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Physicist Admits Sending Space-Related Military Secrets To China

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the he-was-young-he-needed-the-money dept.

The Military 278

piemcfly writes "Chinese-born physicist Shu Quan-Sheng Monday pleaded guilty before a US court to violating the Arms Export Control Act by illegally exporting American military space know-how to China. The 68-year-old naturalized US citizen, pictured here on his company profile, admitted handing over the design of fueling systems between 2003 and 2007. Also, in 2003 he illegally exported a document with the impossibly long name of 'Commercial Information, Technical Proposal and Budgetary Officer — Design, Supply, Engineering, Fabrication, Testing & Commissioning of 100m3 Liquid Hydrogen Tank and Various Special Cryogenic Pumps, Valves, Filters and Instruments.' This contained the design of liquid hydrogen tanks for space launch vehicles. He also admitted to a third charge of bribing Chinese officials to the tune of some 189,300 dollars for a French space technology firm." Here's the FBI press release regarding Shu's plea.

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still have some? (-1, Flamebait)

Adolf Hitroll (562418) | more than 5 years ago | (#25801801)

I understood USA sold out the day Halliburton went to Dubai?

Re:still have some? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25802055)

Sorry, it was long before that.

You can always read Anthony C. Sutton's [wikipedia.org] works or read Major Jordan's Diaries. [amazon.com]

Re:still have some? (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25803063)

He was just followin Bill Clinton's lead.

Industrial espionage (2, Insightful)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 5 years ago | (#25801809)

Eh, it's nothing new [wikipedia.org] . But given that certain cultures are more about "honor" and "loyalty" than others are, then why do they let this happen? I find it hard to believe that Chinamen [latimes.com] are the only men capable of performing certain engineering duties. I doubt that anybody of American descent would be allowed to see top-secret Chinese data, 20-year citizen or not!

Unless the FBI is simply foaming at the mouth to create FUD and bungle this like they bungle everything else. It's more of a matter of industrial espionage rather than national security.

Re:Industrial espionage (4, Insightful)

internerdj (1319281) | more than 5 years ago | (#25801887)

This is the problem with not properly promoting scientific education within American schools. If you can't get good scientists internally then you are putting your secure projects at risk.

Re:Industrial espionage (5, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#25802049)

If you can't get good scientists internally then you are putting your secure projects at risk.

Umm, wasn't he a naturalized American citizen? Or do you mean to suggest that it's a risk to employ anyone who wasn't a natural-born citizen on secure projects? This traitorous asshole notwithstanding, most immigrants to this country are fiercely patriotic. You tend to have an appreciation for the United States if you immigrate here from a poorer/more oppressive country -- whereas those of us who were born here tend to take what we have for granted.

Re:Industrial espionage (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25802199)

Correction, those of us who were born here and didn't take the responsibility ourselves to educate... OURSELVES!

I hardly take what I have for granted, but I read a lot about how we got to where we are today. You know, that thing called history that the people you are really referring to ignore completely and pretend it has no relevance to today.

I wouldn't let this one bad apple ruin the bushel. People seem to forget some of our greatest scientists EVER were defectors from our old enemies like, you know, Nazi Germany.

Re:Industrial espionage (3, Funny)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 5 years ago | (#25802255)

People seem to forget some of our greatest scientists EVER were defectors from our old enemies like, you know, Nazi Germany.

It's not exactly rocket science, as Werner Von Braun once said.

Re:Industrial espionage (0, Flamebait)

Toll_Free (1295136) | more than 5 years ago | (#25802519)

Some of our greatest scientists ever came AFTER WWII, not defectors from Germany.

Big difference, going to a side that literally whooped the FUCK out of your country, Vs. Defecting.

You're doing a HUGE disservice to the people who actually DID defect from oppressive regimes by trying to state the German scientists "defected".

They defected about as much as you or I did, it would appear. They where the spoils of war, and we did ALL we could to get to them to beat the "reds" (commies).

That's all part of that history stuff you talk of.

--Toll_Free

Re:Industrial espionage (2, Informative)

yog (19073) | more than 5 years ago | (#25802813)

Correct, someone is misusing "defect" here. The Soviets were more fearsome enemies than the Allies. The German scientists obviously concluded that helping the Allies in the post-WWII era would be better for Germany than helping the USSR (or doing nothing).

Indeed, history shows that Von Braun and the others did the right thing by siding with the U.S. Western Germany was protected by the American nuclear umbrella and allowed to prosper while its Soviet half withered.

Germany has never really recovered its pre-war aerospace prowess. At one time, they made the best fighter jets, the best rockets, and pretty much the best in every engineering and medical field, and after the war they just lost it, as though they were afraid to excel in these fields anymore.

As for the Chinese, I agree with a previous poster that this is more of a case of industrial espionage than actual treason. But, military and industry are intimately connected in China, perhaps more than in the U.S., and any rocket tech that they acquire will almost certainly be put to military use.

The Chinese are so hungry for technology and they are acquiring it so rapidly even as the U.S. declines in industrial and scientific ability that it seems only a matter of time before they basically take over as the world super power, while the U.S. degenerates into a post-industrial welfare state like France or Britain.

If China were a democracy with some real checks and balances, this might be OK, but unfortunately they have not evolved their system to that level yet. Even the U.S. makes mistakes, but the pendulum does swing and there is a sense of accountability that simply doesn't exist in China yet.

Re:Industrial espionage (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#25803113)

At one time, they made the best fighter jets, the best rockets, and pretty much the best in every engineering and medical field, and after the war they just lost it, as though they were afraid to excel in these fields anymore.

