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Former Employee Stole Ford Secrets Worth $50 Million

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the yu-did-it dept.

Security 236

chicksdaddy writes "A ten year veteran of US automaker Ford pleaded guilty in federal court on November 17 to charges that he stole company secrets, including design documents, valued at between $50 million and $100 million, and shared them with his new employer: the Chinese division of a US rival of Ford's. Xiang Dong ('Mike') Yu admitted to copying some 4,000 Ford Documents to an external hard drive, including design specifications for key components of Ford automobiles, after surreptitiously taking a job with a China-based competitor in 2006. Yu, who took a job for Beijing Automotive Company in 2008, was arrested during a stopover at Chicago in October, 2009. The FBI seized his Beijing Automotive-issued laptop, and an analysis found 41 stolen Ford specification documents on the hard drive. He faces five to six years in prison and a $150,000 fine (PDF)."

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Wake up, people. (5, Interesting)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 3 years ago | (#34313536)

valued at between $50 million and $100 million

That's probably an inflated value. When companies get burned like this, they generally vastly overstate the value of the stolen goods.

and shared them with his new employer: the Chinese division of a US rival of Ford's.

Hello boys and girls. Can you say "tip of the iceberg?" I knew you could.

He faces five to six years in prison and a $150,000 fine (PDF).

Good. And before we judge if that seems too harsh a punishment, I would ask if anyone knows what the Chinese government would do to an American engineer who did the same thing to a Chinese company.

Re:Wake up, people. (5, Informative)

toastar (573882) | more than 3 years ago | (#34313546)

Good. And before we judge if that seems too harsh a punishment, I would ask if anyone knows what the Chinese government would do to an American engineer who did the same thing to a Chinese company.

8 years

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2010/07/04/chinese-court-sentences-geologist-tortured-state-security-agents-years-jail-1624851947/ [foxnews.com]

Re:Wake up, people. (0)

DJLuc1d (1010987) | more than 3 years ago | (#34313926)

8 years and a bunch of torture, not to mention the difference in Chinese prisons vs American ones.

Re:Wake up, people. (1, Interesting)

aliquis (678370) | more than 3 years ago | (#34313994)

8 years and a bunch of torture, not to mention the difference in Chinese prisons vs American ones.

Which one is worse?

JK, I know your opinion, but seriously US prisons don't seem very great, your rehabilitation system seem to suck, everything is over-crowded and you probably make people worse. Stop with putting drug users into prison (people who are deep into it may need some rehabilitation I guess, but not the Cops OMGIT'SAPIECEOFMARIJUANA!! DOWN ON THE GROUND!) and crap like NBC dateline.

(Oh, he wanted to meet and have sex with a seventeen year old girl!? TEH HORRORZ! Over here in Sweden the age is 15 and actual pedophilia is with pre-pubertal humans. Why is attraction to attractive people a crime? =P)

Re:Wake up, people. (1)

ooshna (1654125) | more than 3 years ago | (#34314136)

Oh you messed up big prepared to be modded down to hell. (to save the children of course)

Re:Wake up, people. (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 3 years ago | (#34314022)

Guess I could had asked who kills the most people to. Guess China wins, but only the fact you actually DO kill them .. Nor that much good can come from serial killers.

Funny if China catches up and the US becomes worse in comparision in this area ..

Re:Wake up, people. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34314294)

not to mention the difference in Chinese prisons vs American ones.

yeah, over there you get fed meals and 2 hours later you are hungry again, thus subjecting you to the torture of near-constant hunger. in America, prison is a Club Med-esq paradise where free anal sex is given to you...even if you didn't ask for it (now THAT'S service!) :)

Re:Wake up, people. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34314370)

I reckon 8 years in a Chinese Jail, getting betten up, is better than 5 years in US prison, getting raped by your cell mate and leaving with Hiv/Aids.

Re:Wake up, people. (2, Insightful)

causality (777677) | more than 3 years ago | (#34313594)

Good. And before we judge if that seems too harsh a punishment, I would ask if anyone knows what the Chinese government would do to an American engineer who did the same thing to a Chinese company.

