High-Tech Group Urges 'Air-Tight' Nuclear Security

The U.S. high-technology industry called for "immediate, appropriate" federal action in response to the release May 25 of an explosive report by a bipartisan Congressional committee accusing China of stealing U.S. nuclear-weapons secrets. The long-awaited, 700-page report, prepared by a panel chaired by Rep. Christopher Cox (R, Calif.), alleges that China has obtained classified information about all U.S. nuclear weapons and that it is "exceptionally likely" that Chinese spying continues today. "Clearly, the Cox Committee's work has unearthed alarming information -- lax security practices at our government's national labs," said William T. Archey, president and CEO of the American Electronic Assn., a Washington-based trade association of more than 3,000 U.S.-based high-tech companies. "It is imperative that the government takes full responsibility for this and puts into place air-tight security controls." Archey counseled policy makers to take a cautious approach, however, to changes in the nation's export control system. "In light of extensive foreign availability of commercial high-tech products," he said, "the U.S. must be careful not to make any unilateral changes to our system that would end up hurting only the U.S. high-tech industry."

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