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back to article Feds charge US firm with smuggling illegal military tech to Russia

Key personnel in a Texas-based electronics firm are among 11 people arrested over an alleged conspiracy to smuggle advanced microelectronics from the US to Russia. Arc Electronics Inc allegedly acted as a conduit for the smuggling of high-tech components potentially useful in radar, weapons guidance, surveillance and other …

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FAIL

Wow.

All this "commie" hate is getting a bit old.

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Anonymous Coward

categorical denial

from the Russian Ministry of Foreign, Home, Defense and Agricultural Affairs. We categorically, repeat, categorically denounce such allegations as absolutely with no merit whatsoever, and we would like to express a view that the whole affair smacks of a poor attempt to cause damage to the traditionally friendly US-Russian relations. Russia has never, ever spied on its US friends, never. Ever.

And that's all for tonight from Russia today, thank you, and good night.

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Anonymous Coward

Pot, Kettle

from the United States Ministry of Foreign, Home, Defense and Agricultural Affairs. We categorically, repeat, categorically denounce such allegations as absolutely with no merit whatsoever, and we would like to express a view that the whole affair smacks of a poor attempt to cause damage to the traditionally friendly US-Russian relations. The United States has never, ever spied on its Russian friends, never. Ever.

And that's all for tonight from America today, thank you, and good night.

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In other news

China announced a ban on exporting technology to the USA

The USA now believed to be living in caves trying to discover fire

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Re: In other news

Luckily they can use candles made of lawyer fat.

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Thumb Up

Re: In other news

Why stop at lawyers?

Set up mandatory liposuction for about 3/4 of the population, and their oil/energy problems would be sorted for the next 10 years.

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Re: China exporting tech to the US

Yeah, the US imports so much Chinese-designed tech, it's shameful. Don't think Intel will ever recover after those Loongson CPUs flooded the market. And thank goodness Foxconn was there to design the iPhone circuitry or I'd probably be stuck with a Motorola or something. Something running Aliyun, anyway, since it crushed the Android market. Maybe I'll pick one up cheap on Alibaba, now that eBay's virtually wiped out. Hopefully I'll get one that matches my new Shenzhen TV!

(Note: Chinese tech <> Chinese manufacturing)

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Re: China exporting tech to the US

And how long does the expertise last if you stop doing the manufacturing?

Then you stop doing the R+D, then you stop doing the basic research.

So the UK stops making TV/computers/etc , but that doesn't matter because the inventors are still British - it doesn't matter where they are made.

Then a few years later how many TV/computer/etc designers do you have?

How long would British expertise in jet engines/radar, last if BAe moved all manufacturing abroad?

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Stop

Apparently it is already gone

..as a German fsck has to tell you that Rolls Royce is making engines in England. In a town named Derby. They tried hard to fuck that up with the A380, but some brave Quantas pilots denied RR the chance for a proper suicide.

Allegedly it were "non-concetric drilling". Whatever that really means.

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WTF?

I thought the cold war was over? Like, 20 years ago??

I may be as naive as John Connor in Terminator II, but ... what is the state of trade controls with the Russian Sphere of Influence? Are CoCom controls still in place? I know that Romney is shit-hot on designating Russia as the "New Evil" but apart from that...

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Re: I thought the cold war was over? Like, 20 years ago??

It's not really a cold war issue. I'm sure they wouldn't have been happy with people exporting to Iran or several other countries. The end of the cold war doesn't mean we are all friends around the globe. There will always be competition.

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Re: I thought the cold war was over? Like, 20 years ago??

The US Export Administration Regulations have regional considerations for a few countries (Iran, North Korea,...) but Russia is not one of them. However, the export of weapons technology or dual use items to ANY country (including Russia) is subject to a number of controls, including things like end user certificates. Whilst it might be OK for a US electronics company to sell microchips to a Russian company for the manufacture of traffic lights, it is unlikely that a US company would be allowed to sell dual-use components to an laboratory run by the FSB.

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Unhappy

Re: I thought the cold war was over? Like, 20 years ago??

It's called ITAR and it's hit the US aerospace industry for several $Bn. There are drafts before both houses to lighten their grip but they seem to being killed by a Republican congressman. The CoCom regulations and the "Export Control List" still seem to be very much in business.

The rules AFAIK have *never* gone away despite "The end of the Cold War" as people like to think of it.

That said at the component level how much is *not* dual use?

They would not be the first company driven into bankruptcy fighting a Federal court case (EG Austin Code Works).

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Re: I thought the cold war was over? Like, 20 years ago??