Says who? Other than a few applications (rocketry) the Allies were ahead of the Germans in technology. The German nuclear program never got off the ground. German submarine technology never kept up with Allied advances in anti-submarine warfare. German radar technology was behind that of the Allies -- as was their encryption and communications techniques.

We were even ahead of them doctrinally by the end of the war. The Blitzkerg was pretty impressive against countries lacking in modern armaments and tactics -- but it failed miserably at Kursk and in the Battle of the Bulge.

The Soviets were more fearsome enemies than the Allies. The German scientists obviously concluded that helping the Allies in the post-WWII era would be better for Germany than helping the USSR (or doing nothing).

You would have concluded that too if your choice was between being captured by the power that would treat you fairly well and the one that would ship you off to a forced-labor camp somewhere in Siberia. The Japanese made the same decision -- quite a few historians think that August Storm (the Soviet attack on Japan towards the end of the war) was a bigger factor in forcing them to surrender than the atomic bombs were.

Re:Industrial espionage (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25802233)

Heck our president elect Obama is the son of an immigrant.

He's probably as close as you could get to a possible Manchurian Candidate (one parent foreign, raised a large part of "formative" years on foreign soil), and yet I doubt you'll find anyone who would possibly think that way.

Re:Industrial espionage (2, Funny)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#25802293)

He's probably as close as you could get to a possible Manchurian Candidate (one parent foreign, raised a large part of "formative" years on foreign soil), and yet I doubt you'll find anyone who would possibly think that way.

Unless you watch Fox News ;)

Re:Industrial espionage (4, Interesting)

Austerity Empowers (669817) | more than 5 years ago | (#25802823)

In order for it to work, you have to have loyalties somewhere else. If you are elected as the most powerful man in the world, I'm not sure what on earth would tempt you to "sell out", particularly to some dirt ball in the middle east. If you're crooked, you have all the power in the world to set up your own nice retirement...I think we can think of a few examples of that.

For a poor American scientist, there's a lot to be had back in China, or pretty much anywhere else, whether you are of chinese descent or not. We produce so few scientists and engineers, because the rewards are so pathetic for the capacity of work being done. Within our own country, various silly IP and anti-workforce laws protect investors from our knowledge and abilities moving to competitors easily (also forcing salaries down). But outside of our borders? Not so much. Reverse brain drain, and it's friend "espionage" are real problems. All we need is money, and we can recreate anything we've done before, and probably do it better.

In the 8 years I've been employed, this is the 3rd time I've heard of naturalized Chinese citizens sending back design data to the motherland. Having known personally one of the people later convicted, loyalty to "the party" had nothing to do with it. He was disgruntled at being laid off, believed in his product (but not his company), and was sending design files to his buddy back home so they could start their own business. Illegal, yes. Seditious? Not intentionally.

The saddest part is, that's how the US got its foot in the door. The British didn't really care for us all that much back then, and wanted us kept out of the loop, but had much the same problem with its industry as we do now. Enter a lowly engineer who had know how, but not $
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samuel_Slater)

It's a shame when history repeats itself, particularly since the US was founded on better ideals than China. What on earth do we stand to gain by promoting a country that, other than rabid capitalism (with a phony communist mouthpiece), is the anti-thesis to our way of life?

Re:Industrial espionage (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25802701)

All that sounds nice, but I still think that there's a question of dual loyalty when you're dealing with someone foreign born. It's not like all ties to a country of birth disappear when someone becomes naturalized. Heck, read Jan Wong - born in Canada to Chinese parents, who felt enough pull to the old country when she was a youth to go back and live there for a few years. The vast majority of immigrants are loyal to the USA, but all have some degree of loyalty to another country. When that other country is your enemy, there may be a problem. :/

Re:Industrial espionage (1)

darkfire5252 (760516) | more than 5 years ago | (#25802779)

Or do you mean to suggest that it's a risk to employ anyone who wasn't a natural-born citizen on secure projects?

The USA does more than 'suggest' that: there's a NOFORN caveat for classified documents that means 'no one who is not a natural-born citizen may have access.'

Re:Industrial espionage (2, Insightful)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 5 years ago | (#25802239)

This is the problem with not properly promoting scientific education within American schools. If you can't get good scientists internally then you are putting your secure projects at risk.

It's a mixed bag. For every foreign-born turncoat you can find, I can find you one who is loyal to the US because he has a huge beef with whoever is running the show back home. Likewise, for every loyal native-born son of liberty I can show you a homegrown turncoat. Look at all the moles in the CIA, corn-fed Americans.

The moral of the story is that there's no rule of thumb to go by on who you can trust, you need to suspect everyone and not make theft any easier than it has to be. Most of these cases, nobody's sitting there giving the spy props because he pulled off some sort of James Bond stunt, it's usually hands slapped against faces as we realize the doors were left wide open, the only mystery is why even more secrets didn't walk out of there.

Re:Industrial espionage (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25802565)

I'm not sure what you are talking about. I'm a scientist working in a non science job. I know many others doing the same. There simply aren't as many well-paying jobs in the sciences as there are people who graduate already with Ph.D.'s. Grants are hard to get. There's an 8% funding rate for them in my (prior) field.

The shortage of scientists is a myth. I'll agree more general students should get a much better science education than they do now, but we simply don't 'need' to import scientists.

Re:Industrial espionage (3, Funny)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 5 years ago | (#25801893)

I find it hard to believe that Chinamen ...

Also, Ethanol-fueled, 'Chinamen' is not the preferred nomenclature. Asian Americans, please.

Re:Industrial espionage (2, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 5 years ago | (#25801987)

This isn't a guy who built the railroads here. This is a guy who stole our secrets!

Re:Industrial espionage (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25801993)

Dude, the chinaman is not the issue here!

