ASIO stated in a risk analysis document for the department submitted to the Parliamentary Joint Committee that although the spirit of openness and cooperation has always been the foundation of Australia’s scientific and technological achievements, this kind of collaboration has allowed Australian research institutions to have different political, cultural and ethical values. Of international partners.
ASIO cited four examples, but did not name organizations or individuals.
ASIO said: “We are aware that some universities are under economic coercion due to critical research; in some cases, scholars have to self-censor course materials to avoid unfavorable results, such as cuts in foreign funding or Foreign governments have associated personal threats."
"We are also aware that there is an attempt to steal sensitive Australian intellectual property rights."
总部位于堪培拉的网络防御咨询公司Internet 2.0的安全顾问兼首席执行官Robert Potter说，“中国的大部分间谍活动都是针对澳大利亚的高等教育和州政府层面的。”
Potter believes that universities rely heavily on international student funding, and this dependence can be exploited.
A new perspective from ASIO
The Australian Federal Police supports ASIO’s opinions in its submissions and pointed out that there are reports that academic institutions and research institutions are becoming targets of foreign powers to gain knowledge of policy, research, energy and scientific progress.
The Federal Police (AFP) said, “This is achieved through economic coercion, threats to scholars and their families, and/or through secret contractual arrangements to protect the intellectual property and commercial interests of foreign regimes.”
悉尼大学的中国问题专家、对北京在澳大利亚的影响力持批评态度的Salvatore Babones教授说，当ASIO提到 “外国政权 “时，其实指的是中国。
However, observers said that under the leadership of ASIO's new boss Mike Burgess (who once ran the Australian Signals Authority), the intelligence agency has become more open.The submission shows that the Intelligence Agency has previously been criticized for failing to properly inform the public of the threat.The current situation shows that the intelligence services intend to disclose their concerns.
ASIO said that leaking valuable research or other sensitive data may cause Australia to lose its intellectual property and business advantages and hurt it.Australia's reputation, international status, economy and national security can also be compromised.
ASIO also pointed out that successful intelligence operations by foreign regimes can help them steal and develop new technologies, or improve new technologies, shorten the time and cost of copying technologies, and gain commercial advantages. It can also recruit and train talents for future interference and espionage activities. .
Some universities stated that threats and coercion from foreign governments are not limited to higher education.
The relevant departments of Australian universities are “very clear” about the situation
墨尔本大学国际部副校长、洛伊研究所前负责人 Michael Wesley说，大学被抓了个现行或没有意识到风险的暗示 “显然是不真实的”。
"In my impression, the relevant departments of universities are very aware of this competitive environment, and the top priority is to improve their position and oppose interference and compromise."
"Enterprises are often required to transfer intellectual property rights to gain access to a certain country or industry market. The fiercely competitive business world means that a series of different types of institutions may be subject to certain coercion when acquiring their intellectual property rights. "
悉尼大学的Babones教授说，虽然中国政府可以胁迫研究人员，但北京没有能力对澳大利亚大学采取同样的行动。“严格来说，澳大利亚大学不需要中国的钱。不过，中国政府有能力诱使澳大利亚大学，尤其是其校长，他们的薪酬可能直接或间接地与吸引中国的支持 ‘成功 ’挂钩。”
"What ASIO does not mention here is that Chinese citizens working for Australian universities may willingly, in fact patriotically, provide sensitive research results to the Chinese authorities. This is more likely, but it is politically controversial. ."
The university warned that if every agreement they have with a Chinese entity must be submitted to the government for approval, these red tapes will weaken the school’s ability to operate independently.
Its CEO Vicki Thomson said, "Our universities and our researchers support the Morrison administration's view that we must proactively address national security risks."
"ASIO is also right to point out that international cooperation is not just good-they keep Australian research at the forefront of the fundamentals."
ASIO stated in its submission that harmful foreign influences cannot be allowed, because this is a serious threat to Australian democracy.
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