Americans should refrain from taking DNA tests, particularly those connected to the government. Cybersecurity experts have warned that China is creating digital twins of Americans.
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John Mills, a former head of cybersecurity policy, strategy, and international affairs at the Department of Defense, claims that as reports of Chinese military-affiliated companies gathering American DNA have surfaced, these companies are now able to generate digital replicas of Americans.
“They have the capacity to create these complex models of each of us. They’re making digital twins of us,” Mills explained to NTD News.
The CCP’s genome project is being led by BGI Group, formerly known as Beijing Genomics Institute, which is also a major manufacturer of COVID-19 tests.
The company’s CEO bragged in 2017 that the organization had achieved an industrial degree of success in moving from gene editing and genetic reform to gene synthesis and mass-producing numerous viruses, bacteria, and large yeasts.
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“They can do all kinds of nefarious things with no constraint or loss. They have our data.” According to Mills, the data could be used to modify a subsequent virus to specifically target specific non-Han ethnicities.
Mills made reference to Beijing’s military-civil fusion policy, describing Chinese firms as “extensions of state security, state intelligence.”
He emphasized that this applies to all Chinese businesses and businesses that are incorporated in China, regardless of their American origin. “They are the eyes and the ears and the collectors.”
According to Mills, this implies that when Americans provide data to these companies, their information is essentially sent to Chinese intelligence.
“So they know about every one of us … I would presume that I have a file in China,” he added.
BGI Targets American Researchers
Mills expressed additional worries regarding the BGI group’s history of targeting eminent American researchers.
“They have a long history of targeting some of our best researchers … there is a proven track record that almost immediately veers into national security concerns with China,” he noted.
The cybersecurity specialist cited Chinese recruitment initiatives like the “thousand talents plan,” which purportedly recruits foreign intellectuals to work in China and facilitates the transfer of technology and know-how to the regime.
“China was just using money to essentially buy off professors and academics. So they have a very active program to go after our intellectual property, and essentially, to co-opt some of our leading researchers,” he said.
Mills referred to the Biden administration’s decision to scrap the “China Initiative,” which the Trump administration had established in 2018 to counteract state-sponsored espionage and the theft of trade secrets by the Chinese regime, and dubbed the action “ridiculous and silly.”
“It’s going to [take] many years for … the CCP to demonstrate they can be trusted in these circles because right now, all the evidence is leaning against them,” he said.
Americans, Safeguard Your Medical Records
He believed that Americans should refrain from taking DNA tests, particularly those connected to the government. He also recommended that Americans take great care to protect their medical records.
“Be aware that anything you do digitally … is being vacuumed up,” he warned.
Invoking the threat to national security, Mills urged the American government to put Chinese organizations like BGI Group on a blacklist and forbid them from doing business here.
“I think it’s very unwise to let them in because it is just like biological warfare,” he said.
“We need to be extremely concerned,” Mills added, since DNA test data is critical information for biological warfare. “We have to look at that as a threat.”
“This is feeding them. They look at that as the strategic, commanding heights of the showdown with the West, mainly America,” he said.