In a letter to their congressional colleagues, a bipartisan group of House and Senate lawmakers urged support for the Global Tech Security Commission’s work in creating a strategy that can “develop, protect and adopt trusted technologies.”
A bipartisan, bicameral group of lawmakers on Tuesday asked their colleagues to work with an international commission that is developing a global tech security strategy to counter the threat of “techno-authoritarianism” posed by China and other hostile nation states.
In the April 11-dated letter—signed by Sens. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., Todd Young R-Ind. and Bill Hagerty, R-Tenn., as well as Reps. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, and Josh Gottheimer, D-N.J.—the lawmakers called for their fellow senators and representatives “to engage with the Global Tech Security Commission as it carries out its timely and important mission to advance liberty and prosperity across allied democracies and promote a high-tech, innovation-driven job market in America.”
Citing the high-altitude Chinese spy balloon that floated over a large portion of the U.S. in late January and early February before being shot down off the coast of South Carolina, the lawmakers said that Beijing has “demonstrated its determination to use whatever technological means available to probe U.S. defense vulnerabilities.”
To counter these types of threats, the letter’s signatories said that lawmakers should engage with the commission to ensure that the United States and its international allies are working together “across a range of critical technology issues in the face of rising authoritarianism around the world.”
“Building on foundational bipartisan laws, such as the CHIPS and Science Act, U.S. actions at home must be complemented by allied and partner action and harness the innovation of the private sector if we are to effectively compete with China across emerging technology industries,” the lawmakers wrote.
The Global Tech Security Commission, launched in May 2022, is a partnership between the Krach Institute for Tech Diplomacy at Purdue University and the Atlantic Council that is “dedicated to creating a global tech security strategy that safeguards freedom through the adoption of trusted technology.”
The commission is co-chaired by Keith Krach—former Under Secretary of State during the Trump administration and the former CEO of DocuSign—and Kersti Kaljulaid—former president of Estonia from 2016 to 2021 and the former chair of the Three Seas Initiative. All five lawmakers who signed the letter serve as honorary co-chairs of the commission.
“Both sides of the aisle recognize that the United States and the free world face ever-increasing technological threats from authoritarian regimes, such as Russia, China, Iran and others,” Krach said in a statement. “The bipartisan support for the Global Tech Security Commission conveys the urgency of its mission.”
The global tech security strategy being developed by the commission will include “a comprehensive set of offensive and defensive strategies” for national security tech sectors, such as artificial intelligence, quantum computing and semiconductors. The lawmakers said in their letter that the development of the strategy will help “rally and unify like-minded countries, leverage the innovation and resources of the private sector and build a global network to develop, protect and adopt trusted technologies.”
In addition to the five senators and representatives who signed on to Tuesday’s letter, Sens. Mark Warner, D-Va. and Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, and Reps. Lori Trahan, D-Mass., Mike Waltz, R-Fla. and Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-Ill. are also listed as honorary co-chairs of the commission.