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Space Shuttle Spy Gets 15 Years

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the shoulda-watched-more-burn-notice-first dept.

NASA 402

goG writes "A Chinese-born engineer was sentenced Monday to more than 15 years in prison for hoarding sensitive information about the US space shuttle with the intent of giving it to China. US District Judge Cormac Carney called Chung's crimes a matter of national security, saying he had committed a breach against the trust Boeing and the country had placed in him. Attorney Greg Staples said, 'The [People's Republic of China] is bent on stealing sensitive information from the United States and shows no sign of relenting. Only strong sentences offer any hope of dissuading others from helping the PRC get that technology.' Staples also 'noted in sentencing papers that Chung amassed a personal wealth of more than $3 million US while betraying his adopted country.'"

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402 comments

If only... (5, Funny)

Dr_Terminus (1222504) | more than 4 years ago | (#31072390)

If only the shuttle was run by Google, they'd have a better chance of gaining access...

Re:If only... (4, Interesting)

TrisexualPuppy (976893) | more than 4 years ago | (#31072530)

...but let the Chinese have the secrets and dump money into their program. We were getting out of the Shuttle program anyway because it is outdated and has enormous cost. At $700+ million per launch, why not just let the Chinese waste a little money?

Mod parent up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31072552)

Shuttle tech *IS* out dated, from the '70's

Re:Mod parent up (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31072598)

The thing is, they may have let them do this. I had a couple of inside sources at JPL while this was all being discovered, and the info he got, might have gotten the Chinese pointed down the wrong direciton.
 
LOL! captcha is rubbers

Re:If only... (3, Insightful)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#31072556)

The booster rockets are still pretty valuable technology regardless of the payload they are attached to.

Re:If only... (2, Interesting)

Talderas (1212466) | more than 4 years ago | (#31072896)

I'm going with a literal interpretation. The article says information on the space shuttle, not the boosters.

Further, going to Boeing's page on the space shuttle, all I can tell is their involvement is strictly limited to the orbiter, not the rocket boosters.

This leads me to the conclusion of why China would want the shuttle? Maybe there's a few secrets in the orbiter worth having, but the value of the boosters is not necessarily within Boeing's possession.

Re:If only... (1)

orasio (188021) | more than 4 years ago | (#31072996)

The rumour was that the US chose the shuttle instead of better alternatives, because it can steer orbits, much better than an ICBM.

Re:If only... (1)

Talderas (1212466) | more than 4 years ago | (#31073060)

Are you suggesting that the US would use the shuttle as a launch platform or delivery mechanism for nuclear weaponry?

Re:If only... (3, Insightful)

khallow (566160) | more than 4 years ago | (#31073096)

The rumour was that the US chose the shuttle instead of better alternatives, because it can steer orbits, much better than an ICBM.

ICBMs don't orbit.

Re:If only... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31072924)

They invented SRB's. Also isn't that treason, why is he still breating?

Re:If only... (1)

Publikwerks (885730) | more than 4 years ago | (#31073178)

Once they figure out how to stop him from breating, I'm sure they will

Re:If only... (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 4 years ago | (#31073338)

The booster rockets are still pretty valuable technology regardless of the payload they are attached to.

I checked and all his 300000 pages of docs were from Boeing, not Morton Thiokol.

I can't exactly figure out what Boeing does with the shuttle. Their web page is pure marketing bull "manufacturing the Space Shuttle" uh huh sure buddy I'm sure all those subcontractors had nothing to do with it, Boeing did it all by themselves.

Other marketing bullshit on the Boeing web page implies they developed the space shuttle main engines, I'm sure the rocketdyne folks howl with laughter at that.

The only "real" connection I can come up with is the shuttle carrier aircraft that ferries shuttles about is a modified 70s era 747. I would assume Boeing would have some interesting mechanical engineering and aerospace engineering data as relates to sticking huge vehicles on top of civilian transport aircraft. I suppose he could have stolen the engineering data for a 70s era 747.

To be honest, I can't figure out what the guy stole...

