Former CIA officer Nicholas Eftimiades has warned that sensitive British technology and research has been left vulnerable to exploitation by China‘s military. Mr Eftimiades believes high-tech British innovations in facial recognition and advances communications could be falling into the hands of Xi Jinping’s totalitarian regime. The explosive claim comes following reports that authorities in Britain have been working to identify UK academics suspected of passing valuable information to Beijing.
Mr Eftimiades worked in the US intelligence community for 30 years and believes the UK’s failure to tightened export regulation has left the country’s tech vulnerable.
He told Express.co.uk: “The UK is a really unique case and they are so because of their legal structure.
“I mean in the United States we have the international trafficking arms regulation, we have ITAR. We have export enforcement regulations.
“So we are very very heavily regulated as to the type of technologies that can be exported and under what condition. The UK not soo much so.”
The renowned expert on Chinese Intelligence operations continued: “Technology that can be used for nuclear weapons purposes, that is heavily regulated in the UK.
“But not so much others, so you find the UK in collaborative academic and industrial relations with China.
“Developing microsat [microsatellite] capabilities, developing software for facial recognition programmes that type of thing.
“Whereas the government might call it espionage or might call it sensitive technologies in fact it is not illegal technology.”
In May the Mail on Sunday reported that specialists from the Foreign Office and Special Branch had been tracking the number of academics believed to be passing on British technological secrets to Chinese officials.
The high-level probe was reportedly focused on activities at the Universities of Manchester, Liverpool and Imperial College, according to the Daily Mail.
The Daily Mail report also states there no suggestion any of the institutions were either aware or directly involved in wrongdoing.
Manchester University was forced to back out of a deal with a Chinese technology company earlier this year after it came to light that the firm’s apps were used by Chinese security forces in the oppression of the marginalized Uighur minority in Xinjiang.