Senator Ted Cruz and Representative Francis Rooney have joined forces to introduce Rooney’s “Stop Higher Education Espionage and Theft (SHEET) Act,” which is aimed to “stop foreign intelligence services from using college exchange programs to steal technology, recruit agents and spread propaganda.”The SHEET Act directs the FBI to designate foreign intelligence threats to higher education, ensuring that universities and colleges follow stricter rules when reporting foreign gifts.
It was sent to both the U.S. House Judiciary Committee and the U.S. House Education and the Workforce Committee.
Representative Rooney made the case for the bill, explaining that “Geopolitical adversaries like China are stealing American technology and exploiting our universities’ open research and development environment. One glaring example, Confucius Institutes, are used as a front by the Chinese Communist Party to infiltrate American campuses to gather information and steal American technologies. We must stop foreign intelligence from exploiting our higher education for technology theft.”
Senator Cruz was grateful for the legislation, commenting that “The Chinese Communist Party is working to undermine American universities by meddling with curricula, silencing criticism of their regime, and stealing intellectual property. Creating accountability for Confucius Institutes is a necessary step to protect our institutions of higher learning, and I’m glad that Rep. Rooney has introduced this important legislation.”