs rampant in Washington, across the entire political spectrum.

At present there is a growing shift in the Western world away from Chinese technology amid concerns about mounting privacy and security risks.

According to New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez, the top Democrat on the committee who commissioned the report, “If the United States fails to rally and lead the international community around our core founding principles, to respond to the Chinese Communist Party’s efforts to create a new big brother, as this administration has so far failed to do, I am deeply concerned about what the future may hold,” he said when announcing the report.

He also warned of a “global dystopian future, dominated by a hi-tech, totalitarian state”.

The report highlighted China’s use of biometric and facial recognition technology, big data analytics, internet censorship and surveillance of digital communications.

It also explicates China's treatment of Uygurs Muslims and other ethnic minority groups and how their movements are tracked, communications monitored, and genetic data collected by the Chinese state.

The report comes as the Trump administration considers a ban on Chinese-owned apps like the video-sharing app TikTok and after Britain barred Huawei from its 5G networks.