Spare me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25802111)

Chinaman is a direct translation of äåoeä. When in "Greater China", I get damned tired of constantly being called å-åoeä and éè±ä".

Re:Spare me (4, Funny)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 5 years ago | (#25802171)

Chinaman is a direct translation of äåoeä. When in "Greater China", I get damned tired of constantly being called å-åoeä and éè±ä".

I agree, those slurs are tired and racist. Plus, it's also difficult to tell if someone is talking to you or screaming in agony.

Re:Spare me (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25802387)

Seriously, what excuse does Slashdot have for not supporting Unicode yet? It's 2008. Not to mention that it's a pain to use on mobile devices (and can't moderate from Opera Mini) and unnecessarily heavy on bandwidth. One would expect better of the archetypal geek site.

Re:Industrial espionage (2, Insightful)

Toll_Free (1295136) | more than 5 years ago | (#25802583)

Yeah, let's bow down to "Asian American" today.

Tomorrow it will be "Person of Asian Decent, probably of Chinese".

Chinamen only serves to convey a person of a certain area.

This "politically correct" crap has to end. You can't have a different "cultural" name every oh, half decade or so.

Should we call them "American's of Chinese Decent".

PuhLeeze. People getting irate over being called a Chinaman, when they come from China is lame. I can see it if he called them a "Chink", "Slant Eye" or something else.

Or should I get pissed when someone calls me an American Man?

Sheesh.

--Toll_Free

Re:Industrial espionage (1)

thebheffect (1409105) | more than 5 years ago | (#25802963)

I think you should watch The Big Lebowski (otherwise known as TBL) to understand the reference.

False dichotomy there, bub (3, Insightful)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 5 years ago | (#25801983)

Unless the FBI is simply foaming at the mouth to create FUD and bungle this like they bungle everything else. It's more of a matter of industrial espionage rather than national security.

If the Chinese got ahold of that new laser weapon system from Northrop Grumman, I doubt you would make such a neat little dichotomy there between industrial espionage and national security.

The Chinese government is actually quite hostile to the United States and many other countries. Just look at what they're doing to Africa [codemonkeyramblings.com] if you have any doubts as to whether or not this is a country you want having technology that can be used to assist them in becoming a credible player in space on a military footing.

This Physicist should probably be executed or imprisoned for life if there is any way to get such a sentence. In a more honest time, what he did would be considered treason in spirit, if not exactly the letter of the law.

One of the things that keeps us safe, and keeps us from fighting long, protracted wars is the fact that other countries have a damned hard time competing with us technologically on the battlefield. The Chinese have, for a long time, been trying to steal said technology from us. They really ramped it up after the first Persian Gulf War when their soldiers actually got to see what our technology could do when we unleashed a largescale attack on another country with our new weapon systems. One of the most effective ways for us to prevent a war is to make betraying military applicable technologies to their government an offense that most of these guys would never commit because the punishment is so severe.

Re:False dichotomy there, bub (2, Interesting)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 5 years ago | (#25802045)

I can already predict that some snarky asshole is going to come along and say "long, protracted wars like Iraq." The answer is no. Try the sort of wars where both parties are actually on a generally equal footing, where hundreds of thousands, maybe millions, of soldiers end up dead. One of the reasons that governments like the Chinese government don't risk war with us is that they know that with our currently superior equipped and trained military, we can inflict devastating and likely very disproportionate casualties on them. If they are successful at industrial espionage, they close the gap there between our respective militaries and can come much closer to going toe-to-toe with our troops any day of the week.

Being generally anti-war, I tend to be of the opinion that Roosevelt was right when he said we should walk softly and carry a big stick. That big stick isn't so intimidating when you let your enemy have one of his very own modeled on yours.

Re:False dichotomy there, bub (2, Insightful)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 5 years ago | (#25802309)

I can already predict that some snarky asshole is going to come along and say "long, protracted wars like Iraq." The answer is no. Try the sort of wars where both parties are actually on a generally equal footing, where hundreds of thousands, maybe millions, of soldiers end up dead. One of the reasons that governments like the Chinese government don't risk war with us is that they know that with our currently superior equipped and trained military, we can inflict devastating and likely very disproportionate casualties on them. If they are successful at industrial espionage, they close the gap there between our respective militaries and can come much closer to going toe-to-toe with our troops any day of the week.

1. Our military is over-extended already. It's unlikely we even have enough spare troops to invade Guam again at this point.
2. There's no possible scenario I can think of that would see us facing down China in a ground battle.
3. Economic warfare seems to be a far smarter arena to be engaged in than direct military conflict. And they have us over the barrel in that regard.
4. There's a difference between a bombing campaign and a ground invasion of given territory. All the high tech in the world doesn't count for much if you are fighting against an entrenched enemy on home turf. Witness how easily we smoked the standing Iraqi army in both Gulf wars versus the trouble we're facing trying to police cities filled with guerrillas.

The struggle we're looking at right now is over access to markets and resources. Granted, the future is always in flux but the prospects for a large-scale industrial war the likes of WWII are extremely remote. 4th generation guerrilla wars seem to be the likely scenario for as far into the future as we can reasonably gaze.

Re:False dichotomy there, bub (2, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#25802953)

Our military is over-extended already. It's unlikely we even have enough spare troops to invade Guam again at this point.

And? People tend to forget that in 1941 we had a smaller army than Portugal and a nearly non-existent Air Force. The only branch of the armed forces that was remotely ready for war was the US Navy. My concern with our military being over-extended is not that we'd lose a large-scale industrial war -- it's that we'd lose the the opportunity to nip a problem in the bud before it became a large-scale industrial war.

There's no possible scenario I can think of that would see us facing down China in a ground battle.

What possible scenario could you think of in 1920 that would see us facing down Germany and Italy in a ground battle?

