President Biden Restricts MineOne Operations Cites National Security Concerns

On Monday, May 13, US President Joe Biden issued a desist order to a Chinese-based crypto miner MineOne Cloud Computing Investment company operating near Wyoming’s nuclear missile base. The president claimed that the operation of MineOne posed a threat to US national security. 

The crypto miner expanded to the US in June 2022 and established its presence near Francis E. Warren Air Force Base (F.E. Warren AFB). The F.E. Warren AFB ranks among the top three missile bases in the United States, protecting the country from external attacks.

MineOne Operations Suspended in US 

Serving as a strategic missile base for the US president, Biden ordered MineOne Investment to wind down operations in the region. A review of the company website demonstrated that MineOne offered specialized and advanced tools for surveillance and conducting espionage activities. 

Based on the operation of MineOne, President Biden was convinced that the Chinese-based firm threatened the US national security. He claimed to have gathered credible evidence on the operation of MineOne that contravened the US law. 

In his order, President Biden instructed MineOne to sunset their operations in the next 120 days. The embattled crypto miner was ordered to remove some of MineOne’s mining machinery and developments. 

Upon contacting the MineOne team, the officials did not comment. The plenary power of President Biden in strengthening the US national security mandates the government to ensure that foreign investments safeguard the rights of the citizens. 

In April, President Biden signed a bill to divestiture the operation of the Chinese-based social media platform TikTok. Under the new bill, the TikTok team was instructed to sell off the platform within 12 months. 

Biden Administration Explore Ways to Strengthen National Security 

In response to the new directives, the TikTok team vowed to challenge the new bill since it does not intend to sell the video app.  Earlier this week, the White House unveiled new tariffs on Chinese products. 

According to Reuter, the Biden administration plans to impose new tariffs on Chinese products such as semiconductors, solar equipment, medical supplies, personal protective tools, electric vehicles (EVs) and others. 

While amending Section 31 of tariffs, policymakers targeted industries that exposed local industries to fierce competition. A source privy to the information argued that the Chinese EVs threatened the American personal data.

With the new measure, the Chinese authority is expected to react to President Biden’s directives. The decision to ban the operation of Chinese-based crypto miners was suggested by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) after probing the operation of MineOne.

The committee chaired the investigation to examine whether the operations of MineOne created any national security concerns. The recently completed investigation aligns with the 2018 law that grants the CFIUS legal authority to assess any corporate deal related to critical US facilities such as Francis E Warren Air Force Base.

The law allows the CFIUS  to identify any activity that poses a national security risk. The White House has instructed the CFIUS to conduct extensive investigations into TikTok’s operations. 

US Cracking Down Chinese Companies

In the ongoing operations, the CFIUS confessed that the MineOne team had failed to file the acquisition deal with the relevant authority. The CFIUS admitted that the operations of MineOne remained unknown to the government until the public reported the matter. 

A report from the US Secretary of the Treasury, Janet Yellen, revealed that the regulatory action against MineOne demonstrated the CFIUS commitment to regulate foreign investments. 

The executive outlined the roles of CFIUS in strengthening national security and restricting the operation of foreign investments that pose a threat. The regulatory action in the US  against the Chinese-based companies mirrors a similar move embraced by developing countries.  

In a recent report, the Chinese government enacted legislation restricting the sharing of top government secrets. The restrictive measures in China aim to reduce the risks that threaten national security. 

In an attempt to restore national security and build strong economic relations, the government of China enforced prohibitive measures on the operation of US-based tech companies, including Micron. The Chinese authority claimed that Micron’s network security review threatened national security.

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