Playing Devil's advocate here: so we can commit injustice and that's okay, because another country's injustices justify it?

I'm not claiming that this punishment is too harsh or too lenient for that matter. I'm not familiar enough with this incident nor do I know why this is a criminal matter and not a civil tort. So I won't make that judgment. Instead, I'm asking you this because I just don't understand your reasoning.

Re:Wake up, people. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34313704)

How did you arrive at that question from the gp's comment?

The point made was rhetorical: it may seem like a harsh punishment, but the punishment if the situation were reverse would obviously be harsher. You really don't understand the reasoning when comparing China and America?

Re:Wake up, people. (2, Insightful)

causality (777677) | more than 3 years ago | (#34313890)

How did you arrive at that question from the gp's comment?

The point made was rhetorical: it may seem like a harsh punishment, but the punishment if the situation were reverse would obviously be harsher. You really don't understand the reasoning when comparing China and America?

Oh, I get it. I just think it's invalid. I'll try to clarify.

And before we judge if that seems too harsh a punishment, I would ask if anyone knows what the Chinese government would do to an American engineer who did the same thing to a Chinese company.

If I believe that a punishment is too harsh, it's because the punishment doesn't fit the crime. How someone else would punish the same crime is a separate discussion. If the USA fined people ten million dollars for jaywalking, I would say that's too harsh even if I knew that China executed people for jaywalking. One is simply too harsh to a high degree, and the other is too harsh to an exceedingly high degree.

The only relativity I recognize as important is that which exists between the punishment and the crime. That means I am in no danger of thinking that one abuse is legitimate merely because worse abuses are known to occur. I don't view concepts like justice and injustice (among others) as trade goods that have a value or a "going rate" which is set by the market conditions. I consider that a requirement of free thought.

Re:Wake up, people. (2, Insightful)

cjanota (936004) | more than 3 years ago | (#34314346)

One thing to consider is that what you believe to be fair punishment for a crime likely has some basis on what culture you were brought up in and how "tough" on crime that culture is.

Re:Wake up, people. (3, Insightful)

mbone (558574) | more than 3 years ago | (#34313596)

I bet that hypothetical American Engineer would avoid stop-overs in Beijing.

Re:Wake up, people. (2, Informative)

Nursie (632944) | more than 3 years ago | (#34313620)

I would ask if anyone knows what the Chinese government would do to an American engineer who did the same thing to a Chinese company.

FTFS - "Chinese division of a US rival of Ford's."

Sounds like american companies doing it to each other, to me.

Re:Wake up, people. (3, Informative)

magarity (164372) | more than 3 years ago | (#34313834)

"Chinese division of a US rival of Ford's."

Sounds like american companies doing it to each other, to me.

All the manufacturing companies in China must be majority owned by a local Chinese company which is owned by Chinese citizens. So it may be a joint venture partnership "division" of a US rival who owns a large chunk, but no, it is not just two US companies involved.

Re:Wake up, people. (1)

Formalin (1945560) | more than 3 years ago | (#34313880)

Do you think it's unlikely that this info went upstream, to the US parent company though? Seems feasible to me.

Plain old corporate spying ... or is it? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34313638)

... a $150,000 fine is puny compared to what he probably made from the sale. This could be a perfect example of government sponsored corporate terrorism :) aka spying.

Re:Wake up, people. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34313656)

Inflated? I don't think so. I'm sure just taking the final specifications and design documents of just a few models of cars had at least $100 million in R&D dollars to make them. Are the documents themselves worth that much, no. But to create them from scratch could take that much money

i also invite you to wake up, person (1)

hildi (868839) | more than 3 years ago | (#34313750)

50 million dollars? wall street credit derivatives traders, and management, destroyed their entire companies, and they never had so much as Geraldo knock on their door. they wouldn't wipe their ass with 50 million dollars. they stole --TRILLIONS-- from their own companies, investors, and most of all, the taxpayers of the entire planet, and they got off scott free. they are still working in the same field. and slashdot has not done a story on it.