Economic warfare seems to be a far smarter arena to be engaged in than direct military conflict. And they have us over the barrel in that regard.

How do they have us over the barrel? Economics is a two-way street. If we stop buying their exports they lose the incoming capital that they need to pull their hundreds of millions of rural poor out of poverty. They'd wind up being hurt at least as much (if not more so) as we would.

Witness how easily we smoked the standing Iraqi army in both Gulf wars versus the trouble we're facing trying to police cities filled with guerrillas.

We're facing that trouble because we didn't go into the country with enough force to fight a proper counter-insurgency operation. And they aren't really guerrillas in the classical sense -- a lot (most?) of the violence is Iraqi on Iraqi as competing interests vie for power. It's closer to a civil war than a guerrilla war.

Granted, the future is always in flux but the prospects for a large-scale industrial war the likes of WWII are extremely remote.

What are you basing that on? WWII didn't happen in a vacuum. The first thing that happened was the economic rug got pulled out from under the globe -- sound familiar?

Re:False dichotomy there, bub (1)

thebheffect (1409105) | more than 5 years ago | (#25803105)

4. There's a difference between a bombing campaign and a ground invasion of given territory. All the high tech in the world doesn't count for much if you are fighting against an entrenched enemy on home turf. Witness how easily we smoked the standing Iraqi army in both Gulf wars versus the trouble we're facing trying to police cities filled with guerrillas.

The struggle we're looking at right now is over access to markets and resources. Granted, the future is always in flux but the prospects for a large-scale industrial war the likes of WWII are extremely remote. 4th generation guerrilla wars seem to be the likely scenario for as far into the future as we can reasonably gaze.

The Gulf War pitted the #1 US military, versus the then-ranked #4 Iraqi military, numbering some 1.2 million ground troops and nearly 6,000 tanks. We *did* fight a ground war against an 'entrenched' opponent. Better training and vastly superior weaponry were the differences. As much as some people would like to compare China and the US in terms of military might, the reality is that the difference between those two powers is much greater than the difference between the US and Iraq pre-Gulf War.

Re:False dichotomy there, bub (1)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 5 years ago | (#25802095)

The link you posted above is an interesting story, and I understand the need for a strong defense, but these days our defense is really more of an cash-cow of an industry than it is an actual defense.

What has been happening to Chinese military industrial spies caught in the US? A few years in jail and deportation. The era of Julius and Ethel Rosenburg [wikipedia.org] is long gone.

If China was such a terrible enemy and should be kept in check as much as possible, why is this [wikipedia.org] being allowed to happen?

Re:False dichotomy there, bub (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#25802279)

but these days our defense is really more of an cash-cow of an industry than it is an actual defense.

Says who? Would you want to go up against American weapons systems and the American military? Our procurement processes may be completely fucked up but the final product is nonetheless pretty impressive. Is there anything on Earth that can take on the F-22 for example?

Re:False dichotomy there, bub (1)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 5 years ago | (#25802657)

I served time in the Air Force as an enlisted avionics technician and left just as the first F-22 squadron was being assembled at Langley.

Yes, the F-22 is an impressive piece of machinery, but like all military technology, it's 20 years behind the times. It's an angular relic of the "Top Gun" era where pilots engaged in those flashy, showy dogfights - keep in mind that the majority of Air Force Brass are command pilots and underneath those ribbons, they will always be boys playing with their toys! There's a reason why you have Generals and such who still insist on recreationally collecting flight hours on your dime!

The competing F-23 was the superior aircraft but it performed more poorly in "knife fights", i.e. head-on dogfights, than the F-22 did. Which is redundant, because the stealth features of both aircraft are designed so that the aircraft can avoid dogfights in the first place! When the F-22's will be used in war they will most likely be used for bombing missions as the F-15(their predecessors)'s are today. A squadron of smaller, cheaper, unmanned Predators would make a much larger difference in asymmetrical warfare. Much like GM, the days of "bigger and badder" are over.

Re:False dichotomy there, bub (3, Informative)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#25802119)

what he did would be considered treason in spirit, if not exactly the letter of the law.

Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.

Maybe even under the letter of the law. 'Aid and Comfort'

One of the most effective ways for us to prevent a war is to make betraying military applicable technologies to their government an offense that most of these guys would never commit because the punishment is so severe.

They'll still do it. People commit espionage for a variety of reasons. And the punishments are already pretty severe -- personally I'd rather be executed than spend the rest of my natural life in 23 hour a day solitary confinement at Florence ADX. The reason that most spies don't get the death penalty is because they agree to a life sentence in exchange for revealing how much information they gave away.

Re:False dichotomy there, bub (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 5 years ago | (#25802315)

a life sentence in exchange for revealing how much information they gave away

And you can trust that information 100%. I mean these are spies we're talking about, not lawyers or real-estate salesmen.

Re:False dichotomy there, bub (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 5 years ago | (#25802443)

And you can trust that information 100%. I mean these are spies we're talking about, not lawyers or real-estate salesmen.

Golly, I bet the CIA never thought of that. Better write them a letter pronto.

More seriously, these guys are caught, looking at serious prison time, and their captors hold all the cards. My understanding is that they'll get questioned multiple times in multiple ways over many months. While not all of their statements can be immediately verified, a lot of it can and the spy will never know how much. Sure, I suppose someone could keep a secret over that length of time while feigning cooperation, but it'd be difficult.

Re:False dichotomy there, bub (2, Informative)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#25802455)

And you can trust that information 100%

Eh, it depends on the underlying motivation they had for committing espionage. The FBI had something called 'MICE' during the Cold War -- Money, Ideology, Coercion, and Ego -- it was meant to explain the reasonings behind why someone would commit espionage.