Re:If only... (1)

fizzup (788545) | more than 4 years ago | (#31073358)

Experience is the best teacher. How do you know they wanted learn how to build a replica, rather than learning what works and what doesn't.

funny whole bit- a chronology (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31073206)

A) google whines it was chinese govt , later we find out theres no proof of that
B) we get ironically tha new york times ( think hollywood) go on about a hacker for hire
C) then a shut down of a large hacker site( you think hackers were framed? by a paid hollywood shill I DO )
D) we get this affair and the guy was nothing more then a pack rat. HE should have known better however thats his crime.
they even say he never gave any sensitive data out. SEEMS to me like pick on chinese month.
E) we continue to have ACA undemocratically tabled and moving forward IN SECRET.
F) ACTA will make all democracies non democracies and make them more like china.
is this coincidence?
G) seems that BS corporations said about changing china by investing into them was a nice lie wasn't it.

lets have a list of all companies that do business with the commies.....

I've been saying it for years... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31072402)

You can't trust the Chinese.

Re:I've been saying it for years... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31072532)

Yes. But you're Chinese, so we didn't trust you when you said that.

Re:I've been saying it for years... (1, Insightful)

Tim C (15259) | more than 4 years ago | (#31072776)

How on earth did this get modded Informative?!

Re:I've been saying it for years... (3, Funny)

Ja'Achan (827610) | more than 4 years ago | (#31073212)

Well, I, for one, didn't know the GP was Chines :+

15 years? (5, Insightful)

TheDarkMinstrel (1671156) | more than 4 years ago | (#31072442)

Send him to Gitmo, then death penalty. No New York trials. He's a spy, stealing information that can be used against us. When are we going to acknowledge that we are at (cyber) war with China, have been for years, and start acting accordingly?

Re:15 years? (2, Insightful)

Spazztastic (814296) | more than 4 years ago | (#31072560)

Send him to Gitmo, then death penalty. No New York trials. He's a spy, stealing information that can be used against us. When are we going to acknowledge that we are at (cyber) war with China, have been for years, and start acting accordingly?

Sad thing is that you're modded funny, when you should be insightful. If China caught an American spy, they would execute him after quick trial.

Re:15 years? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31072684)

"If China caught an American spy, they would execute him after quick trial."

So PRC should be emulated?

Re:15 years? (5, Insightful)

vxice (1690200) | more than 4 years ago | (#31072686)

Which is why we are supposed to be better. Anyone who argues that spies/terrorists/whatever crime you really don't like/think is horribly immoral should receive any less legal protection than the next guy is actively working to undermine our liberties and founding values no better than the terrorists/ whatever they claim to be fighting.

Re:15 years? (5, Insightful)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 4 years ago | (#31072808)

Isnt treason supposed to come with the death penalty?

Re:15 years? (4, Insightful)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#31072946)

Not before a trial. But come to think of it, the way some legislators (and even judges) trash the constitution, maybe they should be tried for treason as well?

Re:15 years? (1)

Kartoffel (30238) | more than 4 years ago | (#31073124)

Maybe they should.

Re:15 years? (2, Informative)

TheDarkMinstrel (1671156) | more than 4 years ago | (#31073182)

He had a trial and was found guilty. Then sentenced to 15 years... instead of the death penalty.

Re:15 years? (1)

vxice (1690200) | more than 4 years ago | (#31073224)

That is basically my point. Don't keep it to legislators however, many people have been guilty. In many cases it might be a bit harsh, and remember that this country was founded by traitors to the crown. However from the constitution "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. The Congress shall have Power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted."

Re:15 years? (1)

acohen1 (1454445) | more than 4 years ago | (#31073342)

indeed

Re:15 years? (2, Insightful)

Kartoffel (30238) | more than 4 years ago | (#31073102)

It would only be treason if the spy had been a US citizen. You can't commit treason against a foreign country.

TFA doesn't specify the guy's current citizenship status, only that he was says the guy was originally born in China. He's also 74 years old and in poor health. A 15 year sentence is pretty close to a death sentence at that rate.

Re:15 years? (2, Insightful)

Publikwerks (885730) | more than 4 years ago | (#31073246)

He is a naturalized US citizen according to bloomberg [bloomberg.com]

Re:15 years? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31073000)

Can't.... breathe.... need... sentence... to... end....

