×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Would-Be Akamai Spy Busted By Feds

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the double-oh-pee-ess dept.

Security 171

itwbennett writes "Elliot Doxer, an Akamai Technologies staffer, was charged on Wednesday with wire fraud. The case began in June 2006 when Doxer sent an e-mail to the consulate of a foreign country (referred to as 'country X') in which he 'expressed his desire to help that country with whatever information he could obtain in his position,' according to an article on ITworld. 'The foreign consulate that Doxer contacted turned his e-mail over to law enforcement authorities, and a little over a year later, he was contacted by an FBI agent posing as a representative of 'country X.' Over the next 18 months, Doxer left confidential business information such as customer lists and contracts at a designated spot called a dead drop, acts captured via video surveillance.'"

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

171 comments

An Analog 'Dead Drop'? (1)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 3 years ago | (#33823998)

An Akamai employee is using an analog dead drop? Surely he could have set up some sort of digital delivery served up by his employer, no?

Re:An Analog 'Dead Drop'? (3, Funny)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#33824080)

An Akamai employee is using an analog dead drop? Surely he could have set up some sort of digital delivery served up by his employer, no?

It made him feel more like a secret agent, so they humored him. His handlers did have to tell him not to wear the mask and cape, though. It was creeping out the locals.

Re:An Analog 'Dead Drop'? (4, Informative)

ptbarnett (159784) | more than 3 years ago | (#33824192)

It made him feel more like a secret agent, so they humored him.

It doesn't look like espionage was his goal. From the article:

He also seemed preoccupied with ill will toward his ex-wife, writing at one point that "not enough bad things can happen to her if you know what I mean." And he offered to drop his request for monetary compensation in return for information or pictures of his son.

It sounds like it was more about retribution. His ex-wife apparently disappeared in "Country X" with their son.

Re:An Analog 'Dead Drop'? (5, Interesting)

afidel (530433) | more than 3 years ago | (#33824338)

As someone who has a family member who lost their child to international kidnapping I have to say I feel for the guy. There's really nothing worse than having your child ripped from you and being physically separated with little hope of ever seeing them again.

Re:An Analog 'Dead Drop'? (1)

Ironhandx (1762146) | more than 3 years ago | (#33824602)

I can quite honestly say I would have probably tried something similar, but probably not treason. I know if it was me I would do anything in my capability to get my child back. I wouldn't be quite as stupid about it of course. If its caught so easily its not going to succeed in getting your kid back to begin with.

Its different if its a court battle over custody or something, but once someone crosses the line into actually kidnapping your child, you've gotta do what you've gotta do. Treason definitely isn't the best way to go but maybe the guy was just that desperate.

Re:An Analog 'Dead Drop'? (5, Informative)

dwillden (521345) | more than 3 years ago | (#33824878)

This is/was an attempt at industrial espionage, NOT TREASON. Big difference, this one the worst he will face is the potential of a few years in prison. And in fact he's only being charged with Wire Fraud.

Treason can (very unlikely) face the death penalty.

Re:An Analog 'Dead Drop'? (2, Interesting)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#33825202)

This is/was an attempt at industrial espionage, NOT TREASON.

Give it a couple of years, and the companies will have defined theft of IP to give to a foreign entity as treason.

They've already managed to make the government the enforcement arm for what should be civil proceedings. Treason isn't too far away.

Re:An Analog 'Dead Drop'? (1)

Ironhandx (1762146) | more than 3 years ago | (#33825662)

Sorry, my brain decided that Treason actually means Espionage when I was writing that apparently.

Either way it generally gets the feds crawling up your arse though. Which isn't good.

Dunno, dude... (2, Insightful)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 3 years ago | (#33825492)

While I have sympathy for your situation, I see nothing so far except unsuported postulates that his situation is the same.

I don't actually see anywhere the piece of info that his ex-wife actually kidnapped his son or disappeared anywhere. A more common -- and Occam's Razor compliant -- assumption would be that she simply won the custody.

Also note that this wasn't even the payment he originally asked for. He first just asked for $3000, and there was no mention of his son at all. Only when they tried to haggle the price down, he dropped the price to basically "not enough bad things can happen" to his ex-wife. Sorry, it doesn't sound to me like some desperate guy and some kidnapping. If that were his motivation, he'd ask for that from the start. Whereas for this guy it was the second best, if he's not getting his $3000.

Also, note that he didn't actually ask for his son back. He just wanted his ex-wife hurt and some _photos_ of his son. Doesn't sound like there was any kidnapping involved, if anyone asks me. You'd expect him to actually want his son rescued, if there was some kidnapping thereof, not just some photos. But at any rate that was just an addendum to the real payment he was falling back to, namely that something bad happens to his ex.