Someone who committed espionage because they were blackmailed (coercion) by the foreign power would be less likely to lie about their activities when caught than someone who committed it for idealogical reasons (i.e: they actually believe in the political system of our adversary). In any case, I'm sure that any information from confessed spies is taken with a grain of salt and verified through other sources wherever possible. At the end of the day I'm sure you can see the wisdom in having a living breathing source of information as opposed to a dead corpse.

Re:False dichotomy there, bub (1, Informative)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 5 years ago | (#25802617)

Maybe even under the letter of the law. 'Aid and Comfort'

Only if China is our Enemy.

I'm sure that move would be great for foreign relations... let's legally define China as our enemy in order to convict someone of treason instead of espionage!!1! ;)

It seems you don't think along those lines, but I thought I'd point out the ramifications for the GP... of course there are plenty of Americans (and people of other nationalities, of course) who believe the Other is always an enemy... but those people are irrational, IMO, and not worth having a discussion with.

Re:False dichotomy there, bub (1)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 5 years ago | (#25802305)

You know, mentally replacing each instance of "the chinese" in your text with "the chinese government" makes it non xenophobe.

At least until you reach: "One of the most effective ways for us to prevent a war is to make betraying military applicable technologies to their government an offense that most of these guys would never commit because the punishment is so severe." where you obviously refer to chinese people living in the United States.

If I were you, I'd review my thoughts on the differences between governments and human beings.

Re:False dichotomy there, bub (1)

Toll_Free (1295136) | more than 5 years ago | (#25802651)

"If I were you, I'd review my thoughts on the differences between governments and human beings."

That's pretty hard when foreign governments USE Human Beings.

--Toll_Free

Re:False dichotomy there, bub (1)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 5 years ago | (#25802879)

> That's pretty hard when foreign governments USE Human Beings.

Yes, well, criminal organizations also use human beings and it's pretty easy to understand that not every citizen of a country that has a criminal organization is a criminal.

Brazil may have a great soccer team and that still doesn't make brazilians any better at playing soccer than french people.

And, surprisingly enough, being chinese doesn't raise the chances of being corrupt.

Re:False dichotomy there, bub (0)

grumpyman (849537) | more than 5 years ago | (#25802333)

The Chinese government is actually quite hostile to the United States and many other countries.

When the country is this big and US is the biggest aggressor in the world, invading any country of choice within no valid reason, they'd be silly if they don't arm up and show strength.

Re:False dichotomy there, bub (1)

lysergic.acid (845423) | more than 5 years ago | (#25802373)

If the Chinese got ahold of that new laser weapon system from Northrop Grumman, I doubt you would make such a neat little dichotomy there between industrial espionage and national security.

right, but this guy didn't get a hold of a new laser weapon, or any other type of weapon. that's the whole point. what he stole had nothing to do with weapons research and everything to do with manned space flight and other space launch technology:

Shu, 68, pleaded guilty to violating the Arms Export Control Act by helping Chinese officials based at the space facility on southern Hainan island to develop manned space flight and future missions to the Moon.

He also acknowledged he had sent them in December 2003 a specific military document detailing the design of liquid hydrogen tanks crucial to launching vehicles into space, the Justice Department said in a statement.

it's like saying, "well you wouldn't be able to say that he didn't assassinate the president if he had assassinated the president." it's a moot point, because that's not what happened.

besides, i thought we were past racial/gender/religious discrimination in the workplace. do we really want to push America back 40 years [wikipedia.org] and undo all of the social/cultural progress made by the Civl Rights movement?

xenophobia isn't exactly conducive of societal progress or technological advancement. in fact, it's been shown that cultural diversity promotes innovation and enhances work performance [repec.org] , particularly in the R&D sector.

Re:False dichotomy there, bub (1)

Toll_Free (1295136) | more than 5 years ago | (#25802625)

From IronMan...

"Is it better to be respected, or feared?"

I saw, WHY NOT BOTH?

Truer words where NEVER spoken in a military theater.

--Toll_Free

Re:Industrial espionage (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 5 years ago | (#25802081)

During WWII the US had issue with people of German decent sabotaging aircraft at Brewster aircraft. It didn't do much harm since Brewster made such bad aircraft to start with.
It think this like most things has to do with individuals and not race.
The real issue is that to many foreign born and raised people are coming to the US and then becoming engineers.

Re:Industrial espionage (1)

hung_himself (774451) | more than 5 years ago | (#25802377)

Yup, native born white Americans are much less likely to sell out their country's interest for financial gain.

That's why only native-born (and until recently, white Americans) are eligible for the presidency so that this doesn't happen at the highest leve and that system has worked very well.

Too wide a net (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25802411)

The arms control law is such a wide net that it covers large amounts of technology that is common knowledge or a trivial improvement on what any major power has already. This is not unlike how the rules governing classified information have been made to cover virtually everything.

National security (Re:Industrial espionage) (1)

mi (197448) | more than 5 years ago | (#25802643)

It's more of a matter of industrial espionage rather than national security.

The same fuel tanks, that China has put on the spaceships, that they are so proud of, thanks to the stolen technology, can be (and, in all likelyhood, are being) put on the ballistic missiles.

It is national security...

Re:Industrial espionage (1)

viridari (1138635) | more than 5 years ago | (#25802977)

Unless the FBI is simply foaming at the mouth to create FUD and bungle this like they bungle everything else. It's more of a matter of industrial espionage rather than national security.

Right, because none of this has any military use. You couldn't use it to make a better ICBM. Or to shoot satellites out of orbit. Who would be so silly to think that China would want to build such weapons?