Re:15 years? (2, Insightful)

TheDarkMinstrel (1671156) | more than 4 years ago | (#31072728)

If they even bothered with a trial... A US spy, if that clearcut, would just disappear, so no press coverage.

Instead, we imprison with cable TV and free health care. I hear our prisons are lavish compared to the standard of a normal Chinese citizen. Might not be up to the $3M lifestyle "on the outside", but still better than his ancestors.

Re:15 years? (2, Insightful)

TheCarp (96830) | more than 4 years ago | (#31072986)

I tend to be anti-death penalty for various reasons (what ever happened to redemption?) however, punishment? Sure.

There is an element of hypercriticality to this...when the US runs their own spys (something which I, as a citizen, do not support, and firmly believe the CIA should have been disbanded forever after the MKULTRA affair)

In short.... Punish the spys.... ALL OF THEM. Every single one of them, no matter who they work for, is a criminal in some way.

-Steve

Re:15 years? (3, Insightful)

gtall (79522) | more than 4 years ago | (#31073226)

And if we all close our eyes and click our heels, we'll be back in Kansas.

Re:15 years? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31072614)

Didn't you know? We're at war with Eastasia, we've always been at war with Eastasia.

Re:We're at war with Eastasia, we've always been a (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31072904)

You are scaring me...

Re:15 years? (1)

DriedClexler (814907) | more than 4 years ago | (#31073234)

Not true -- I have some old newspapers talking about how Eastasia is our ally.

Re:15 years? (1)

sadness203 (1539377) | more than 4 years ago | (#31072724)

Oh please... he was doing the US a service... When the Chinese will mass product cheap part for the shuttle, it'll be easy to launch massive payload each week in the sky. Ok ... Half of the launches will finish in a huge fireball because of the cheap part... But still. This guy should be decorated!

Re:15 years? (1)

TheDarkMinstrel (1671156) | more than 4 years ago | (#31073130)

So you think that the act itself doesn't deserve the punishment, that it is the severity of the damage done?

By that thinking, you support driving drunk unless (until) you actually kill somebody?

Fry the bastard.

Re:15 years? (1)

sadness203 (1539377) | more than 4 years ago | (#31073300)

I guess I should have put some sarcasm tag somewhere.

Re:15 years? (4, Insightful)

Nathrael (1251426) | more than 4 years ago | (#31072852)

Why do we imprison them instead of killing them right away? Spy exchange. You may not hear it on TV, but it's pretty likely that they capture one of ours every now and then just as well, and what'd be a better resource to trade in for our spies than their spies?

Re:15 years? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31073348)

Chances are if that happened you'd end up trading a real spy for a double agent. The enemy gets intel, you get fed falsies.

Paranoia - learn it :)

Re:15 years? (1)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 4 years ago | (#31072998)

He really should have gotten the death penalty. I'm not a right wing defense nut, but treason, particularly millitary treason (take a look at the early history of the space program(s) in the USA on wikipedia) needs to be dealt with in a swift manner. 15 years is not going to cut it, and eventually he's going to make it back to China and live a very comfortable life. 15 years (how many of that will be probation???) is a small price to pay to live in the lap of luxury for the rest of your life, especially coming from China.

Re:15 years? (1)

gtall (79522) | more than 4 years ago | (#31073240)

He's 74 years old. Maybe he'll have a very short life back in China.

Good way to create tension (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31072454)

Without an enemy, government's endless expansion of power and revenue comes to a stall. This move will benefit both governments and the people who control them, but as usual, at the expense of the common man.

Money is the primary goal in the business of government, just like any other business.

Ha, he should get a medal (4, Funny)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 4 years ago | (#31072458)

Letting China waste billions of dollars building one of those money sinks, plus $700 million per launch, would probably be the worst thing we could do to them.

Re:Ha, he should get a medal (2, Interesting)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#31072486)

I think we learned that trick from the Russians

Re:Ha, he should get a medal (2, Interesting)

TheDarkMinstrel (1671156) | more than 4 years ago | (#31072512)

Except that we've saved them billions by letting them learn from OUR mistakes...

Re:Ha, he should get a medal (2, Interesting)

guruevi (827432) | more than 4 years ago | (#31072580)

Not really, the only reason the US wasted billions of dollars is because of bureaucracy (later years) and initial research (earlier years). If the PRC doesn't have to do the research, that takes a big chunk away and then if the bureaucracy is replaced with a set of people that hardly get paid for the work, you save another few billions.