I.e., it's more likely that, basically, you're cheering for someone who was just a douchebag trying to sell some info from work for money, or if that fails, use the Mossad to carry his personal vengeances. He doesn't seem to actually have more of a moral high ground there than the AOL admin who sold the client database to spammers. He just was even dumber about it.

for those who wonder what the hell akamai might be (0)

godrik (1287354) | more than 3 years ago | (#33824032)

It describe itself as "Akamai: The Leader in Web Application Acceleration and Performance Management, Streaming Media Services and Content Delivery" (source : http://www.akamai.com/ [akamai.com] )

Re:for those who wonder what the hell akamai might (2, Interesting)

dintech (998802) | more than 3 years ago | (#33824140)

The funny thing is, almost everyone has probably used Akami without realising it. They provide up to 30% of web traffic. I assume most of that comes in the form of updates and software downloads that loads of big players seem to use them for.

Re:for those who wonder what the hell akamai might (4, Informative)

maotx (765127) | more than 3 years ago | (#33824326)

More specifically, Akamai is a content distribution company [wikipedia.org] that serves as a local mirror for it's customers and their customer's clients. You'll see them everywhere from streaming video at Yahoo! to deploying Windows Updates with Microsoft. You would be surprised with how much content is delivered to your computer from their servers.

Re:for those who wonder what the hell akamai might (1)

sholsinger (1131365) | more than 3 years ago | (#33824392)

Many sites also used/use Akamai for delivery of things such as Javascripts, cascading style sheets (CCS files), and images. Much the same as many use Amazon's Elastic Cloud Storage service.

Re:for those who wonder what the hell akamai might (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33825340)

dig www.apple.com

; > DiG 9.6.0-APPLE-P2 > www.apple.com ;; global options: +cmd ;; Got answer: ;; ->>HEADER- opcode: QUERY, status: NOERROR, id: 8838 ;; flags: qr rd ra; QUERY: 1, ANSWER: 4, AUTHORITY: 8, ADDITIONAL: 8 ;; QUESTION SECTION: ;www.apple.com. IN A ;; ANSWER SECTION:
www.apple.com. 1453 IN CNAME www.isg-apple.com.akadns.net.
www.isg-apple.com.akadns.net. 30 IN CNAME www.apple.com.edgekey.net.
www.apple.com.edgekey.net. 6295 IN CNAME e3191.c.akamaiedge.net.
e3191.c.akamaiedge.net. 10 IN A 2.19.205.15 ;; AUTHORITY SECTION:
c.akamaiedge.net. 372 IN NS n5c.akamaiedge.net.
c.akamaiedge.net. 372 IN NS n6c.akamaiedge.net.
c.akamaiedge.net. 372 IN NS n0c.akamaiedge.net.
c.akamaiedge.net. 372 IN NS n3c.akamaiedge.net.
c.akamaiedge.net. 372 IN NS n4c.akamaiedge.net.
c.akamaiedge.net. 372 IN NS n7c.akamaiedge.net.
c.akamaiedge.net. 372 IN NS n2c.akamaiedge.net.
c.akamaiedge.net. 372 IN NS n1c.akamaiedge.net. ;; ADDITIONAL SECTION:
n3c.akamaiedge.net. 1609 IN A 195.12.231.131
n6c.akamaiedge.net. 1609 IN A 195.12.231.135
n1c.akamaiedge.net. 1442 IN A 195.12.231.136
n7c.akamaiedge.net. 1608 IN A 195.12.231.140
n0c.akamaiedge.net. 1609 IN A 195.12.231.130
n2c.akamaiedge.net. 1078 IN A 195.12.231.140
n5c.akamaiedge.net. 1078 IN A 195.12.231.133
n4c.akamaiedge.net. 1608 IN A 195.12.231.133 ;; Query time: 1 msec ;; SERVER: 131.251.0.4#53(131.251.0.4) ;; WHEN: Thu Oct 7 16:40:40 2010 ;; MSG SIZE rcvd: 430

Re:for those who wonder what the hell akamai might (4, Informative)

Mongoose Disciple (722373) | more than 3 years ago | (#33824354)

I'm sure I'm getting part of this wrong, because it's been about ten years since I sat through a presentation by an Akamai dude in the waning dot-com days, but their main offering was a sort of content caching/mirroring system with servers all over the place to back it up.

So for example, you're Fox and you sign up to have your streaming TV episodes "Akamaized". The day after a new episode of American Idol is posted to the web, probably a lot of people are downloading/streaming it. Akamai's setup would automatically mirror it out to a bunch of local servers all over the place, so in theory, no matter where you the watcher are, you're streaming from a server a low number of hops/latency from you, and you're not slashdotting Fox's own servers.

Re:for those who wonder what the hell akamai might (1)

CaptSlaq (1491233) | more than 3 years ago | (#33825306)

That's a pretty good representation of what they do, as someone who uses them currently. Basically you create an ARL (akamai resource locator) and use that as your distribution link. Akamai will snatch one copy of the the content for storage, use that ARL to locate the content on their network, and supply the mirrors from it. At least that's my understanding of how it works.

