Cheat-Seeking Missles

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Trial Of Chinese Spy Starts Today

A couple months ago, I got out of federal jury duty at the Ronald Reagan federal courthouse in Santa Ana because the trial, anticipated to take 8 weeks, would be too financially harmful to our company. Now I wonder ... would I have been on this jury?
China's efforts to use spying to gain U.S. military technology will get a close look during the trial of a Chinese-born defense contractor set to begin today near Los Angeles.

Chi Mak, an electrical engineer who worked on some of the U.S. Navy's most sensitive high-tech weapons, goes on trial in a federal court in Santa Ana, Calif., on charges of conspiracy to export U.S. defense secrets to China, possession of property in aid of a foreign government and failure to register as a foreign agent. ...

Officials said that in 2001, Chi Mak gave his brother key details of the Navy's SPY-1 phased array radar, the heart of the Aegis battle management system used on almost all Navy warships. Tai Mak, a Phoenix Television engineer, was described by officials as a courier who passed the technology to China.

Chi Mak also was involved in developing the Navy's Quiet Electric Drive, a stealth-related technology for the next generation of warships. (WashTimes)
That's a trial I would love to be on. Then I'd write a jury member tell-all book about it!

Don't count on TV trucks to be ringing the courthouse during this trial. No sex. No blood. No celebrities. Nothing important here, folks, just our national security. Indeed, today's OC Register is mum on the trial -- and only ran a couple stories over the long run-up to today.

C-SM readers will recall that 43% of California employees with graduate degrees are immigrants. Many of them are working in research facilities and for military contractors throughout the state, and it's a good bet there are more Chi Maks out there, feeding the Chinese, or the Russians, or the Iranians with information they should not have.

Federal prosecutors will no doubt present a good case based on lots of evidence gathered since Chi Mak came onto their radar screen. But that's hardly the point here, is it?

Because so many of our research jobs are going to people from other countries, our government needs to step up its monitoring of these people to catch the spies before they can pass on secrets as valuable as Aegis battle management systems and quiet drives for warships. Will that mean stepping on their rights? You bet.

Step away. No more Chi Maks!

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