Outsourcing (3, Funny)

rodrigoandrade (713371) | more than 5 years ago | (#25801831)

Maybe outsourcing the US military to China wouldn't be a bad thing after all.

Re:Outsourcing (3, Funny)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 5 years ago | (#25801903)

Naa, for rocket science I'd outsource to India.

A crime called 'Treason'. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25801843)

Only a few years ago, this would be called 'TREASON' and possible punishment could be death, but more likely life imprisonment.

What say he goes free...

Re:A crime called 'Treason'. (4, Insightful)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 5 years ago | (#25801969)

Meh, it's not like rockets can be weaponized or anything.

On a more serious not, this stuff is all for liquid hydrogen rockets - that wouldn't make a very effective weapon... it does a fine job in the Space Shuttle main engine, but keeping rockets that run on liquid hydrogen flight-ready is pretty expensive. AFAIK, most of the US military rockets are solid fuel.

Re:A crime called 'Treason'. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25802349)

Right.

Its not like we'd have any reason to worry [google.com] about China's [google.com] escalating space program [wikipedia.org] .

I think we should start adopting the Eridani Edict [wikipedia.org] as soon as possible.

Re:A crime called 'Treason'. (1)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 5 years ago | (#25802857)

Your first link is from how they destroyed a satellite and your second is how they plan to build a space station. Maybe I'm missing something?

The last two are science fiction, so I'm not sure where you are going with that either.

Re:A crime called 'Treason'. (2, Interesting)

lysergic.acid (845423) | more than 5 years ago | (#25802775)

well, even if they are stealing rocket technology from the West, they're just getting us back [wikipedia.org] .

the Chinese were the first to invent rockets, which were later stolen by the Mongols, who then spread it to the Arabs, who eventually spread it to the West. i guess that makes us even now.

most scientific & technological advancements are built on top of the work done by previous scientists/inventors/engineers. and the history of human technological/scientific progress is essentially the story of the spread of knowledge through cultural exchange. the sharing of knowledge and technology between cultures has always been a major stimulus for technological & scientific innovation. that's why non-weapons-related technology export restrictions are kinda silly. no developed nation can say that their technological & scientific achievements are the sole work of their nation, and their nation alone. many IP laws are similarly silly as such jealous guarding of knowledge, or "intellectual property," is not only petty but counter-productive to societal progress.

Re:A crime called 'Treason'. (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25802143)

Agreed wholeheartedly. Treason is a very appropriate designation here, IMHO.

He is a US citizen who used that privilege to gain access to secure information and willfully sold us out! His actions profoundly harmed our national interests, diminished our technological advantages over our adversaries, caused immeasurable economic harm, and may very well cost the lives of countless numbers of our fellow countrymen in future conflicts!!! Furthermore, in this case there is EVERY reason to believe that he knew EXACTLY what he was doing!

THIS IS TREASON, and HAPPENS WAY TOO OFTEN with little real consequence. EVERY American should be pissed as hell about this, and (in my opinion) a very public example needs to be made EVERY time something like this happens.

Re:A crime called 'Treason'. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25802401)

I agree completely and think we really need to return to the days of the death penalty for traitors.

Cook a few and see if others don't start thinking twice about monetary gain or helping the motherland being worth their life.

Re:A crime called 'Treason'. (0, Flamebait)

Deus.1.01 (946808) | more than 5 years ago | (#25802619)

Heh, it seems i will never see my mod points as an unsigned integer, not after what im going to say here.

Keep im mind this post is not a troll, nor a flamebait....well, maybe a little.

FUCK the nation.

Whenever i hear this kind of frothing nationalism, that want to string up individuals because he/she made the standing of their favorite group of inbreeds a little less loftier, my skin begins to crawl.

He certainly broke the deal with the devil here, and for that he certainly has to make up for.

But no one should have to answer to some washed up collective hivemind.

Only 10 years? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25801845)

What happened to treason?

Re:Only 10 years? (1)

neumayr (819083) | more than 5 years ago | (#25802015)

That's easy. Quoting Wikipedia quoting someone else:
Oran's Dictionary of the Law (1983) defines treason as: "...[a]...citizen's actions to help a foreign government overthrow, make war against, or seriously injure the [parent nation]."
As relations between China and the US make it seem very unlikely they're about to go to war or overthrow each other's government, that guy is not a traitor. Just an industrial spy.

Re:Only 10 years? (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#25802085)

It's easy enough to construe the loss of a technological advantage as a serious injury.

Re:Only 10 years? (1)

neumayr (819083) | more than 5 years ago | (#25802389)

Really? I don't see how. You'd still have to prove there's some practically exploitable breach in nation security because of that loss.
Where does something stop being industrial espionage and start being treason? I'd imagine it has something to do with its impact on national security..

Re:Only 10 years? (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#25802727)

Strategic assessment X says that a technical advantage of Q is necessary for national security. The information disclosed lowers the current technical advantage below that threshold, triggering spending, which is essentially harm.

Individuals can't but corporations can? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25801849)

I wonder how many corporations , universities and other organizations routinely share and profit from the global movement of information? When was the last time you saw a multinational corporation become the target for these types of investigations?

Don't get me wrong, I'm not defending the guy, personally, I just think all this secrecy is stupid, useless and evil.

Re:Individuals can't but corporations can? (1)

IndustrialComplex (975015) | more than 5 years ago | (#25802331)

Individuals certainly can, but they have to go through the export controls of the US state Department and when it comes to 'weapons', the DHS.

But lets not kid ourselves here, this isn't even close to the grey area. This guy sold missile/rocket technology to a foreign government, China no less.