There's some hoops you have to jump through to tell Akamai that the content has changed, if you do so.

Re:for those who wonder what the hell akamai might (1)

Lord Ender (156273) | more than 3 years ago | (#33825210)

That's just marketing blather. Akami is one of those services that would be called "cloud hosting" if it had been invented more recently. It's just a big web hosting operation what has lots of geographically-dispersed, load-balanced server farms. If you have a heavy-traffic site and you want to make sure it feels fast to your customers, you host it on Akami.

On our network, a large portion of our traffic goes to Akami IP space just from user browsing.

Dumbass (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33824042)

That is all.

In other news: (1)

Even on Slashdot FOE (1870208) | more than 3 years ago | (#33824044)

Many countries do not trust spies. Astounding.

Re:In other news: (1)

autocracy (192714) | more than 3 years ago | (#33824828)

Well, if you happen to be blundering your way in so roughly that the embassy folk are sitting there thinking, "There's no way in hell his own country didn't see him walk in here with a 4' x 6' red flag over his head," then I suppose you're out of luck. It'd be a poor bet to believe that plain-text email sent to a consulate isn't monitored in some way.

Re:In other news: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33825698)

Although unexpected encrypted traffic to a foreign power might also arouse suspicion. A better option may be to establish a code system whereby text is pasted in plain site on public forums according to a predefined pattern to convey messages.

Additionally, fleet fox has left the henhouse.

What kind of moron (2, Insightful)

ShadowRangerRIT (1301549) | more than 3 years ago | (#33824046)

automatically assumes that a foreign country is interested in pedestrian industrial espionage, particularly when there is no technology involved, just business contact and contract info? Oh boy, freepills.com pays Akamai $200/month to host their images, that was totally worth the expense and risk of a diplomatic incident!

Re:What kind of moron (2, Insightful)

Assmasher (456699) | more than 3 years ago | (#33824106)

I'm sorry but you're extraordinarily naive about big business if you don't think that some countries, like China - oops - I mean Country X, don't use state resources (people/money/intelligence) to assist their economy illegally. The likely reason that 'Country X' turned this moron in is because they have this information in some other fashion and thought that political capital to be gained from burning this guy was worth it.

Re:What kind of moron (2, Insightful)

ShadowRangerRIT (1301549) | more than 3 years ago | (#33824208)

Industrial espionage is great if it provides a benefit commensurate to the cost and risk. Like I said, if there was some secret technology to be gained, or some other private information of significant economic value to be gained, I'd understand it. But I'm not seeing Akamai customer lists (trivial to divine simply by seeing which sites load against Akamai servers) as that valuable. I suppose the contract values might be mildly helpful in negotiating rates with Akamai if Country X was trying to help its own businesses' competitiveness, but the benefit to be gained is tiny.

Re:What kind of moron (1)

Assmasher (456699) | more than 3 years ago | (#33824324)

I agree about what he offered, the problem is, dancing with the devil is dangerous. As soon as he'd turned over 'relatively innocent items', they'd immediately be able to pressure him into giving them things they'd really be interested in. Pressure him into doing things he wasn't initially prepared to do, et cetera.

Re:What kind of moron (1)

swb (14022) | more than 3 years ago | (#33824584)

Exactly. Drag you in, extort you to go deeper and deeper, and then hang you out to dry.

Before involving one's self in espionage, it might make sense to read up on the exploits of James Jesus Angleton and the tradecraft.

Re:What kind of moron (4, Informative)

Bill Wong (583178) | more than 3 years ago | (#33824344)

Country X in this case is Israel. Doxer identified himself as jewish when he tried to set this up in the first place. (source [jpost.com])

It's usuall Israel (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33824858)

Whenever there is a spy scandal and people want to avoid talking about which country it was, it's usually Israel. Nobody likes to admit that a supposed ally is spying on us, but they spy on us more than anyone since the Soviet Union fell apart.

I suspected as much (1, Insightful)

Zontar_Thing_From_Ve (949321) | more than 3 years ago | (#33824902)

Prior to reading your post, I suspected that Doxer was trying to deal with Israel. He had nothing of value for them so this provided a perfect opportunity for them to "help" the US by reporting it so they can say, in effect, "See. We don't always spy on you." Some of you out there may not know this, but quite a few recent espionage cases in the USA have involved Americans spying on behalf of Israel. I have to wonder if Doxer actually worked for the US government and had access to things that Israel would be interested in knowing about if they would have been so quick to rat him out to the Feds.

Re:What kind of moron (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33825708)

Interesting coincidence. Country X is the term used to refer to Israel in official documents in the Singapore Armed Forces. Officially we have no military ties with Israel due to being surrounded by Muslim countries. Back in the 70s, our government told us that the Israeli military advisers teaching us stuff were Mexicans.