Re:Ha, he should get a medal (1)

LarrySDonald (1172757) | more than 4 years ago | (#31072908)

Meanwhile elsewhere... Scientists in the Soviet and China replicate the exact same research for no other reason then that it's not available when they could instead be working on something more useful, like improving on it. Doh. People! Try to cooperate. Getting into space is hard enough as it is, try to forge some info-trade agreements. Perhaps GPL the bitch as a sign of good will - it's not like the US is using it for anything much now. Also, China does not give a good god damn if they lock up their spies. They're golden on people, maggoty with 'em, if you want one they'll give you a spare one just in case.

Re:Ha, he should get a medal (1)

Sollord (888521) | more than 4 years ago | (#31072604)

yeah but it's china they will run it like we originally designed it with out the 6month maintenance delay before the same shuttle can launch again.

Re:Ha, he should get a medal (2, Insightful)

vxice (1690200) | more than 4 years ago | (#31072652)

When will people realize that China is keeping its currency value low and attracting manufacturing jobs to its land to slowly accumulate wealth and technology and once it is in strong enough position will call back on its debt and consume what it produces itself to raise its own peoples standard of living and eventually push us to the sideline. China is spending money on its future, we are spending money from the future. Globalization only benefits all when countries work as equals, protectionism is not the way to go but we need to ensure that American companies and Chinese companies are working on even footing. Just seriously propose that we stop importing unless fair labor standards are enforced and if not then cut off access to our markets but we would rather have a dozen tube socks for a dollar.

Re:Ha, he should get a medal (5, Informative)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 4 years ago | (#31072674)

Actually the SSME are still some of the most advanced liquid fueled engines flying today. The ET uses ALLI alloy and also very advanced and the SRB are the most powerful solid fuel boosters ever flown.
Throw in the fact that the Shuttle probably has the most hypersonic flight time of any vehicle and you have a really treasure trove of useful information.
Yes the Shuttle was too expensive per flight but really is a technological marvel an one that has produced a lot very useful knowledge.

Re:Ha, he should get a medal (1)

Antony-Kyre (807195) | more than 4 years ago | (#31072786)

Isn't America in debt to China for billions or trillions of dollars? I say not repaying the loan to China would be the worst thing we could do to them.

Re:Ha, he should get a medal (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#31072970)

The trick is doing that without spooking the other $11 trillion worth of debt holders into thinking you are going to screw them over too (once they believe you will do it, they will act as if you have already done it).

Re:Ha, he should get a medal (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 4 years ago | (#31073082)

That was my thought too, the best thing we could do to slow down China's space program and sap some money out of their economy would be to let them steal the full plans for the Shuttle.

He got away with it. (4, Insightful)

Majik Sheff (930627) | more than 4 years ago | (#31072502)

He's 74 years old, he'll never see the end of this sentence. He lived what appears to be a good life living in the country he was betraying (about 3M worth of good life from TFA). His nursing home arrangements are less than desirable but he'll still have better care than many seniors in this country.

Re:He got away with it. (1, Interesting)

OrangeMonkey11 (1553753) | more than 4 years ago | (#31072606)

What should have done in addition to his prison sentence is to strip his entire family assets; to send a clear message of don't ever f*ing bite the hands that feeds you.

Re:He got away with it. (1, Insightful)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 4 years ago | (#31072732)

We should punish the child for the sins of the father?

People like you should be denied the right to vote.

Re:He got away with it. (1)

OrangeMonkey11 (1553753) | more than 4 years ago | (#31073040)

Yes if the father teaches his kids to be thieving POS who have no morals or any since of loyalty.

The man betrayed a country that provided him the best opportunity he could ever have and protected his human rights; but instead he chooses to throw it all away for greed.

Re:He got away with it. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31072748)

yeah, because punishing people who had fuck-all to do with the crime is what America is all about!

