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Energy Department bans recruitment programs suspected of foreign espionage

Rick Perry
Energy Secretary Rick Perry. Photo: Maxym Marusenko/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The Department of Energy said Friday it will ask all "personnel, contracted scientists and future grant recipients" to discloses ties to programs in countries it considers "sensitive," and that those employees will be asked to either give up those ties or resign, the WSJ reports.

The big picture: The move to ban foreign talent-recruitment programs sponsored by countries like China, Russia, Iran and North Korea was deemed a matter of "U.S. national security and scientific integrity," as the department oversees 17 national laboratories that conduct research in sensitive fields like nuclear physics. The ban is part of the Trump administration’s broader effort to fend off economic espionage and intellectual property theft, which senior Energy Department officials have said often stems from these types of recruitment programs.