Friday, May 14, 2010

Confessed Spy Convicted of Exporting U.S. Crypto Gear to China

wired.com

A Chinese national was convicted this week of smuggling and other charges over his efforts to acquire sensitive military and NSA-encryption gear from eBay and other internet sources.

Chi Tong Kuok, of Macau, told Defense Department and Customs investigators that he had been “acting at the direction of officials for the People’s Republic of China,” according to a government affidavit in the case. “Kuok indicated he and PRC officials sought the items to figure out ways to listen to or monitor U.S. government and military communications.”

Kuok was arrested at the Atlanta International Airport last year en route from Paris to Panama, where he planned to meet an undercover federal agent he believed was going to provide him with military radios. He was transferred to California and indicted (.pdf) for money laundering, conspiracy, smuggling and one count of attempting to export a defense article without a license. On Tuesday, a jury convicted him on all counts.

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