Re:He got away with it. (2, Insightful)

ShadowRangerRIT (1301549) | more than 4 years ago | (#31072752)

I've never fully understood why we don't impose financial death penalties in cases like these. If all of his existing assets would not exist save for the quasi-treasonous offense (I recognize that it doesn't meet the technical definition for treason unless we've declared war on China while I wasn't looking), then take all of his assets. Every penny, every investment, every stick of lumber, every square centimeter of land. If you allow him or his family to profit from this in any way, then you've provided a reason for potential spies to begin spying in the future.

Re:He got away with it. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31072870)

If you set that precedent, the same law could potentially be turned against rich Americans that commit crimes. Lawyers are good at pointing at "cases like these" to seek damages in unrelated cases. That is why we don't impose financial death penalties: Protect the rich.

Re:He got away with it. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31073002)

Hitler agrees with your ideas and would like to subscribe to your newsletter.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sippenhaft

China (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31072522)

Me Chinese
Me play joke
Me go pee-pee in your coke

C'mon, let 'em build their own... (1)

garyisabusyguy (732330) | more than 4 years ago | (#31072540)

fleet of Burans, that should keep them busy for the next decade.

It might even give us a chance to roll out a new heavy launcher before the rest of the planet :(

the current shuttle? (1)

arbiter1 (1204146) | more than 4 years ago | (#31072574)

If its the current one in use don't see the problem really, all the tech in it is like what 20 years old?

Re:the current shuttle? (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 4 years ago | (#31073172)

Other than the glass cockpit and new russian derived turbopumps most of the tech on the Shuttle is ~40 years old.

Jsut make it open (3, Insightful)

JustNiz (692889) | more than 4 years ago | (#31072590)

In my opinion it would be a better for everyone if public-funded research bodies like NASA( and the equivalent in every other country) made their non defense-related information freely available to all anyway.

Re:Jsut make it open (2, Insightful)

elhondo (545224) | more than 4 years ago | (#31072644)

I think that just leaves Tang, actually.

Re:Jsut make it open (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31072646)

Ditto. Even most of the defense-related stuff should be made freely available. I think that the progress that society would see moving forward would outstrip the damage that any wars could cause due to acquiring this tech. Defense tech doesn't have that much of an edge anymore, anyway. Capitalism works. Industrial stuff is better.

Re:Jsut make it open (3, Informative)

SirGarlon (845873) | more than 4 years ago | (#31072750)

The space shuttle is defense related. It's been used in about 10 classified missions [wikipedia.org] , presumably having something to do with spy satellites.

Moreover I would speculate that the avionics systems, materials, high-pressure pumps, and other technology that went into the space shuttle would be both non-obvious and directly applicable to military aircraft and/or missiles.

Re: Just make it open (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31072792)

In my opinion it would be a better for everyone if public-funded research bodies like NASA( and the equivalent in every other country) made their non defense-related information freely available to all anyway.

While I agree with you in principle, where do we draw the line on defense-related technologies? The technology used in the shuttle program, while dated, still has several potential military applications.

That's not strong (3, Insightful)

redalien (711170) | more than 4 years ago | (#31072592)

China won't consider 15 years a strong sentence when they're happy to execute people left right and centre.

Sensitive? (1)

herrvinny (698679) | more than 4 years ago | (#31072628)

How sensitive can that technology be when we're retiring the space shuttle soon and have no replacements past the drawing board stage?

Re:Sensitive? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31073284)

How sensitive can that technology be when we're retiring the space shuttle soon and have no replacements past the drawing board stage?

Vehicles like the Space Shuttle have one capability that no other orbital vehicle past or current possesses... a large cargo capacity with down-mass (the mass of cargo it can land with) approximately equal to up-mass (the mass of cargo it can launch with). I don't think the Chinese want an exact copy of the the Space Shuttle, but I could see reasons why they'd want technology that enables this capability. Remember, once in LEO a craft is potentially 90 minutes from anywhere on the globe*... No I'm not worried about the Chinese trying to invade the US, Canada, or Europe from orbit, but there are other places outside of South Eastern Asia they may want to project power to in the future. Furthermore, even if they decide the US went down the wrong path with our shuttle you can often learn more from detailed analysis of failures than successes.

