Judge: Chinese engineer didn't spy on US

Judge: Chinese engineer didn't spy on US

Summary: U.S. judge finds former Motorola engineer Jin Hanjuan guilty of stealing trade secrets but not for spying on behalf of China after she was caught leaving country with over 1,000 of company's proprietary documents, report states.

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Former Motorola engineer Jin Hanjuan was found guilty of stealing industrial secrets but was cleared of any involvement in economic espionage for China by a U.S. district judge.

According to a Reuters article on Wednesday, District Judge Ruben Castillo found Jin guilty of three counts of stealing Motorola's trade secrets after she was charged with illegally downloading more than 1,000 of the company's proprietary documents onto her computer and other forms of digital storage before attempting to board a flight to Beijing, China, on a one-way ticket on Feb. 28, 2007.

She was, however, cleared of being part of a much broader Chinese-run industrial spying effort against the United States, the report stated. Prosecutors had alleged that she intended to share the trade secrets with Sun Kaisens, a Chinese telecommunications company and supplier to the Chinese military that she moonlighted for, it noted.

The case was scheduled for sentencing on Apr. 18, and Jin could face a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment on each of the guilty counts, Reuters added.

"Motorola Solutions appreciates the significant efforts the government devoted to prosecuting this case and securing this verdict," the company said in a statement.

Reports of China-initiated espionage activities against the U.S. have been growing recently. Last December, U.S. officials said China-based hackers were responsible for attacks that spanned a decade, targeting 760 companies, research universities, Internet service providers (ISPs) and government agencies.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce was also victim of online attacks by Chinese hackers that same month, allowing perpetrators access to everything on the systems including information on its three million members, an earlier report stated.

Topics: IT Employment, Legal, Security

Ellyne Phneah

About Ellyne Phneah

Elly grew up on the adrenaline of crime fiction and it spurred her interest in cybercrime, privacy and the terror on the dark side of IT. At ZDNet Asia, she has made it her mission to warn readers of upcoming security threats, while also covering other tech issues.

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  • Spying is really a bad habit . it should be banned
    saira12