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Chinese Man May Be Guilty of Stealing NASA Secrets

Mar 19, 2013 03:56 PM EDT
NASA hosts face-to-face interaction with astronauts aboard ISS using Google+ Hangout.
(Photo : Reuters)

On Monday the FBI arrested a NASA employee reportedly suspected of smuggling confidential military secrets and rocket technology into China.

The man, Bo Jiang, had bought a one-way ticket to Beijing and was caught carrying hard drives, flash drives and computers.

Whether or not they contained sensitive material has yet to be announced. However, Jiang is reportedly connected to a Chinese institution currently listed by the White House as an "entity of concern," according to Fox News.

Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va, is the chairman of the House Appropriations subcommittee charged with NASA's funding. During a press conference on March 7, Wolf addressed the issue as a broader problem of cyber espionage and other forms of data theft conducted by other countries, but "especially by China."

Wolf said his congressional office computers were "targeted and attacked by the Chinese in 2006" and that the subject of Chinese cyber espionage is a discussion that is "long overdue."

He cited such theft as a threat to U.S. job creation and investment in technology and innovation.

"In recent years, government officials have testified how untold billions of dollars' worth of U.S. trade secrets have been stolen by China and other foreign states," he said. "This has a real and corrosive impact not just on our national security, but also on our ability to compete and grow our economy. The result of this theft is fewer jobs for American workers."

Jiang is currently being held in custody for lying to FBI investigators regarding the electronic devices he was carrying (investigators found a laptop, hard drive and SIM card Jiang had claimed were not there).

Jiang made his first court appearance on March 18.

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