It stopped the Canadian Radarsat-2 being launched from the US - so it was launched form Kazakstan (no I don't understand that either)

There was also a european communications satelite that was banned from being launched in China because it contained US tech. Instead the makers helped the chinese set up their own satelite building business using their own technology.

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Meh

While some posters seem to be of the impression that since Russia and the yanks are friends now this shouldn't be an issue... it really is one. Keeping your defence tech "in-house" or at least preventing general exporting is a good diplomatic tool. It gives you something to bargain with.

"Oh hey, you've got those new missiles guidance chips? can we have a look?"

"What do you have we want?"

If there is one thing any government hates, it's someone taking away their prerogatives.

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Headmaster

"The Capitalists will sell us the rope with which we will hang them."

-- Lenin

But he's dead now. So are Stalin, Menlenkev, Khrushchev, Brezhnev, Andropov, Chernenko.

The last guy in charge there sold *us* the rope we nearly used to hang *him* (recall the quality of support Gorbachev received from the US during the coup in 1991).

Why do we keep these restrictions in place? That's easy. Supply and demand. Restricting access to any technology makes it cost more. And *that* is in the interests of the industries that make this stuff. It's *those* interests that drive this. Why else do we have a 3/4 trillion dollar a year military "20 years after the Cold War ended"? (the Chinese have a single, thus far non-operational, aircraft carrier of questionable vintage -- it's really their ICBMs, land-based aircraft and ship borne missiles that are a threat to US forces in the Pacific, but only if the US continues to insist on bigfooting its way around the world it has since the latter half of the 20th century when there was at least a theoretical threat of Soviet aggression to justify it).

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Meanwhile at the Department of Commerce...

"You mean the next generation of traffic lights won't have embedded inertial guidance systems?"

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Anonymous Coward

Crime

So, supplying defective parts to Russia is a crime now?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Crime

I''m still trying to get my head round why the FSB would buy *RAM* from the US, check the list ;)

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Mushroom

"There will always be competition."

In 2002 the US withdrew from the anti-ballistic missile treaty which the US and the USSR signed in 1972.

I'll bet that goosed up the competition

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Stop

America Is The New Soviet Union

The SU protected their "military" scientific developments so closely that their whole economy (and that of the Warsaw pact) suffered from that secrecy. Their security apparatus could lock up people without due process and did that many times. Some of their technology is still leading edge, 30 years after intriduction. Think Mig25 or Mig31.

In 2012 America is clearly going down the same route. Excessive military spending and fancy military technology protected by all sorts of stifling regulation, a president Obama who wants the same powers as the Spanish Inquisition (according to the National Defence Authorization Act), a sluggish, crumbling economy which has to feed all that.

According to the Russians, America did it to them when they sold almost any computer in the 60s and 70s. That killed the mainframe computer industry in Minsk and similar locations. Later they were forced to copy DEC and IBM computers - clearly a declaration of intellectual bankruptcy. Angela Merkel did her doctoral thesis computations in the GDR on a Hewlett-Packard computer. How can you motivate your aspiring elite if their best equipment comes from the Klassenfeind ??

America's best option would be to openly sell everything except finished, integrated weapons systems to everybody. That way they would make others dependent on their technology.

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Big Brother

Re: America Is The New Soviet Union

Da, pravda, pravda.

And soon it will be the old Soviet Union.

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Meh

Re: America Is The New Soviet Union

How intriguing.

By passed the standard icon.

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Unhappy

US Security Theatre - a Joke!

The US security theatre is nuts.

A Russian software author can, and has, designed software for US companies and, when this software is installed or sold as packages the software can't be sold back to him!

You must remember the FBI is one of the leading entrapment artists in the US.

Mind you, using clear text messaging is kind of dumb given the numerous encryption packages available.

Remember, a charge is not a conviction, just another round in the US "Let's Make a Deal" legal game.

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Headmaster

"SMUGGLING ILLEGAL MILITARY TECH TO RUSSIA"

Illegally smuggling military tech to Russia surely. "Illegal military tech" implies tech banned by law like bioweapons or landmines.

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Anonymous Coward

For the love of money...

...most people will compromise good judgment.

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Anonymous Coward

Maplin Catalogue?

Have they tried Maplin Catalogue ...

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Big Brother

So, they were "stealing"...

.. the kit, not buying it, for export?

"The defendants tried to take advantage of America’s free markets to steal American technologies for the Russian government."

Well, the music industry has already tought us that "stealing" does not mean "take something away from someony without paying", but rather "buy something, pay for it, and then do something with it that the seller [or a third party] doesn't like." Looks like the DoJ likes this particular piece of newspeak.

Next up: Classify the purchase and smoking of Cuban cigars as "arson". Or, better yet, as "terrorism".

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