U.S. proposes ‘KYC’ cloud computing requirements

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U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo has unveiled a proposal that entails mandating U.S. cloud companies to ascertain whether foreign entities are accessing U.S. data centres to train AI models.

The proposed “Know Your Customer” (KYC) regulation was released on Friday for public inspection and will be published on Monday. “It is a big deal,” Raimondo said.

She declared that the U.S. is putting forth every possible effort to stop China from acquiring the essential computing power for training their AI models but that its endeavours will be futile if China finds ways to bypass those restrictions and use U.S. cloud infrastructure for model training.

The proposal would require U.S. cloud computing companies to verify the identity of foreign persons who sign up for or maintain accounts that utilize U.S. cloud computing through a “know-your-customer program or Customer Identification Program.” It would also set minimum standards for identifying foreign users and would require cloud computing firms to certify compliance annually.

“We can’t have non-state actors or China or folks who we don’t want accessing our cloud to train their models. We use export controls on chips.

“Those chips are in American cloud data centres so we also have to think about closing down that avenue for potential malicious activity,” Raimondo said in an interview.

Raimondo said, U.S. cloud computing companies should have the burden of knowing who their biggest customers are training the biggest models, and we’re trying to get that information. What will we do with that information? It depends on what we find.”

The Biden administration is taking a series of measures to prevent China from using U.S. technology for artificial intelligence, as the burgeoning sector raises security concerns.

Also Read: China Decides To Sanction Five US Defense Industry Companies

Last month, Raimondo announced that Commerce would not allow Nvidia to export its advanced AI chips to China, as they could be used to develop their frontier models.

The U.S. government is worried about China developing advanced AI systems on a variety of national security grounds and has taken steps to stop Beijing from receiving cutting-edge U.S. technologies to strengthen its military.

In October, President Joe Biden signed an executive order mandating developers of AI systems that pose potential risks to U.S. national security, the economy, public health, or safety to disclose safety test results to the U.S. government prior to public release.

Raimondo said the Commerce Department intends to dispatch survey requests to companies shortly, and the companies will be given a 30-day window to respond. She emphasized, “Any company refusing to comply is a red flag for me.”

Carl Szabo, who is the General Counsel at NetChoice, a trade group representing the tech industry, has voiced his concerns regarding the implementation of President Biden’s executive order by the Commerce Department.

According to him, the order is “illegal” and aims to force the tech industry to report their usage of AI. He also pointed out that requiring U.S. cloud companies to report the resources used by non-U.S. entities for training large language models could discourage international collaboration.

Source Reuters 

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