Re:What kind of moron (3, Interesting)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 3 years ago | (#33824368)

China is hardly the only country guilty of this. I've heard more stories from co-workers about issues in France than anywhere else, to the point that it is against company policy to take a company issue laptop there. And I don't mean random guy approaches you in the bar and asks what you do for a living, I mean coming back from dinner to find 3 suits and 2 uniformed cops in your hotel room that all refuse to tell you what they were doing there.

Re:What kind of moron (2, Interesting)

davFr (679391) | more than 3 years ago | (#33824716)

Really. co-workers meaning several people having the same issue multiple times ? I beg for details.

When travelling back from Israel, custom agents took my laptop from me for an hour, just to check if the battery could be some kind of explosive. Of course, I could not stay around while they checked. I have missed my flight, and had to fly in a crappy El-Al plane.

Re:What kind of moron (1)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 3 years ago | (#33825624)

The example given was the most extreme of the ones I've heard (from people I know and trust). Other examples are similar to yours, with customs running of with equipment for some length of time, security checkpoint people insisting (against policy and the law) to see the contents of classified Currier bags, a suspicious number of laptops that have gone missing, and a suspicious amount of interest in work expressed by strangers (basically my random stranger in a bar scenario above). The reason that France stands out is probably more to do with the amount of business we do there (aerospace industry working on both NATO defense related things as well as commercial work with Airbus) than it is to do with how common it is. I suspect that it is just as likely to happen in anywhere else.

Re:What kind of moron (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33825154)

I've also read France is the worst, but all countries do this.

  http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/820758.stm

Re:What kind of moron (2, Interesting)

santax (1541065) | more than 3 years ago | (#33825628)

Hmmz, to me the US is the worst. Not only do they want shit like fingerprints and my bankinginfo before I travel there... When you get there with a laptop they want to search it, every single time. It's idiotic and they have absolutely no right to do so, but they just say: well officially this isn't american soil so what ya gonna do about it? I am pretty sure that the US is the biggest economical spy in the world, followed by Israel, Russia, China and probably the Brits. I see France under the Brits.

Re:What kind of moron (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33824414)

> I'm sorry but you're extraordinarily naive about big business if you don't think that some countries (...) don't use state resources (people/money/intelligence) to assist their economy illegally.

Guess which other country does that? Hint: they built Echelon for it. :)

Re:What kind of moron (2, Insightful)

shadowofwind (1209890) | more than 3 years ago | (#33824440)

Maybe they also felt that they couldn't trust him not to betray their relationship and get egg on everyone's faces.

Also, depending on what country 'X' is, they might have been genuinely affronted by the brazenness in suggesting that they murder his wife. Even people in deeply immoral lines of work often like to think of themselves as being bound by ethics, and will be offended if you treat them as if they have no ethics.

Re:What kind of moron (2, Interesting)

Assmasher (456699) | more than 3 years ago | (#33824788)

Yes, in light of his apparently 'lack of mental balance' they figured they'd have a loose cannon on their hands. As a poster replying to my initial post pointed out, it seems very likely that the country in question is Israel. I figured that the people most likely to benefit from this type of information would be China (and I was apparently wrong.)

Re:What kind of moron (1)

mlts (1038732) | more than 3 years ago | (#33824868)

I have seen this before first hand:

1: Would be spy working for company "A" calls up someone at company "B" who competes with "A" saying they have some cool secrets.
2: Company "B" notifies company "A" about the would be spy.
3: Would be spy gives the juicy stuff to what he/she thinks is someone who will pay him/her big bucks.
4: ?????
5: No big bucks happen; would be spy ends up with shiny new metal bracelets on wrists and a new domicile.

The problem is this: Even though two companies might be bitter rivals, they may be just as well served outing unsolicited offers for trade secrets as in keeping them, especially for being able to trumpet how honorable they are in PR releases.

Another reason why Country X burned the guy -- he could have either been bringing them disinformation, or it could be someone trying to show that Country X buys info. Either way, Country X's consulate made the best decision by outing the guy.

Re:What kind of moron (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33825228)

Yeah. . . . ( tin foil hat mode )

Why would any country turn down an offer like this and " do the right thing " by giving the FBI this information ?
Have you ever heard of such a thing ? lol

The fun part " The case began in June 2006 when Doxer sent an e-mail " EMAIL being the key word here.

So with my tin foil hat vibrating silently away to keep the signals out, my question would be:

"Did the consulate do the right thing, or was the email intercepted by the Gov in transit ? "

If they were going to watch any comms at all, it would DEFINITELY be those of foreign consulates.

Just a thought.

Re:What kind of moron (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33825444)

Why would any country turn down an offer like this and " do the right thing " by giving the FBI this information ?