*Oh and if you think I'm being too speculative about this, the US military is seriously interested in orbital or sub-orbital spacecraft [popsci.com] to deliver both troops and equipment anywhere on the globe quickly.

i'm going to get modded troll... (5, Interesting)

nycguy (892403) | more than 4 years ago | (#31072630)

...but I've known quite a few Chinese Americans, both from the mainland and from Taiwan, who despite having become citizens here seem to be more concerned about their former homeland than their new one. I remember when the American spy plane had the collision with the Chinese fighter jet in 2001, almost every Chinese person I knew, despite being US citizens, was adamant that the US should apologize. During the Tibet unrest, many Chinese Americans I know accused the US media of bias--begging the question why they care so much about how China is portrayed if they're now Americans. Maybe this is no different than past waves of immigrants, and maybe it's no different than some Jewish Americans (even born here) who show more support for Israel than they do for the US. It's also no different than Muslim immigrants to Europe who show more allegiance to their religion and the ummah than their adopted nations. Nevertheless, it would be interesting to see if anyone else had any thoughts or experiences in this matter. In short, in today's world, what are the real loyalties of an immigrant population? This story obviously shows one--money--but the question is whether there's anything beyond that.

Re:i'm going to get modded troll... (5, Insightful)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 4 years ago | (#31072814)

Nevertheless, it would be interesting to see if anyone else had any thoughts or experiences in this matter. In short, in today's world, what are the real loyalties of an immigrant population?

As an immigrant myself, I can tell you that it depends on the reasons why one leaves his homeland. When it's money alone, loyalty usually doesn't change (it's not really something that can be bought for money). But when one is genuinely dissatisfied with the overall direction of his original society, it's another story.

Of my fellow Russian immigrants, I've seen both kinds. Some come here (Canada) for higher quality of life, but generally try to disassociate from the local culture, and do the same for their kids - their primary social circle is all-Russian, they force their kids to speak Russian first and foremost (even though kids readily pick English first, because they use it more in school) etc. Quite often, such people return as soon as they feel that the quality of life back home has improved enough for them; sometimes, their kids do when they grow up. I've met a few such returnees from U.S. back in Russia as well, and all were rather derisive about American culture and societal norms.

Others come here to settle down first and foremost, and they generally try to integrate, even though it's nigh impossible for the first generation (too old to re-learn everything). The parents usually still have a mostly-Russian social circle, but they try to reach out beyond it. Their kids, though, consider themselves Canadians first and foremost, and their language preferences (they know both, usually, but they prefer English) and behavioral patterns are mostly local.

In conflicts of interest such as the one described in TFA and by you, consequently, the first group would tend to align themselves with their country of origin, while the second group would support their country of residence.

Re:i'm going to get modded troll... (3, Funny)

JerryLove (1158461) | more than 4 years ago | (#31072942)

Recall that China officially and overtly indoctrinates it's citizens to be pro-Chinese-government. It's like wondering why a Baptist is republican.

Re:i'm going to get modded troll... (4, Interesting)

Bieeanda (961632) | more than 4 years ago | (#31073036)

I don't think you're a troll, but I do think that conflating national affiliation with cultural identity doesn't work.

Re:i'm going to get modded troll... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31073362)

Your impression is somewhat incorrect. Most immigrants are concerned about both their country of origin and their adoptive homeland. You can't expect immigrants to suddenly stop caring about where they come from. Your perception that they seem to side with the origin country has more to do with the fact that they have a more complete perspective on certain situations and therefore might side with a party that you, as someone with a purely western perspective might not expect.

Part of what I mean by that is that in western thought I find that there is often a convenient mental trick utilized to ease discomfort when dealing with international events. Specifically, I'm talking about the discreet separation of people from government. It allows Americans to dissociate themselves from the actions of their governments, and it allows many western to believe that criticism of China can somehow be specifically directed at the government.

Take the events you brought up as example:

In the spy plane case, this should be fairly easy to understand. We have a US spy plane outside Chinese airspace spying on China. Consider that in reverse... could a US citizen really accept that the spy plane is an act against his/her government and not his/her country? I know some of you believe that the reverse case is different because the US citizen is more intimately involved with the US government, but this ignores that ultimately the Chinese government is still made up of Chinese people and though it might not fit in your views, the CCP is made up of citizens as well. The CCP does in fact have "grassroots", and the relatively recent historical significance of the party to the countries history does tie them strongly to its people.