Re:Wake up, people. (4, Interesting)

jms (11418) | more than 3 years ago | (#34313796)

I suppose that by failing to elaborate on how they came up with the value, they invite speculation.

Sometimes, when asked the value of a document, companies will give a figure that corresponds to the cost of producing that document. In other words, if you were to add up all the engineer-hours involved in designing a car, it might add up to $50-$100M. Since Ford is not deprived of access to their own design (because they still have copies of it), this does not represent $50-$100M losses to Ford. They could be saying that, by stealing the design, the Chinese company saved themselves $50-$100M in engineering costs, but that explanation isn't really complete, because the design was manufactured, so the Chinese company could easily buy one and reverse engineer it. So, by stealing the design, the Chinese company at the most saved themselves the cost of a full reverse-engineering job on the Ford car. This might still be a substantial figure. However, automobile manufacturers regularly buy each others products and reverse engineer them anyway, to keep track of what the competition is doing, so the Chinese auto company's engineers were probably already pretty familiar with the basic Ford design before they stole the documents. They probably had already done most of the reverse engineering. These documents let them fill in the gaps in their knowledge.

This has damaged Ford to the extent that the design revealed trade secrets that the Chinese car company might not have been able to reverse engineer from existing cars. This might allow them to improve their cars to the extent that some number of people choose to buy Chinese cars instead of Fords. That is the real value of the stolen documents and might be worth $50-$100 million or more.

Re:Wake up, people. (5, Insightful)

afidel (530433) | more than 3 years ago | (#34313886)

It could also be that the design docs were from the manufacturing process rather than the product itself. The process engineering behind a plant could easily be worth significantly more than even $100M because the plants today cost upwards of $1B to design, build, and furnish and the lifetime efficiency gains for a well engineered plant can also reach into the billions.

Re:Wake up, people. (1)

diegocn (1109503) | more than 3 years ago | (#34314522)

FYI - Original article reads "the Chinese division of a US rival of Ford's" - My guess is GM, since they are the only other auto manufacturer in China.

It's surprise me every time that anything related to negative side of China instantly turns some intelligent minds here into some Chinese bashing moobs.

Re:Wake up, people. (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#34313900)

Hi. Can you say "bargaining chip"? These guys are traded more often than baseball players. High drama screaming for a Hollywood screen play

Re:Wake up, people. (1)

demonlapin (527802) | more than 3 years ago | (#34313950)

More to the point, if they actually implement any of this stuff, it'll be an open secret the moment they start producing it, right? I mean, we're not talking about some fabulous machine that produces cars - we're talking about the cars themselves, which anyone can buy and tear down. If I'm wrong, I'd appreciate someone who understands the industry letting me know, but it seems that the product engineering is the one part of car manufacturing that you can't possibly hide. Right?

Re:Wake up, people. (2, Interesting)

TheScreenIsnt (939701) | more than 3 years ago | (#34313996)

And before we judge if that seems too harsh a punishment, I would ask if anyone knows what the Chinese government would do to an American engineer who did the same thing to a Chinese company.

It seems to me that what some other country would do to a similar criminal is irrelevant. If North Korea were involved, would that justify a still harsher punishment?
How about this: the punishment is fair because the guy is a crook and the crime wasn't petty (though as an automotive engineer in R&D I would agree that it was less consequential than advertised).

Re:Wake up, people. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34314374)

As a subcontractor to some large corporations, I possess large amounts of drawings and documents on their inventory. Hosted on various encrypted backup disks at home and in a locker at my bank.

This is actually prescribed and ordained in the contract - I am obliged to retain all data minimum ten years by the standard scripture of our common contractors' law - and most if not all of those drawings were made by myself, but I doubt that my clients ever read the fine print and it would not surprise me at all if they would get mad if they found out. I know I had some situations where I got weird looks when I mentioned looking things up when not at my client's location.

Still, it's kind of weird if someone objects to me possessing drawings on equipment that I designed myself.