Consulate Dude 1: "Hey, we got this jackass who wants to play James Bond over a family law incident."
Consulate Dude 2: "If he's incompetent enough to turn family drama into this, you think he'll be competent enough to actually spy for us, even if there was any chance he had access to anything useful?"
Consulate Dude 1: "Good point. More trouble than he's worth, turn him over to the FBI."
Consulate Dude 2: "Hey, Feds, you're gonna get a laugh outa this one. Enjoy your new chew toy!"

Re:What kind of moron (1)

Old97 (1341297) | more than 3 years ago | (#33825312)

You are right about China, but even some western countries have been caught spying on behalf of their corporations. France has been notorious in this regard for years. There have been stories over the years of French penetration of IBM France and the IP and business secrets they were acquiring. I'm sure you can find a few in the Computerworld archives. I'm sure that France and China aren't the only ones either. The U.S. on the other hand is better known for using it's corporations to spy on other nations (ITT in prewar Germany). Russia does both. Do you think the UK would do such a thing? (I do.)

wrong charges.... (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 3 years ago | (#33824052)

Why wasn't he charged with attempted espionage?

Re:wrong charges.... (1)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 3 years ago | (#33824134)

If I had to guess it's because he never attempted to sell or give up any government information, just information about his (non defense related) job. Why he thought 'Country X' would be interested in such information is beyond me, seems to me like he would have been better off offering the information to a foreign competitor directly, unless his goal was just to screw over the company he worked for as much as possible.

Re:wrong charges.... (1)

ptbarnett (159784) | more than 3 years ago | (#33824246)

Why he thought 'Country X' would be interested in such information is beyond me, seems to me like he would have been better off offering the information to a foreign competitor directly, unless his goal was just to screw over the company he worked for as much as possible.

Read the article. He was apparently hoping that 'Country X' would do something bad to his ex-wife, or at least provide him information about their son. I'm guessing that she disappeared into "Country X".

Re:wrong charges.... (1)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 3 years ago | (#33824138)

Probably because he was acting against a private employer and "industrial espionage" isn't the same thing as KGB agents infiltrating the Pentagon. Espionage is what you charge foreigners with with since you can't nail them for treason. Wire fraud is probably closer to what he was actually doing.

Re:wrong charges.... (2, Interesting)

dwillden (521345) | more than 3 years ago | (#33825318)

Actually, Espionage is what we nail our people who spy on us with, not just foreigners. Treason can only be applied for activities occurring during time of war. But even then the charge of Espionage or spying would also be applied as it's an easier conviction to get.

However; as you correctly noted this was just industrial espionage, and not very effective espionage at that.

The crime of espionage requires an attempt to transmit National Defense information to a foreign party with intent, or reason to believe that the information will be used to the injury of the US, or to the advantage of a foreign nation. (paraphrased from 18 US 794)

This "intent" or "reason to believe" does not exist in this case so Espionage is out, so they chose a charge that they could be sure would stick and still have a hefty penalty (20 years).

Re:wrong charges.... (1)

snowraver1 (1052510) | more than 3 years ago | (#33824778)

Probably the same reason that if you proposition a hooker that turns out to be a cop it's not attempted prostitution.

Re:wrong charges.... (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 3 years ago | (#33825556)

Why wasn't he charged with attempted espionage?

Because the information he tried to sell wasn't within the scope of the Espionage Act.

Valuable info? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33824070)

Anybody know why that information would be particularly valuable to a _country_? I thought Akamai was just a distributed web cache people used to distribute software updates. Akamai is required to comply with local laws (eg. China's website identification requirements) so I've no idea.

Entrapment (-1, Troll)

mcelrath (8027) | more than 3 years ago | (#33824118)

There aren't enough details in TFA, but this sure sounds like entrapment. i.e. no crime would have been committed if the FBI had not engaged him...

Re:Entrapment (5, Insightful)

ShadowRangerRIT (1301549) | more than 3 years ago | (#33824242)

Entrapment would be if the FBI offered him money to divulge company secrets out of the blue. He made an offer to Country X; the intent to commit a crime was his alone, not prompted by law enforcement.

Re:Entrapment (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 3 years ago | (#33824346)

Exactly. If a LEO approaches me and offers to murder my estranged ex-wife for $20,000 that's entrapment. If I'm seeking out a hitman on my own and a LEO poses as one that's not entrapment.

Re:Entrapment (1)

thijsh (910751) | more than 3 years ago | (#33824504)

How the hell does Low Earth Orbit approach you? Ohhh, you mean a Lunar Exploration Orbiter! No, that would not make sense either... I'm running out of geek-explanations here, and am forced to seek my solution in the inexplicable.
So please explain to me why a person born under the astrological sign of the zodiac Leo would be more likely to entrap you?

Re:Entrapment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33824592)

Are you an idiot or going for sarcasm? I honestly can't tell. Next time use <moron> or <sarcasm> tags.