I work for one of these large multinational corporations, and quite often deal with technology transfers between foreign entities and governments. Let me tell you the reason you don't hear about much in the way of investigations is because we are VERY cautious to ensure that trade agreements are in place before any conversations start. Not only that, but we are regularly trained to know what we can, and can not send overseas. We are also audited on a regular basis (and rightfully so) both internally and by the government.

I had to kick a guy out of one of my presentations once because I got a phone call that he was a dual Polish/Canadian citizen. We could export to Canada, we could export to Poland, but there were provisions that no dual citizens were allowed.

It is taken very seriously. While it is fun to poke at these multinational corporations, even the presidents and VPs of these companies are regular people who understand that you do NOT export anything without the blessing of the State Dept, Homeland Security, or one of the other associated agencies.

Of course... (1)

runderwo (609077) | more than 5 years ago | (#25801857)

this isn't a whole lot different from being a lobbyist for a foreign government and advisor to a presidential campaign at the same time. Except, that's apparently legal.

Re:Of course... (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#25802135)

this isn't a whole lot different from being a lobbyist for a foreign government

A lobbyist for a foreign Government lobbies on behalf of that Government. A spy gives that Government classified information. No difference at all......

In Capitalist China... (1)

Massacrifice (249974) | more than 5 years ago | (#25801863)

In Capitalist China, Rocket Fires You!

hmmm. (3, Interesting)

apodyopsis (1048476) | more than 5 years ago | (#25801869)

I would say that china has many good research engineers to get new technology - but from my time working there I would say that industrial espionage and reverse engineering are perfectly acceptable methods to get new technology over there. I have seen new chips turn up that once decapped and FIB'd were seen to be *exact* copies of designs from the firm I worked for, complete with the same faults - but that's what you get for using a Chinese fab.

As always I am interested in this from a general viewpoint - I mean how many hours R&D is worth the hassle of paying for? obviously if something has been developed for many years and represents significant innovation it would be worthwhile, but they seem to be after anything.

It reminds me of the Tupelov 144 and Bakinor shuttle - both of which were uncannily close to planes developed elsewhere...

Re:hmmm. (-1, Troll)

jav1231 (539129) | more than 5 years ago | (#25801961)

Thank Nixon. Letting China nurse off our teat has done nothing but show them how to build they're own teat. Are they greatful? No. Now they're stealing the "Mother's Milk" we're loading the teat with. Fuck China!

Re:hmmm. (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#25802175)

Thank Nixon. Letting China nurse off our teat has done nothing but show them how to build they're own teat. Are they greatful? No. Now they're stealing the "Mother's Milk" we're loading the teat with. Fuck China!

Eh, it's all part of the balancing game of geopolitics. China was a counterweight to the Soviet Union. Pretty soon we'll be looking for a counterweight to China. Japan and Russia would seem to be worthy candidates. Japan already kicked China's ass once and Russia is pretty paranoid that they won't be able to hold onto Siberia. It's probably not unfounded paranoia either given the respective populations and the fact that Russia isn't even meeting the replacement rate right now.

Re:hmmm. (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 5 years ago | (#25802363)

ANd it will not be population. It will be about water and resources. Siberia is LOADED compared to China.

Re:hmmm. (2, Interesting)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#25802511)

ANd it will not be population. It will be about water and resources

Well, population comes into play because Russia has a declining population and the largest territory on Earth. How do you hold onto that territory in the long run if your birth rate is below the replacement rate?

There is an old saying in China... (2, Informative)

Vexler (127353) | more than 5 years ago | (#25802303)

We Chinese have an old saying that dates back to the Opium War. Back then we were called the "Sick Man of the Far East", because of the number of people addicted to opium which the British had imported. Later on it became "Copycat of the Far East" because of the many, many ways that China tries to imitate the West through technology, culture, fashion, music, and so on. (Think of just how much software and music are copied and distributed without any regard to proper royalties and licensing and you can begin to get a sense of the pervasiveness of this cultural trait.)

Understandably, neither label is a source of pride in the Chinese culture, but as with all cultural stereotypes and epithets, these have some truth in them.

America, the birth place of GPL (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25801883)

Bygones be bygones, it's time to take pride in, and share with.

Time of war: internment camps for all chinese (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25801891)

Let's put them all in one place so we can keep an eye on them, those up-to-no-good commie spies. And Ramen soup is all they get. Without the spices !!

Drown Him (-1, Troll)

Skeetskeetskeet (906997) | more than 5 years ago | (#25801897)

In shrimp flied lice.

The Universe Doesn't Care (1, Flamebait)

Cynic9 (842597) | more than 5 years ago | (#25801921)

...who is flying the rocket. Countries can have phallic contests all day long but space exploration needs to be a world-wide effort.

Of course, we will eventually start setting claim to planets and other bodies like we own them. Let's just hope we don't spray paint someone else's territory and get space-lynched.

Re:The Universe Doesn't Care (1)

theaveng (1243528) | more than 5 years ago | (#25802019)

It will be a worldwide effort. Right after China stops treating its citizens as disposable. Look how China treated their farmers during the Olympics (cutting them off from water so they could have water fountains in the athletic village).

Re:The Universe Doesn't Care (1)

Cynic9 (842597) | more than 5 years ago | (#25802221)

I'm all for civil rights but we can't police the world anymore than we can police the galaxy. I don't know anything about what's going on over there aside from what our media reports. There are tons of countries that treat their population poorly but that doesn't change the fact that their governments could be spending on a space program.

So it will be a worldwide effort regardless of how you feel about China. Whether it's a joint-worldwide effort--who knows.

How is he guilty of arms exports? (1)

Pvt_Ryan (1102363) | more than 5 years ago | (#25801923)

He just leaked plans for fueling and for a space shuttle at that..

