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spying

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San Jose man faces up to 30 years in prison for smuggling US aviation tech from NASA contractor to China

  • Jonathan Yet Wing Soong, 34, has been charged with smuggling and violating export control laws after allegedly sending sensitive aeronautics software to Beihang University, a public university in Beijing.
  • Beihang is included on the U.S. Department of Commerce’s strictly regulated “Entity List” due to its involvement in the Chinese government’s military rocket systems and unmanned air vehicle systems.
  • Despite reportedly being aware of Beihang’s inclusion on the list, Soong allegedly facilitated the sale and transfer of a software package called CIFER — used in the development of unmanned aircraft — when he worked as a program administrator for the nonprofit Universities Space Research Association (USRA), which is contracted by NASA.
  • A certain Beijing Rainbow Technical Development Ltd. allegedly functioned as an intermediary and sent Soong payment on behalf of Beihang.
  • If convicted, Soong faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison and more than $1 million in fines.

A man from San Jose, California, has been charged with smuggling and violating export control laws after allegedly sending sensitive aeronautics software to a public university in Beijing.

Jonathan Yet Wing Soong, 34, worked as a program administrator for the Universities Space Research Association (USRA) between April 2016 and September 2020. USRA is contracted by NASA to “distribute domestically and internationally sensitive aeronautics-related software developed through the Army’s Software Transfer Agreement (STA) program,” according to a news release published by the U.S. Department of Justice on Thursday.