LEO = Law Enforcement Officer

Re:Entrapment (5, Funny)

rthille (8526) | more than 3 years ago | (#33824702)

"If a LEO approaches me and offers to murder my estranged ex-wife for $20,000 that's entrapment."

No, that's a bargain!

Re:Entrapment (1)

shentino (1139071) | more than 3 years ago | (#33825068)

It could even be construed as justification for self defense if you wound up assaulting the under cover guy.

Some hit man comes in offering bling to kill your wife...maybe you'd think it's just hush money to keep you quiet.

Re:Entrapment (1)

spire3661 (1038968) | more than 3 years ago | (#33824798)

Entrapment laws were setup to keep the police in line, so when no governmental abuse is found, entrapment is usually waived. The only way to really get an entrapment defense to work is if the police were extraordinarily out of line. I do know that some east coast Police Departments were doing naughty things like putting a wallet on the sidewalk and then arresting anyone who picked it up, even though the law states you have up to 24 hours to turn it in. Its this kind of stuff that entrapment laws are intended to stop.

Re:Entrapment (1)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | more than 3 years ago | (#33824252)

There aren't enough details in TFA, but this sure sounds like entrapment. i.e. no crime would have been committed if the FBI had not engaged him...

He was the one who contacted the "country X" with the clear intention of selling confidential information. He took the first step. As such the fault lies all on him. It would be different if "country X" or the FBI had contacted him first.

Re:Entrapment (3, Informative)

tomkost (944194) | more than 3 years ago | (#33824254)

No, entrapment would be if the FBI came to you (posing as a foreign power) out of the blue to ask if you would share secret info and then you did. e.g. they enticed or entrapped you into doing it. In this case, the guy initiated the action all on his own. The FBI in this case was just proving that the guy really wanted to do this, not just making an offer that he never intended to follow through with. From wikipedia: Government agents entrapped him if three conditions are fulfilled: 1. The idea for committing the crime came from the government agents and not from the person accused of the crime. 2. Government agents then persuaded or talked the person into committing the crime. Simply giving him the opportunity to commit the crime is not the same as persuading him to commit the crime. 3. The person was not ready and willing to commit the crime before the government agents spoke with him. On the issue of entrapment, the government must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant was not entrapped by government agents.

Re:Entrapment (1)

MysteriousPreacher (702266) | more than 3 years ago | (#33824456)

By that logic then the following would also be entrapment:

I threaten to beat-up a co-worker, so I arrive at their house the next day, and on seeing them standing outside of their house, begin whacking them with a plank of wood. The actual victim though was an undercover police officer taking the place of the intended victim, so really the crime could not have been committed had they not been there, but it'd be an incredible stretch to describe that as entrapment.

It's not entrapment for law enforcement agencies to take people up on their offers to break the law.

Re:Entrapment (1)

shentino (1139071) | more than 3 years ago | (#33825108)

The assault and battery was intentional, and under the doctrine of transferred intent, your intended target becomes the undercover cop.

There seems to be potential for escalation from a simple misdemeanor assault to a felonious assault on a peace officer.

Re:Entrapment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33824658)

Can anyone masquerade as representatives of a foreign power? Seems that it should be forbidden but if not then I'd like to be the Roman Ambassador to the UN!

He hated his wife and reads too many spy novels (1)

tacktick (1866274) | more than 3 years ago | (#33824198)

He also seemed preoccupied with ill will toward his ex-wife, writing at one point that "not enough bad things can happen to her if you know what I mean." And he offered to drop his request for monetary compensation in return for information or pictures of his son.

So.. look I'll give you this information and you put a good hurtin on the b*tch. Oh and get my son back from her. K, thanks.

Israel? (5, Informative)

zerro (1820876) | more than 3 years ago | (#33824212)

http://www.jta.org/news/article/2010/10/07/2741170/jewish-internet-company-employee-arrested-for-selling-secrets [jta.org] Jewish Internet company employee arrested for selling secrets October 7, 2010 (JTA) -- A Jewish employee of a Boston-area Internet company was arrested on suspicion of selling confidential information to a foreign company. Elliot Doxer, 42, who works in the finance department of Akamai Technologies Inc., was charged Wednesday with wire fraud for providing confidential business information to an undercover FBI agent that he believed was a foreign government agent. The information included contract details, employee information and customer lists. The country was identified in the indictment as Country X. "I am a Jewish American who lives in Boston," Doxer reportedly wrote in an e-mail to a foreign country's consulate in Boston. "I know you are always looking for information and I am offering the little I may have." Doxer, who had access to invoices and customer contact information, also said in a later message that his goal was "to help our homeland and our war against our enemies." He informed the agent that his company served the U.S. Department of Defense, Airbus and several Arab companies. Doxer reportedly asked for $3,000 in compensation for his actions. According to the complaint, Doxer provided the agent with a list of Akamai's customers, several contracts and a list of employees and their contact information. Doxer and the agent first made contact in September 2007.