Why (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34313542)

Why is this a criminal offense? Seems to me it's an internal problem within Ford that they trusted untrustworthy people. I could understand Ford taking him to court for damages numbering in the millions of dollars, but why is the enforcement agency of the federal government (the FBI) involved in this matter?

Re:Why (3, Interesting)

toastar (573882) | more than 3 years ago | (#34313574)

Are you real asking why is theft illegal?

Re:Why (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 3 years ago | (#34313610)

It's not theft.

It's breach of trust.

Re:Why (1)

xSauronx (608805) | more than 3 years ago | (#34313630)

I thought the conses here would lead to people just calling this copyright infringement, since surely he copied the documents and did not steal them...

Re:Why (4, Informative)

SydShamino (547793) | more than 3 years ago | (#34313872)

When trade secrets are involved it's called theft, not copyright infringement.

"Theft" is when the original owner is deprived by the action. In this case, the trade secrets were stolen, because the original owner was deprived of the secret (as its not secret any more).

Re:Why (2, Informative)

Oxford_Comma_Lover (1679530) | more than 3 years ago | (#34313676)

> It's not theft. It's breach of trust.

According to the press release (also linked above), it's theft of trade secrets:

http://www.justice.gov/usao/mie/press/2010/2010-11-17_xyu.pdf [justice.gov]

I assume it's also a breach of his employment contract. (Which would be relevant to a civil case by Ford against him.)

Re:Why (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 3 years ago | (#34313914)

And also a civil case by Ford against his employer and possibly criminal penalties against the employer for inducement to steal trade secrets which can carry punitive fines.

Re:Why (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 3 years ago | (#34313614)

Why is this a criminal offense? Seems to me it's an internal problem within Ford that they trusted untrustworthy people. I could understand Ford taking him to court for damages numbering in the millions of dollars, but why is the enforcement agency of the federal government (the FBI) involved in this matter?

I think you just answered your own question. "damages numbering in the millions of dollars." If they say the documents were worth what they probably are worth, the Feds most likely wouldn't take an interest.

This has happened before. A few decades ago, some youthful crackers logged on to a Bell System server and downloaded some documents. The phone company immediately brought in law enforcement, claiming the documents were worth (if memory serves) some fifty grand. That was to interest the Feds: below a certain point they don't care. Personally, I think the cops ought to charge the company execs who make such outrageous claims.

In this case, it turned out that anyone could call up and order said papers for a few bucks. But the phone company wanted to make an example, so they lied to the cops.

Re:Why (1)

Formalin (1945560) | more than 3 years ago | (#34313684)

Either way, there wasn't anything physically stolen, just IP. So if it's copyrighted they could go after him for that in civil court, or if it's just a trade secret there could be some sort of breach of contract, which would also be civil?

The only way I could see this being a criminal offence would be if it was against the state, so they could portray it as treason, no?

Maybe I'm mistaken. Seems odd though.

Re:Why (1)

SydShamino (547793) | more than 3 years ago | (#34313916)

It was a secret. Now it's no longer a secret. The original owner was deprived of a secret. Therefore, it's theft.

Your use of "physically stolen" to define theft is too narrow. Instead ask "did the original owner lose something?" If so, it's theft.

Re:Why (3, Informative)

afidel (530433) | more than 3 years ago | (#34313944)

The U.S. Economic Espionage Act of 1996, which became effective on January 1, 1997, makes theft or misappropriation of trade secrets a federal crime.

Re:Why (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34313974)

Good God! I'd better give back those liberated 1982 Fiesta bumper plans, while I still can.

Re:Why (1)

istartedi (132515) | more than 3 years ago | (#34313654)

why is the enforcement agency of the federal government (the FBI) involved in this matter?

Because economic espionage [wikipedia.org] is a Federal crime.

Re:Why (2, Insightful)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 3 years ago | (#34313784)

Seems to me it's an internal problem within Ford that they trusted untrustworthy people.

