U.S. says accused thief of Apple secrets had a classified Patriot missile file

Peter Blumberg and Robert Burnson for Bloomberg News:

When U.S. prosecutors charged an Apple Inc. engineer [Jizhong Chen] in January with stealing trade secrets for a Chinese startup, a search of his home turned up something else, they said: a classified file from the Patriot missile program that belonged to his ex-employer, Raytheon Co.

The Patriot document was discovered among numerous electronic devices and paper files from Chen’s former employers including General Electric — some of which were stamped “confidential,” according to prosecutors.

Chen, a U.S. citizen who was arrested on his way to catch a flight to China, is awaiting trial on charges that he collected photos, schematics and manuals from his work on Apple’s tightly guarded self-driving car project as he prepared to take a job with an unidentified rival.

The 2011 document relating to one of Raytheon’s best-known weapons was so secret that it “was not (and is not) permitted to be maintained outside of Department of Defense secured locations,” prosecutors said in an Oct. 29 filing that hasn’t previously been reported on by the media. Chen “has, for over eight years, illegally possessed classified national security materials taken from a former employer.”

MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote back in January, “Most anyone who works at major U.S. company has similar tales of IP theft, publicly reported or not.”

China’s Theft of American Innovation by Diane Upchurch, W. Ryan Kennedy, and Connor Hagan for Arkansas Business, December 9, 2019:

What the Chinese cannot create on their own, they steal. Whether it is through high-tech means or simply grabbing a handful of proprietary grains, the People’s Republic of China has consistently proven that what they lack in creativity and innovation, they make up for in outright theft… The simple fact is that the threat to American intellectual property worsens every day because of the actions of the Chinese government.

The U.S. Department of Treasury estimates that Chinese theft of intellectual property costs our nation between $225 billion and $600 billion a year. Universities represent especially attractive targets. As China continues to steal our scientific innovations and intellectual property, we will continue to counter their dishonest actions, and we urge American entities to remain vigilant.

When it comes to U.S. critical infrastructure, approximately 90% is in the hands of the private sector. We urge every American business and institution that is involved with proprietary or classified innovations and intellectual property to assess its physical and cybersecurity policies and procedures. We would also encourage them to assess or develop an insider threat program to ensure you are protecting your interests — and our nation’s security.

Diane Upchurch is the special agent in charge of the FBI’s Little Rock division, where W. Ryan Kennedy is a supervisory special agent and Connor Hagan is a public affairs specialist.

5 Comments

  1. Just look around you. Nearly everything you are near or percoeve is classified in some way, whether it os governmental or Capitalist corporate. Even your very own identity as collected by listening devices and trackers is restricted by proprietary claims. So this news is just hair on fire, inflammatory.

    Rendering so mich stuff classified makes classification itself nearly meaningless. It serves the modern day slavemaster to mearly no end by restricting the lives of normal folks more and more. At some point, the top heavyness of restrictive laws and collected data will topple to open up rhe dawn of a new enlightened age of justice and basic freedom.

  2. So this investigation trump is taking credit for started long ago.

    “The 2011 document relating to one of Raytheon’s best-known weapons was so secret that it “was not (and is not) permitted to be maintained outside of Department of Defense secured locations,” prosecutors said in an Oct. 29 filing that hasn’t previously been reported on by the media. Chen “has, for over eight years, illegally possessed classified national security materials taken from a former employer.”

    Got it.

    And haters gotta hate.

    1. “So this investigation trump is taking credit for started long ago.” If the previous administration had continued, we would probably never heard of this evidence of spying at all.

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