Bill Priestap, FBI Assistant Director for Counterintelligence, Addresses NVTC Board of Directors
Bill Priestap, Assistant Director of the FBI Counterintelligence Division, joined the NVTC Board of Directors at its September 18 at PenFed Credit Union to provide updates on counterintelligence threats facing the country. He shared his belief that the counterintelligence threat is both misunderstood and underestimated, because the largest threats are not necessarily imminent, but are gradual and long-term.
According to Preistap, China is the biggest threat to our nation. He shared China’s strategies to become economically dominant on the world stage, including its Made in China 2025 goal of increasing the Chinese-domestic content of core materials to 70% by 2025.
Priestap also outlined several areas where China has become increasingly dominant, including its rapidly increasing number of Chinese-owned telecom companies, scientific publishing and patent applications. In addition, he called attention to Chinese direct foreign investment in American companies over the past two decades, which in recent years has focused heavily in new companies.
Priestap closed his presentation by urging any business controlling vital assets to take all steps possible to protect their data and information and stated that the FBI shares classified info with private sector partners in order to help protect important assets. In particular, he highlighted the need to inform small, new innovative companies about the risks of being targeted by China or any other adversary.