I suppose you have a magic solution that tells who is trustworthy and who is not? Are you selling any such snake oil? There are several different ways to reduce the problem, but until there is some kind of deep brain scan that can learn the thoughts and motivations of a person, I don't think there is even a shot at eliminating the risk of hiring untrustworthy people. And even then, an employer that uses that is probably not an employer that many people would want to work for.

How did they catch him? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34313552)

Was this one of those times where security steals someone's laptop to look on it randomly, or did they already know what he did and have a warrant for his arrest?

A word to the wise ... (4, Funny)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 3 years ago | (#34313554)

The FBI seized his Beijing Automotive-issued laptop, and an analysis found 41 stolen Ford specification documents on the hard drive.

Dear "Mike",

When you get out, and if you decide to again play industrial spy, try this [truecrypt.org]

Re:A word to the wise ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34313702)

Or, even better, encrypt all your partitions (well, except /boot) with https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Dm-crypt [wikimedia.org] . In Debian you can easily do this during the install.

Re:A word to the wise ... (1)

Formalin (1945560) | more than 3 years ago | (#34313822)

Indeed. Talk about amateur night.
Although I doubt you'll be able to withhold password from the FBI, they'll get it from you or you'll rot in jail anyhow.

dm-crypt works excellent though.

According to the summary he stole the files in 2006, and was busted with the files on his laptop on a stopover in 2009. WTF? Might want to just leave stuff like that on the server in china, once you've got it...

Re:A word to the wise ... (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 3 years ago | (#34314118)

Although I doubt you'll be able to withhold password from the FBI

Store the data on a small partition, use login 'me', create user 'mike' with UID 0/group wheel/sudo-added user, let mikes shell write /dev/random onto said partition + over-write partition table in the background and overwrite and remove the shells rc-file?

Maybe they don't login. What do I know :)

Put an explosive charge within the HDD.

Re:A word to the wise ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34313774)

Slashdot, where the "entertainment wants to be free" corps give thieves tips on how to better perpetrate scumbaggery. Nice.

Re:A word to the wise ... (1)

grub (11606) | more than 3 years ago | (#34313888)


Damn Slashdot thieves! It's not like just anyone could... oh... google for disk and partition encryption software!

Re:A word to the wise ... (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 3 years ago | (#34314072)

When you get out, and if you decide to again play industrial spy, try this

Or this: s/Ford/Mike/g

Does this mean all the Chinese cars are going to (5, Funny)

pecosdave (536896) | more than 3 years ago | (#34313568)

have bad power steering pumps and short life torque converters from now on?

(sorry, had to go there, the problems I've had to deal with on my own/families/friends Fords the most)

Re:Does this mean all the Chinese cars are going t (2, Informative)

whoever57 (658626) | more than 3 years ago | (#34313598)

have bad power steering pumps and short life torque converters from now on?

or V6 engines that die prematurely due to head gasket failure?

Re:Does this mean all the Chinese cars are going t (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#34313672)

have bad power steering pumps and short life torque converters from now on?

or V6 engines that die prematurely due to head gasket failure?

Head gaskets are called engine failure now?

Re:Does this mean all the Chinese cars are going t (1)

ArchieBunker (132337) | more than 3 years ago | (#34313756)

I guess replacing a head gasket is a normal occurrence on a domestic vehicle. Yes I do consider that an engine failure due to the amount of labor involved.

Re:Does this mean all the Chinese cars are going t (2, Informative)

whoever57 (658626) | more than 3 years ago | (#34313956)

Head gaskets are called engine failure now?

When the head gasket failure results in large quantities of coolant going into the oil followed by rapid failure of the main bearings, [f150online.com] yes. You will see from the linked page that the repair bills from these failed head gaskets could be up to $4000. It was a common problem on Ford V6s built during the '90s.

In short.... (1)

AnonymousClown (1788472) | more than 3 years ago | (#34313698)

FORD = Found On Road Dead

Re:In short.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34313818)

I prefer "Fucker Only Runs Downhill" myself. I would never buy or be caught driving one.