Re:How is he guilty of arms exports? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25802245)

Yeah... Aside from the OBVIOUS military implications of all rocketry-related tech, that technology presumably cost the US taxpayer tons of money to develop. It is a technology that we INVESTED in because it gives us an economic, technical, and tactical advantage over every other nation on the planet. He is a US citizen, knew EXACTLY what he was doing, and (regardless of what the specific technology was) had NO RIGHT to sell us out to China. I believe he is getting off easy, since a treason charge is entirely appropriate here!

FYI : This is an OBVIOUS case. But. . . word of warning. Even the most innocuous things are deemed to be export restricted. Seriously... In my experience, the amount of stuff that is ITAR restricted is simply staggering! (in fact, most stuff remotely related to aerospace is at least ITAR (if not classified) by default!!!)

Sssh! Don't tell anybody (1)

Henry V .009 (518000) | more than 5 years ago | (#25801943)

He's actually on our side. We're trying to get China to copy our space shuttle.

but... but... (1)

Timothy Brownawell (627747) | more than 5 years ago | (#25801985)

Information wants to be free, man. He was just freeing it from its cruel imprisonment by the US government.

Especially impressive is that he's apparently willing to take its place in order to do so.

Let's just get this over with. (1)

R2.0 (532027) | more than 5 years ago | (#25801989)

Ahem.

[whinyvoice]But the US does it toooo![/whineyvoice]

Please proceed.

Such discoveries... (1)

GerardAtJob (1245980) | more than 5 years ago | (#25802023)

... should be open to everyone, any country around the world... We should help each other when it comes (at least) to space exploration. I could understand for a bomb, but why space stuffs? ...imo

Airport security FTW! (1)

line-bundle (235965) | more than 5 years ago | (#25802031)

So they finally managed to get someone with the wonderful airport security system!

Did they not learn from (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25802073)

Space Cowboys

Here we go again ... (1)

c0d3g33k (102699) | more than 5 years ago | (#25802075)

Despite being the exception to the rule, this will become another argument for justifying domestic surveillance and the erosion of civil liberties. Just wait.

Practically a Slashdot Hero (1)

N8F8 (4562) | more than 5 years ago | (#25802183)

I'm sure on this site he's considered a hero.

Re:Practically a Slashdot Hero (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25803155)

And I'm sure that pretty much everywhere you're just considered an asshole.

The odds against him being caught are huge (4, Insightful)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 5 years ago | (#25802197)

I can't claim any personal experience with counter-intelligence but everything I've read on the matter makes the feebs out to be completely incompetent jackasses. Potential intelligence assets will walk in the front door and the FBI and CIA couldn't manage to recognize them for what they were. It seems like the operative rules are along the lines of:

1. First, don't fuck up.
2. Doing things increases the chances of fucking up; the less you do, the less likely you fuck up, unless your fuck up was not doing anything.
3. Your primary enemy is other intelligence services competing for your budget and turf. Cut those bastards off at the knees.
4. In your spare time, see if any foreign agents might be up to something.

For a case in point, Operation Pastorius.

http://www.damninteresting.com/?p=949 [damninteresting.com]

German defectors walk right up to the FBI and the G-men had to be beaten over the head before they realized something was up. And Hoover, ugh, don't even get me started on that bastard. The Brits couldn't stand working with that transvestite media whore in WWII. No sooner would a German agent be sniffed out and the FBI would roll him up and bring in the pressmen so German intel could find out their operation was blown and there would be enough details blabbed to the press so the Germans would know how they were sniffed out. The Brit approach was to figure out who the agents were, then keep a close eye on who they associated with so they could discover the larger spy network. They would also use these agents to unwittingly feed bogus intel back into German hands. That that was all too subtle for the swinging dick approach favored by American intel.

Re:The odds against him being caught are huge (1)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | more than 5 years ago | (#25802675)

That that was all too subtle for the swinging dick approach favored by American intel.

Again, is anybody here surprised that this was the favored approach of J. Edgar?

Re:The odds against him being caught are huge (0, Troll)

Toll_Free (1295136) | more than 5 years ago | (#25802819)

"The Brit approach was to figure out who the agents were, then keep a close eye on who they associated with so they could discover the larger spy network. They would also use these agents to unwittingly feed bogus intel back into German hands. That that was all too subtle for the swinging dick approach favored by American intel."

Yeah, the British approach to handling WWII was working SO well before the swinging dicks came over and saved that little Island, huh?

Telling the US populace that the British or any other .eu country did great things in comparison to the US is lamesauce. If not for the US, people in .eu would be speaking german or russian. Period.

It's nice to say things 50+++ years later that
don't make sense, but you cannot rewrite history.

The US government does things the way it did to the German agents because it undermines moral. Always has, always will. And there is a LOT to say when it comes to undermining the moral of thine enemy... Age old war tactics, really.

Both methods where necessary, and it would appear they work. Germany has nothing as far as an expansionist mentality, militarily they are fairly moot, and Russia isn't much of a world power like they used to be.

Yeah, bag on the Americans. It's the popular thing to do.

--Toll_Free

Chairman Yang (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25802295)

Anyone else think it's funny when China acts like the Hive from Alpha Centauri? I sure do.

OK, now (1)

PalmKiller (174161) | more than 5 years ago | (#25802677)

lets do the right thing and shoot him for treason... No wait, give him a medal! we owe china a bundle, lets take that off our debt to china instead, that outta be worth say two trillion for that information...so now china is no longer our creditor, glad that debt is settled. Now on to the other 8 trillion in national debt (not to mention the other 50 trillion owed internally).

String Him UP! (1)

sudden.zero (981475) | more than 5 years ago | (#25802797)

I call for a hanging! String this guy up by the neck as an example to any others who might be considering the same sort of shenanigans!

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