In the Tibet case, I had access to reports from both perspective, and whether or not the reporting was accurate, I think that many westerners did end up with an incomplete understanding. I believe that partially has to do with the fact that Tibet and Tibetans are romanticized in the west, and consequently it was difficult to believe that they could riot violently. Remember that Ghandi wasn't the only one involved in the Indian independence movement; there were less peaceful men involved as well. Most in the west are satisfied with hollow words of support for the Dhalai Lama and maybe an occasional donation, and largely don't care enough to understand the history or the situation. To Chinese people, that event involved ethnic Han being violently killed or assaulted by Tibetans. Some in China, and probably most Chinese in foreign countries, do understand the historical context somewhat (meaning that they do know of the Tibetan grievances), but that doesn't make them any less sympathetic to the Han that were victims of the violence. So of course they were pissed with coverage that largely focused on the government's reaction rather than the rioters themselves.

Why not the death penalty? (3, Insightful)

onyxruby (118189) | more than 4 years ago | (#31072636)

In many countries spying results in the death penalty, why not in this case? Spying is a grevious crime against one's country and has been handled by the death penalty across countless cultures since before recorded history. For that matter, if your in a position of trust (vs just sneaking around) than it isn't spying, but treason. With a sentence of 15 years we appear to be weak, not strong from the eyes of someone who could consider the crime.

Certainly a spy that was caught by China would receive the death penalty, so nothing new there. Nothing against the Chinese (vs another nationality), but this business of pandering to foreign governments that spy against us has got to end.

Re:Why not the death penalty? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31072726)

>>if your in a position of trust

You know what else should carry the death penalty? People who can't spell you're properly.

Your/You're [wsu.edu]

Re:Why not the death penalty? (5, Insightful)

ph1ll (587130) | more than 4 years ago | (#31072928)

The death sentence for "economic espionage" [from TFA]?

That seems a bit harsh....

As I understand it, the guy was working for Boeing - which is not the same thing as working for the government. Sure, it was on an outsourced government project. But if the information really were that essential to national security, why the f--- would you outsource it?

(Or am I being somewhat naive about the "military industrial complex" bogeyman, where Boeing and the US Government become synonymous...?)

Re:Why not the death penalty? (1)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 4 years ago | (#31073074)

Space tech is basically ICBM tech which is weapons tech. We fight economic wars (see: Iran, Iraq, North Korea) not bullet wars (see: number of US casualties since 1970 vs pre 1970. War's war and when someone is killed by the leaked tech, it's murder.

Re:Why not the death penalty? (5, Informative)

L3370 (1421413) | more than 4 years ago | (#31073092)

It's not so easy to carry the death penalty for treasonous crimes here in the U.S. because treason has to be witnessed and confirmed by no less than 2 people. Treason was one of crimes that the US founders decided to go heavy with detail. They understood the treason argument was an effective tool for tyrants, so they wanted to be very clear on the subject.

Let them have the plans (3, Interesting)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 4 years ago | (#31072654)

I say let him go and let China do something with the plans if they so wish. Its not as if the shuttle program is continuing after this last flight or that NASA is going to do anything useful with the plans, other than let them gather dust or get lost. They don't have much of a budget anymore to even create a suitable replacement at this point. As a fan of the shuttle (despite the cost issues), it would be nice to see someone wasting their money on keeping the dream alive.

I know this is probably not a popular viewpoint in the USA, but I just want someone to get us to the moon again, somehow in my lifetime.

This will not stop spying (3, Insightful)

DaMattster (977781) | more than 4 years ago | (#31072690)

Judge Carney is being very short sighted if he expects that this "strong sentence" will dissuade people from stealing technology and giving it to China. I would be less likely to want to steal secrets from the Chinese Government because, if caught, I could be tortured and subject to unthinkable brutality. Note that this is not a suggestion that we implement torture. But another slashdotter noted that Chung's retirement in Federal Prison will give him better healthcare options than many Americans that have been good, law-abiding citizens will have access to. And, these Americans have worked hard for all of their lives. Honestly, a better punishment would be to strip Chung of his citizenship and deport him to China and finally to sanction the Chinese Government.