Re:In short.... (2, Informative)

afidel (530433) | more than 3 years ago | (#34313960)

Let's see 1997 Taurus 225k miles, 2001 Taurus 250k miles, 2001 Sable only 185k miles so far. Of course the common thread is all three had the Duratec V6, one of the best engines ever made. It helps to do your homework =)

Re:In short.... (1)

whoever57 (658626) | more than 3 years ago | (#34314020)

It helps to do your homework

Yes, it does [google.com] . Just because the Duratec engine did not have problems doesn't mean that other Ford V6s did not.

Re:In short.... (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 3 years ago | (#34314056)

All Bundys Dodge, 0 miles.

Re:In short.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34314034)

Fix Or Repair Daily

Re:In short.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34314068)

They do not die as long as you Fix Or Repair Daily.

Re:Does this mean all the Chinese cars are going t (3, Informative)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 3 years ago | (#34313718)

Ford's been doing better. Over the last decade, they've built up some engineer teams in Europe (is it flamebait to say they are better because they are away from US unions?) who really are doing top notch work. The Fusion, for example, ranked #1 in its category for reliability. The Mustang has 300 horsepower at 30 MPG. I own a Honda, but if Ford continues the direction they're going, my next car may well be a Ford. Now if only they would do something about that horrid logo.....

Re:Does this mean all the Chinese cars are going t (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34314472)

well, considering that the workforce in Europe is more unionized than it is here, it probably is.

Re:Does this mean all the Chinese cars are going t (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#34313662)

Of course. Part of the skill of a good engineer is to ensure the parts fail as soon as possible after the warranty expires.

Re:Does this mean all the Chinese cars are going t (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34313922)

At least their anti-lock breaks will be tip-top.

I doubt that penalty is compelling (1)

mbone (558574) | more than 3 years ago | (#34313580)

Let's see, steal $ 75 million USD worth of stuff. 10% "finders feee" seems reasonable. So, with a 6 year sentence, that's over $ 1 million USD / year. (The fine is of course irrelevant in this scenario.)

I bet a lot of people would sign up for that.

Re:I doubt that penalty is compelling (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34313618)

I'd trade six years in the slammer for $7.5 million tax free. Not quite enough to retire off of at age 30, but enough that you could work 10 hrs a week part time for the rest of your life if you didn't invest it wisely, or use it to start an auto parts mfg company for that chinese automaker.

Re:I doubt that penalty is compelling (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34313686)

Six years in jail, that means being prison raped around 4,000 times. Maybe more. Just picture a $1,800 check every time you get ass fucked by a nigger. Of course, you'll probably die of AIDS or hepatitis.

Re:I doubt that penalty is compelling (1)

Formalin (1945560) | more than 3 years ago | (#34313642)

I'm thinking the actual value is considerably less than they claimed, though.

Re:I doubt that penalty is compelling (1)

konohitowa (220547) | more than 3 years ago | (#34313906)

Good thing he didn't P2P them. The amount would have run into the trillions.

Re:I doubt that penalty is compelling (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 3 years ago | (#34314132)

Good thing he didn't P2P them. The amount would have run into the trillions.

I wonder what the US military price their Iraq and Afghanistan reports at ;)

Augh! They blew the op! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34313582)

You fools! The CIA spent months trying to get those documents to the Chinese. How are we going to trick them into building shoddy cars that nobody will want to buy now?

Pffft...amateur... (5, Interesting)

afabbro (33948) | more than 3 years ago | (#34313650)

Small potatoes [cnet.com]

"Lopez was head of purchasing for GM and defected abruptly to VW in 1993. GM accused Lopez of masterminding the theft of more than 20 boxes of documents on research, manufacturing and sales. The world's largest international corporate espionage case officially ended in 1997, when VW admitted no wrongdoing but settled the civil suit by agreeing to pay GM $100 million in cash and spend $1 billion on GM parts over seven years.

Re:Pffft...amateur... (1)

DavMz (1652411) | more than 3 years ago | (#34314042)

Now I know why the Golf Mk4 is the poorest of the series.

ITSEC? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34313678)

Time to put on our ITSEC/Business hats: How much of this stuff did he need to do his job? And if he didn't need it, why did he have read access to it?

