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back to article American tech spy gets 24 years in cooler

The war against tech espionage in America continues, with a US beak sentencing 66-year-old Chinese-American Chi Mak to 24 years in jail. According to an AFP report, District Judge Cormac Carney said yesterday that his tough sentence would "provide a strong deterrent to the People's Republic of China not to send its agents here …

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Linux

Danger to our security

The biggest danger to the security and freedoms of all Americans is not from external gov't agencies, but from inside on the hill.

With the way the gov't would like to state what you can read, watch, write. Controlling how you move, and who you meet with.

The greatest current threat to freedom and security is in your own gov't working under the guise of securing your own future.

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Bronze badge

Guilty anyways because we say so

"He was not charged with espionage, according to prosecutors, because none of the information he lifted was actually classified."

It looks like the courts will buy just about anything if the prosecutor says so. If the information wasn't classsified, then that's the end of it. And since Linux is going to be used by the Army, that means that FOSS is of military value, and transporting a Ubuntu CD will be a crime.

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Unhappy

Pathetic

This information IS and WAS of no use...

This is just some poor deludes who will be examples for the rest...

So Sad.

But the US is past the brink of rationality....

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Anonymous Coward

Roll up, it's showtime, folks!

Show trials about to begin in the good ol' USSR of A? This one seems too much like kicking the dog after your wife has just left you. Now what is the real story here, I wonder.

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Pirate

Classified Data

So, it is illegal to transmit information of a non-classified nature, period? Good lord, no wonder they want to look in everyone's laptop when they use a plane...

What if China just went to the horse's mouth for Space Shuttle tech?

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/shuttle/vehicle/index.html

[Under the section "In-Depth Explanations and Schematics", perhaps?]

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Deterrant?

Like China Really give a crap that one of their citizens got sentenced to long term imprisonment. They dont really give a sod about Human Rights remember?

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unclassified can be sensitive

There is a vast amount of information that is not commonly disseminated, unclassifed, and could provide an advantage to a foreign government.

To classify something is a very serious matter with tremendous restrictions on the information. For the most part it is sufficent to make it export controlled and need to know only. It is very much a crime to violate export control laws.

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Why bother with a CD

Use a network connection and encryption softare, and as most data is in India/China anyway whats the hassle?

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What happens if the Chinese get confused,

and build a Space Shuttle with a Quiet Electric submarine engine?

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Thumb Down

Where is

The Olympic taking place this year?

China is becoming the new enemy of liberty

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Journalism award?

We've got such excellent and reliable journalists who can be counted on to tell us all we need to know! Right?

It's amazing how many people feel they are justified in passing judgement on anything based on a few lines written by some bozo working for some news business.

Ah well. As long as they confirm your prejudices, right?

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Happy

@easyk

Actually, to 'classify' something is trivial, just a matter of putting the correct words on it.

It just depends on the level of classification how much effort is required to properly apply the classification (e.g. traceability of copies), and what difficulties this brings in handling the documents/software/whatever.

Indeed you can often find innocuous data has some degree of protective marking applied to it because it can be used to infer other details.

And other data can have inappropriate levels of protection applied - people often play safe and put high level marking on stuff that doesn't need it, which causes a cascade of problems for anyone using it (e.g. high level marking on a bit of data, therefore computer the data is copied onto assumes same level, as does attached network etc. etc. and costs/hassle go through the roof, when in fact low or no marking may be appropriate and everything could have been much easier)

'Need to know' is a different concept and more about general protection of data, and applied in most commercial as well as military or other sensitive environments - you shouldn't share information with those who don't need it as you might end up divulging more than you realise, and in any case if you don't need to know, then *you don't need to know*.

As for export controls, they're a joke, and extra broad. And indeed seem to have an impact on commercial activities where 'private' activities are unaffected. e.g. I've been informed that I'd have problems with buying/shipping certain items of computer equipment while I could acquire privately with no problems at all. From eBay. From sources in the 'destination' countries! I'd generally ignore the controls as pointless except the US seems to believe in the global reach of its laws, and they have some interesting ideas about due process.

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In this case there has been an over-reaction, particularly given the data didn't seem to be particularly sensitive, or have any kind of protective markings.

This may be down to the authorities realising they were stupid enough to give nationals of an unfriendly power access to their data for years (though for some reason 'friendlies' have all sorts of trouble doing the same), or maybe it's more commercial - they took the data before it could be sold to them, and this has made the original owners a little upset...

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E

Ignorance is the new justice

"We will never know the full extent of the damage that Mr Mak has done to our national security," wrote Carney in his sentencing statement.

Then how the h*ll did Carney arrive at a sentence?

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Happy

Re: E

Easy, you bring out the Wheel of Justice, spin it a few times (with a Guantanamo prisoner attached to it, I'm pretty sure that qualifies as a 'stress position') and see which number it lands on.

If you get 'Whammy', that's a death penalty. If you get 'Free spin', use the US logon to the UK National Identity Register (username: USJustice, password: speshulrelationship) and have a random Brit extradited to an HIV-infested hellhole for vague white-collar crimes without proof. If you get a star, it's time to leverage your legal power to begin a promising political career which will inevitably end when your sexual hypocrisy is exposed.

There's no 'Bankrupt' segment because it would be pointless: America already is, morally and financially.

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