Self-driving cars added to US national security threat list

amid growing concerns With regard to China’s growing international data-gathering agency, a newly divided U.S. Congress is scrutinizing the possibility that imported Chinese technology could become a Trojan horse.

exist A Letter to the National Highway Traffic Safety AdministrationShared exclusively with WIRED, Rep. August Pfluger (R-D.) asked some poignant questions about whether Washington is really ready for the imminent influx of Chinese-made smart and autonomous vehicles into the U.S. Security Threats Posed by Automotive (AV).

“I remain concerned that the lack of U.S. oversight of AV technology opens the door for foreign espionage on U.S. soil as Chinese companies potentially transfer critical data to the People’s Republic of China,” Pfluger wrote.

While AV technology may be years away from widespread commercial adoption, pilot projects are already hitting roads around the world.As of earlier this year, more than 1,000 AutoX robotaxis On California roads. AutoX, a Chinese start-up backed by one of the largest state-owned auto companies in the communist state, received approval from the state of California in 2020.

Since U.S. regulators gave the green light to the testing programs, “their data governance remains woefully underscrutinized,” Pfluger wrote.

Earlier this year, Wired magazine reported on the growing national security concerns posed by Chinese-made cars. The vast amounts of data collected by these cars could give hostile nations an unprecedented vantage point to gain access to the United States and other Western countries. Beijing has pioneered the use of big data analytics to identify domestic dissidents, and concerns have grown that these tactics could be deployed abroad.

Pfluger submitted a detailed list of questions to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which oversees the use of self-driving cars, and asked the regulator to explain how it reviews the national security risks posed by the Chinese companies.

“Whether NHTSA is working independently, or in cooperation with cities or other local governments, to restrict or prevent Chinese companies from collecting sensitive information from U.S. infrastructure, including information about sensitive government or military installations, and subsequently sharing such information abroad?” Pfluger wrote.

China is certainly anxious about American-made smart and electric cars.For example, earlier this year, Beijing will company restrictions Where Tesla can drive during high-level Communist Party meetings, especially around military installations.

In his letter, Pfluger emphasized that China could use “autonomous driving and connected vehicles as a way to incorporate its systems and technologies into our country’s infrastructure.” Like most of its allies, the U.S. has banned Chinese corporate giant Huawei from building 5G infrastructure, but These next-generation vehicles will have access to an unprecedented number of emails, messages and phone calls, and effectively have mobile cameras capable of filming a range of critical infrastructure.

As Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas told a House committee last week, “There is a risk in putting communications infrastructure in the hands of nation-states that do not protect freedoms and rights like ours. ” FBI Director Christopher Wray warned that China had stolen more data from the United States than all other countries combined through “an increasingly sophisticated and massive cyberespionage campaign targeting a range of U.S. industries, organizations and dissidents.” many.

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