Re:Israel? (3, Informative)

VJ42 (860241) | more than 3 years ago | (#33824478)

Israel?

Yes: Here's another Source that indicates Israel: http://www.jpost.com/International/Article.aspx?id=190523 [jpost.com]

Re:Israel? (3, Informative)

MysteriousPreacher (702266) | more than 3 years ago | (#33825216)

It seems plausible.

http://www.searchboston.com/boston_directory/Gov/Foreign_Consulates_in_Boston/ [searchboston.com]

Australia - Consulate Boston
Austria - Consulate Boston
Canada - Consulate Boston
Germany - Consulate Boston
Hungary - Consulate Boston
Israel - Consulate Boston
Mexico - Consulate Boston
Norway - Consulate Boston
Portugal - Consulate Boston
Sweden - Consulate Boston
Venezuela - Consulate Boston

Israel would seem the more likely option, and certainly a country to engender the "homeland" feeling.

Re:Israel? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33824666)

Our foreign aid to Israel amounts to some $350 per Israeli citizen per year ($2.5B/year and 7.3mm citizens on Wikipedia). Why? Because they are a check to the power of the Muslim counties in the Middle East? Because the have the bomb? Because we feel guilt over not stepping in earlier to prevent the holocaust? Because of some secret plot involving the Illuminati, Area 51, and the UN? I've always been interested in this, but there's so much froth and divisiveness about the subject that I feel I can't get a straight answer out of anyone.

Re:Israel? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33825374)

Our foreign aid to Israel amounts to some $350 per Israeli citizen per year ($2.5B/year and 7.3mm citizens on Wikipedia). Why?

The key reason is that it's a bribe for peace with Egypt, which gets around the same amount. It also gives the US a leash around Israel's actions, and yes it does promote Israel as a check to the power of the Muslim countries. The real WTF question on American foreign aid to the Middle East is why the US funds the PLO to the tune of a billion a year. Bush thought it was supposed to be a check on Hamas but the PLO is almost as bad.

Good job FBI (0, Troll)

airdweller (1816958) | more than 3 years ago | (#33824250)

"...a little over a year later..."
What were they doing all this time? Searching for an agent who could speak with the 'country X' accent?

On another note: did anyone see Burn Before Reading? :)

Re:Good job FBI (2, Informative)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#33824784)

Gathering proper evidence, getting proper legal documentation, talking with his employers, and getting several drops to see what information he was willing to give up.

You now, due process and getting solid evidence.

In the real world, you don't go around accusing people and then arrest the one that tries to kill you*, you don't drive a fast sports car until some shoots at you, and you don't other evidence from a magic computer in 22 minutes.

*AKA: The Charlie Angels school of crime fighting.

Re:Good job FBI (1)

jjohnson (62583) | more than 3 years ago | (#33825018)

I laughed my guts at out at Burn After Reading. Watching a smiling Brad Pitt get shot in the face was reason enough to pay the $11.25.

"I guess we learned not to do it again... though I'll be fucked if I know what we did."

Looks like "Country X" was Israel (2, Informative)

ptbarnett (159784) | more than 3 years ago | (#33824352)

http://www.jta.org/news/article/2010/10/07/2741170/jewish-internet-company-employee-arrested-for-selling-secrets [jta.org]

"I am a Jewish American who lives in Boston," Doxer reportedly wrote in an e-mail to a foreign country's consulate in Boston. "I know you are always looking for information and I am offering the little I may have."

Doxer, who had access to invoices and customer contact information, also said in a later message that his goal was "to help our homeland and our war against our enemies."

He informed the agent that his company served the U.S. Department of Defense, Airbus and several Arab companies. Doxer reportedly asked for $3,000 in compensation for his actions.

Aside from just being a dumbass... (4, Interesting)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 3 years ago | (#33824466)

This guy's second mistake (after thinking he was capable of any espionage at all) was to approach a foreign consulate. This isn't the 1940s anymore people. Consulates are not the hotbeds of espionage that they used to be. If he wanted to be an agent for a foreign intelligence organization, he should have tried to contact them directly in a manner not easily intercepted by SIGINT such as an old fashioned letter (or even better, contact them through a sympathetic radical political organization). Don't think that a nation's State Department or Ministry of Foreign Affairs is going to have time or interest in your petty cloak and dagger.

(The previous is no more than commentary and opinion and should not be construed as encouragement or advice to commit treason/fraud/etc.)

Re:Aside from just being a dumbass... (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#33824808)

You don't contact them initially at all. You just give them some information they can use. Then you contact them with more information, and what you want. HOWEVER, the odds of any country just trusting someone they haven't groomed is pretty weak these days.