Common Sense.... (1)

bradgoodman (964302) | more than 3 years ago | (#34313692)

"Ford Design Documents?" ... "$100 million"...

LOL

90's-era Ford's weren't exactly the pinnacle of world-class engineering.

Now if they claimed $100 million dollars in plans to trick consumers into buying three transmissions, two alternators, and four water pumps for every car they sold, I'd maybe believe it...

Re:Common Sense.... (1)

sjwt (161428) | more than 3 years ago | (#34314220)

Because as well all know, the turn around on any new R&D is 1-3 months tops, nothing is ever the fruition of 5-10years R&D.

Thank goodness those weren't MP3s (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34313728)

Would have been, what, 40 times as much in fines?

Property Theft (1)

jkeelsnc (1102563) | more than 3 years ago | (#34313766)

Well, he got his due. Thats about all I can say. For playing this game he gets the slammer where he belongs. Enough jobs have already been lost to China as it is. Ford has greatly improved their products recently and they have a right to protect and prosecute on lost IP like this. This means american jobs and so I am all for what happened. Maybe Chinese will think twice again before trying to steal trade secrets and plans. Go make your own and stop worrying about what ours are.

Re:Property Theft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34313870)

Whatever happened to jail/prison being a place to keep dangerous people away from society? You know, like murderers, rapists, arsonists, bombers, ACTUAL (key word) theft, etc. Instead, what fills prisons around the country is a bunch of people who just want to get high on their drug of choice that isn't nicotine, caffeine or alcohol, people who breach company contracts/trust and infringe copyrights like this guy. Add in software patents and the ridiculous length of copyright law in this world of extremely quick, easy and limitless copying, and this world is fucked--simple as that. And then you consider that people committing these "crimes" get put in the same place as those truly dangerous people... yeah, this world is fucked.

Re:Property Theft (1)

Malenx (1453851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34314098)

lolz... shut up. Jail has always been a place to punish people for any crime the general public decides to create.

This Utopian Jail where only bad guys by your standard are sent too has never existed. Go back to your pot.

Re:Property Theft (0)

pgmrdlm (1642279) | more than 3 years ago | (#34314446)

When was jail ever reserved just for.

Whatever happened to jail/prison being a place to keep dangerous people away from society?

What time in history. Citation required to prove that point.

Seriously. Theft has ALWAYS been jail time.

Jump on the Cloud Everyone! (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34313770)

Come on everybody.
Have all of your professional dialogs and emails and other creative or confidentially secret business files hosted on THE CLOUD.
You can trust all these big corporations who grow larger and larger, monopolizing everything from healthcare to off shoring jobs.

And when these cloud companies secretly lift your creation and sell it to one of their buddies who has more resources than you to get your stolen creation out the door, what are you going to do about it.
Nothing, all you'll say is damn. And then your ruined. Have fun with you patent wars, lawyers and careless cloud habits.

Loose Lips Sink Ships

What do you think Capitalism is?
You wanna earn a living and make a buck, STFU and stay off the cloud, if you know what is good for you.

I swear people have no clue on how to avoid drama.

White Collar Vs Pilfering From Giants (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34313788)

$150,000 dollar fine for $50,000,000 theft while if you steal a song valued at $.99 you get a $60,000 fine. Seems about right.

Re:White Collar Vs Pilfering From Giants (2, Interesting)

jonsmirl (114798) | more than 3 years ago | (#34313830)

It was $1.92M for 24 songs so $80,0000. Using the same ratio - $50M * 80,000 = $4 trillion. It seems fair. We should apply that judgement against China and take one of their provinces as settlement.

Re:White Collar Vs Pilfering From Giants (2, Funny)

Penguinshit (591885) | more than 3 years ago | (#34314180)

I vote for Hong Kong.

H1Bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34313820)

Says he was hired in '97. Can't find H1B stats going back that far, but Ford certainly has an affinity for H1B product engineers (http://www.h1bwage.com/employer.php?q=28339&sortby=1). You get whatcha pay for.

