Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Chinese National Arrested For Source Code Theft

Thomas Claburn writes on InformationWeek:

A Chinese citizen on a work visa in the United States was arrested by the FBI last week for allegedly revealing proprietary software code owned by his unidentified U.S. employer to a Chinese government agency.

Yan Zhu, 31, of Lodi, N.J. -- also known as "Westerly Zhu" -- was arrested on charges of theft of trade secrets, conspiracy, wire fraud, and theft of honest services fraud.

"Crimes of this nature do not get much public attention," FBI Special Agent in Charge Weysan Dun said in a statement. "No one is shot, there is no crime scene, no prominent public figures are involved. However, this is an act of economic violence -- a paper crime that robs the victim company of the resources they expended to develop a product."

Dun said that white-collar crimes of this sort are clearly dangerous to America's economic infrastructure. "If American dollars are spent on research and development of a product, and then that product or research is taken without any compensation to American companies, the value of American companies and American products is significantly reduced in the global marketplace," he said.

David Schafer, the assistant federal public defender representing Zhu, declined to comment or to identify Zhu's former U.S. employer.

More here.


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