co-signed a powerful document, shown near the bottom of this page. They together urged universities to reject "the advisement of FBI and other govern-ment officials" to "develop protocols for monitoring students and scholars from Chinese state-affiliated research institutions."
As a former univ. professor, univ. trustee and national leader of Am. Assoc. of University Professors (AAUP), I predict that
there is now little or no chance that any reputable university
will work with the FBI to target Chinese students and scholars
because of their national origin. This ill-conceived and un-
American idea of FBI Director Wray is dead!
80-20 EF is NOT the originator of this statement, but it has much indirect, and perhaps even direct influence on its creation.
Evidence of EF's Direct and Indirect Influence on this Breakthrough
"The Above Picture Should Cause ... many administrators of universities to reflect:
"Why am I betrayingmy academic principles and letting grant dollars and politics lead me by the nose, since becoming an administrator? I used to be a strong believer in free and open exchange of science for its advancement! I used to be against race profiling. What FBI Director Wray is advocating is nothing less than urging the entire US society to race profile scientists of Chinese origin. Yes, I am shamefully implementing that policy. I need to re-set my moral compass this moment."
The administrators of American universities, through their national organization, Association of American Colleges & Universities, responded nobly and splendidly. I salute them.
Woo described Director Wray's "whole-of-society approach" to catch Chinese spies as totalitarian, and said Wray was "ironically inspired" by the success of the Chinese government. The drafter of this powerful letter apparently agreed with Woo. In its 2nd sentence, 4th paragraph, it was said "Efforts by the United States to fend off the global arm of autocracy must not mimic the very tactics it professes to reject." (emphasis added by Woo).
Why You MUST Support 80-20 EF!
You know any other AsAm or ChAm orgs. sending a "certified, return receipt requested" letter to Dir. Wray, telling him that was wrong to use a totalitarian approach to try to resolve an American challenge?
You see any other AsAms orgs cajoling university administrators publicly to get them to "reset their moral compass"?
If your answer is "None," then consider supporting us. YOU'll also win.
Celebrate YOUR victory by posting YOUR views here. Donate
S. B. Woo
President and a volunteer for the past 20 years
80-20 Educational Foundation, Inc, a 501 C-3 organization,
STATEMENT IN RESPONSE TO REPORT THE FBI IS URGING UNIVERSITIES TO MONITOR CHINESE STUDENTS AND SCHOLARS
According to recent public reports, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and other government officials have advised some U.S. universities to develop protocols for monitoring students and scholars from Chinese state-affiliated research institutions. This move seemingly stems from growing suspicion that the Chinese government is engaged in espionage of American higher education, with the aim of stealing data and intellectual property. However, this is an area where the government must tread carefully.
Some recent incidentssuggest concern with the mounting global reach of Beijing's tech-enabled authoritarianism is valid; but calls to monitor individuals solely based on their country of origin violate norms of due process and should raise alarms in a democracy. If there are articulable concerns about specific individuals because of their activities and affiliations, those should be pursued without regard to the individual's country of origin. Disclosure requirements, information sharing and export control enforcement all offer powerful means to protect against intellectual property theft and espionage without resorting to tactics that cast suspicion on potentially hundreds of thousands of students and scholars. Federal agencies need to clarify and specify their concerns, and ensure that their efforts do not trample on individual rights nor on the principle of free and open academic inquiry and exchange.
More than 340,000 Chinese students are reportedlystudying in the U.S., as of last year. If not conducted with care, this move risks hampering the future recruitment of talented foreign students and scholars to American shores. This move could also significantly impede the training of new scientists, as well as damage ongoing projects. The pursuit of scientific knowledge should be advanced under conditions of intellectual freedom without political or ideological restrictions.
Further, to the extent that China or other governments are utilizing international students and faculty in the United States as a means to carry out spying or to furtively funnel information back to officials at home, such activities infringe upon the academic freedom of those scholars as well as the institutions that host them and must stop. Unless researchers possess a formal and disclosed government affiliation, they must be permitted to pursue their work free from state interference or involvement. Failure to adhere to this principle violates the precepts of academic freedom and threatens global scholarly exchange.
China's government is notorious for its aggressive use of surveillance. Efforts by the United States to fend off the global arm of autocracy must not mimic the very tactics it professes to reject. As concern on these matters grows, we advise universities to zealously safeguard their independence--to maintain their commitment to academic freedom, to uphold the principle of due process, and to respect the privacy rights of students and faculty, no matter their national origins.