FBI? O RLY? (1)

macraig (621737) | more than 3 years ago | (#34313826)

Why was the FBI and taxpayer money involved?

Re:FBI? O RLY? (1)

benjamindees (441808) | more than 3 years ago | (#34313938)

Why was the FBI and taxpayer money involved?

Because taxes are paid on profit. And profits are earned through technological advantage. And technology that is stolen from the US eliminates that advantage.

Alternately, one of the primary purposes of government is to protect people's rights, like the right not to be robbed. (haha j/k no one actually believes that anymore do they?)

Re:FBI? O RLY? (1)

macraig (621737) | more than 3 years ago | (#34314002)

You must be right. Lord knows that corporations never robbed anybody and we have government to thank for that.

Are US companies wise to trust in foreigners? (2, Interesting)

walterbyrd (182728) | more than 3 years ago | (#34313878)

This story come right on the heals of that other slashdot story: "Malaysian Indicted After Hacking Federal Reserve."

http://yro.slashdot.org/story/10/11/22/1446256/Malaysian-Indicted-After-Hacking-Federal-Reserve

I guess US companies are saving a bundle by putting so much trust in foreign nationals.

These two stories are hardly unique.

Sure, offshoring jobs has ruined the careers, and lives, of countless Americans, but look at the money that the US companies are saving!

Re:Are US companies wise to trust in foreigners? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34313924)

They have no choice. There simply is not enough home grown engineering talent.

Re:Are US companies wise to trust in foreigners? (1)

walterbyrd (182728) | more than 3 years ago | (#34314134)

Maybe if US companies hired more Americans, more Americans would train to engineers?

Also, where do you get that insane "information" about there not being enough home grown engineering talent?

Industrial Espionage (2, Interesting)

geoffrobinson (109879) | more than 3 years ago | (#34313898)

When I was working at a defense contractor, they would tell us in training about industrial espionage being a huge problem. And not just by other companies.

I would surmise that most American companies are blissfully unaware about the threat they face.

Ford designs? (1)

SvnLyrBrto (62138) | more than 3 years ago | (#34313986)

The government should be giving this guy a medal, not prosecuting him. By sending those designs and documents to China, he single-handedly set their automotive industry back by at lease a decade.

Good thing he didn't share a few music files (2, Funny)

bobgap (613856) | more than 3 years ago | (#34314006)

Or he'd REALLY get nailed, not the slap on the wrist he's getting1

Ford Secrets? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34314074)

Like what?
How to make a car that falls apart sitting in your driveway?
Or how to take a 2012 model car and make the interior of it look like a car's interior made in the 80's?
Or how to charge premium prices for sub-standard part's and quality?

Apparently for him... (1)

twoears (1514043) | more than 3 years ago | (#34314088)

Stealing was Job 1.

old news (2, Interesting)

Malenx (1453851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34314120)

This is how Chinese companies generally innovate, they steal the information so they don't have to invent it themselves. We were constantly trained to keep eyes out for people stealing confidential and classified information when I worked on some Air-force Systems. Even back then, we were told the greatest threat was people being bought out by the Chinese, the US government were already dealing with tons of them trying to steal military technology. They are so far behind, they would generally do anything to try and close the gap, since they couldn't invent it quick enough themselves.

You can bet there are many more Chinese spys - (3, Interesting)

HW_Hack (1031622) | more than 3 years ago | (#34314198)

- hard at work stealing our information and creative processes. People (that includes politicians + CEOs) just tend to forget that China is not some quaint country that has rules of law and enforces those laws. This is a state run government and economy - anything goes to enrich the state and acrue power. We've already sent most of our production machines over there - now they are coming back to collect any intellectual property they can grab as well.

They are starting to eat our lunch and will shortly just take our lunch money

And contrary to some comments -- Ford makes some damn fine vehicles -- I dearly miss my 2001 F-150 4x4 - great truck

Me so solly! Me so solly! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34314502)

Ah, so! Ah, so! Me frappy dickie!

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