Re:Aside from just being a dumbass... (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 3 years ago | (#33825036)

I guess the problem for this guy had to do with "information they can use." All he could provide was customer information from Akamai. He didn't have technical or research information. Even if he did, Akamai's core technologies are in web and search, fields that a foreign power might not exactly find useful. If he was deployed by a defense contractor, that might have been a different story.

Re:Aside from just being a dumbass... (1)

Plekto (1018050) | more than 3 years ago | (#33825518)

If you think logically about what countries might want such technology, he should have waited at least until he was on a business trip over there and done something(from a don't be a total moron perspective - ethics aside, of course). You have to assume that everything that you say or do in whatever country that you are in is being recorded or filed away somewhere "just in case" there's a future problem. You and I have no secrecy or privacy. If the Government wants information on us for anything at all, we know that they will get everything from a copy of our birth certificate to how much we tipped the waitress last Friday at lunch.

So we don't do stupid things. We keep our heads down and are (for the most part, aside from complaining at places like this and maybe speeding to work and so on) good little worker drones. And we get a nice(enough) country to live in, good food, plenty of distractions and things to do from video games and concerts and so on that most of the rest of the world doesn't get to do as easily. Life's not really so bad as a result, and so 99.99% of us have a good incentive to not do stupid things that ruin it for ourselves. We work, we have families, and so on. (visit Juarez for an example of how almost half of the rest of the world lives. A PS3 is a dream over there)

Going to a potentially adversarial foreign consulate on the other hand is a sure-fire way to get yourself watched(ie - going to the Irish consulate wouldn't probably draw any attention at all) For good reason, really. You could be asking about work or visas or anything else and the chances of you pulling a stupid stunt like this are roughly zero. But China or North Korea or other places like that, you know that they are paying some person to watch the place(or in this case have an understanding with them to turn in idiots like this to keep from creating international incidents). Or he should have known.

And, of course, there had to be the moment where he calculated the risk factor before doing the crime. At least don't be an idiot and do things that automatically get you life in prison. He could have(as an example) done any number of other illegal "white collar" crimes wouldn't get you the kind of penalty espionage does. Or he could have made a small fortune legally by turning in the company to one of the various software enforcement agencies(almost every mid-size corporation isn't paying for 100% of its software) You have to wonder what went through his brain when he chose to do something that would carry such a huge penalty for so little potential profit.

Oh well, stupid people. One less in the gene pool.

Re:Aside from just being a dumbass... (1)

rgviza (1303161) | more than 3 years ago | (#33825526)

And how, exactly, do you know this? Spying for Dummies? Are you a spy yourself? /chuckle

Re:Aside from just being a dumbass... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33825406)

Consulates are not the hotbeds of espionage that they used to be.

Wanna Bet?

Think of it in Reverse (1, Interesting)

neoshroom (324937) | more than 3 years ago | (#33824528)

Doesn't something seem wrong with the response of the foreigner who informed on him. Wouldn't the proper response be to say something like, "we value transparent relations with the US and wouldn't want to jeopardize them" instead of turning over the man's emails to the US.

Think of this in reverse. Let's say the man worked for Baidu, the Chinese Internet search engine and his loyalty was to the US. The man emails a member of the US government saying, if they wanted help he'd be willing to help them out. Now, wouldn't it then seem really wrong to then turn over that man's emails to the Chinese government so they could use them to trap him in some set up?

Shouldn't the US or anyone else in that situation just say "thanks, but no thanks" instead of starting these cloak and dagger games?

Re:Think of it in Reverse (5, Insightful)

Migraineman (632203) | more than 3 years ago | (#33824668)

There's value in making a very public example of folks like this. Consulates don't want to be bothered with Joe Everyman and his get-rich-quick scheme.

Besides, this could easily be a test of loyalty from a friendly nation. You wouldn't want to damage decades of political negotiations over a penny-ante commercial information leak.

Re:Think of it in Reverse (3, Informative)

vxice (1690200) | more than 3 years ago | (#33825204)

Israel can't possibly endanger its relationship with the U.S. Look up the USS LIberty or if that is not bad enough look up the Levon affair of 1954 where Israel failed to attack British and American interests in an attempt to blame it on random terrorists creating a situation that would require the U.S. to stay in the Sinai.

Re:Think of it in Reverse (1)

BeanThere (28381) | more than 3 years ago | (#33824988)

Shouldn't the US or anyone else in that situation just say "thanks, but no thanks" instead of starting these cloak and dagger games?

And that pays your salary how?

allow me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33824610)

Allow me to be the first to say:

Who gives a flying fsck?

Staff self-selection (1)

FryingLizard (512858) | more than 3 years ago | (#33825106)

He went to *Israel* and offered them dishwater-grade intelligence?
Well it saves Akamai the hassle of doing staff intelligence tests.

Paraphrasing Le Carre (1)

mewsenews (251487) | more than 3 years ago | (#33825258)

This story supports the assertion that more spies are busted through snitching rather than sleuthing

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...