Re:This will not stop spying (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 4 years ago | (#31072926)

Honestly, a better punishment would be to strip Chung of his citizenship and deport him to China

What, so they can give him a medal for years of good service?

What could possibly be new about the shuttle? (2, Interesting)

tjstork (137384) | more than 4 years ago | (#31072696)

It's interesting that as much as we Americans deride the terrible space shuttle, only the Russians were able to build anything like it, but only the Americans were ever able to operate one.

Kinda makes you wonder, that, if we are not going back to the moon, can we at least keep these shuttles flying, or gasp, build a more modern one. I mean, the whole point of the new NASA way is to perfect in orbit assembly, and it seems we're kinda doing that now with the space shuttle and...

maybe we just need to make a new space shuttle that can be boosted farther into deep space, if we need to.

Re:What could possibly be new about the shuttle? (4, Interesting)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 4 years ago | (#31073010)

I don't think the Shuttle is terrible It just should have been replaced. It has been flying for about 30 years now.
Building a more modern Shuttle. I would would really like to see that. The X-33 was supposed to be a shuttle replacement but it got canned for what I think where not good reasons.
Also you don't want to boost the shuttle farther. What you want is a space tug that takes payloads higher. That was supposed to be part of the shuttle program but it got canceled.

Re:What could possibly be new about the shuttle? (2, Interesting)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 4 years ago | (#31073304)

Terrible reasons actually... If they had just decided to use Aluminum tanks instead of the(at the time) troublesome composite tanks they could have had the X-33 flying...

Red herring (1, Troll)

jockeys (753885) | more than 4 years ago | (#31072706)

Am I the only one who thinks the $3M remark is a red herring?

Treason is treason regardless of how much money you make doing it. He should swing for this, treason still has the death penalty.

Promoting their agenda using others' advances. (5, Insightful)

rdmiller3 (29465) | more than 4 years ago | (#31072708)

The Chinese government wants to promote their own agenda. Let them do so using their own advances, not by stealing the advances built by cultures which actually encourage advance.

Let the culture which reveres "ancient wisdom" prove its value by using feng shui to launch their space vehicles.

It's only fair (0, Flamebait)

koan (80826) | more than 4 years ago | (#31072712)

George W Bush borrowed quite a bit of money from China to finance his war in Iraq, we are still borrowing money from China, why shouldn't they be able to take what they want from this country? If you have an issue with what I have said then flip the roles and see what you think, then ask "Why are we borrowing money from China?"

Tough times are here and staying for a while, I would rather have tough times with little or no debt than tough times with massive debt.

Aboard (4, Funny)

pgn674 (995941) | more than 4 years ago | (#31072766)

I was definitely more excited when I read that as

A Chinese-born engineer was sentenced Monday to more than 15 years in prison for hoarding sensitive information aboard the US space shuttle with the intent of giving it to China.

say pee pee and poo poo fun words! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31072772)

pee pee poo poo

say it now and giggle

you will enjoy it

love,

pee pee

He was just a bit too early... (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 4 years ago | (#31072844)

I heard on the radio that after the final shuttle mission NASA will be selling off the shuttles. Why try to smuggle out the information when you can just buy the shuttle outright and reverse engineer the entire thing in your own country?

Concorde vs. Concordski (5, Interesting)

rarel (697734) | more than 4 years ago | (#31072866)

A funny thing happened in the 60's during the development of Concorde, the USSR was of course spying on the Europeans as they were also workin gon their supersonic Tupolev. One of the (numerous) big issues was that of the rubber with which to make the tyres, as it had to be solid enough to resist the speed and whatnot. In a documentary from 99, one of the European engineers said they had noticed spies collecting material on runways after tests, so they created a sort of unusable goo and pasted it on the runways for them to collect. He said he'd have given anything to see the Russians' faces while trying to make sense of the stuff to create tyres with it...

Web 2.0 why not Cold War 2.0 (4, Funny)

kenp2002 (545495) | more than 4 years ago | (#31072918)

Ahh nothing gets a people's mind off their own corruption and failing nation like a good old fashion cold war.

People are easily united against a common foe.

Nothing like calling up China and saying, "Hey that Cold War thing with Russia was real good for the economy. Wanna play the bad guy for a generation or two?"

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