Print 49 comment(s) - last by CommodoreVic20.. on Nov 9 at 6:22 PM

A former Intel employee who quit to work for AMD has been indicted in trade secrets theft

A federal grand jury has indicted a former Intel employee whom the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has accused of stealing trade secrets from the company.

Biswamohan Pani, 33, allegedly was found with more than 100 pages of Intel documents, with 13 "top secret" file also discovered inside his residence.  Intel put more than $1 billion of research and development money into the documents Pani stole, which includes future CPU designs.

"The indictment was not a surprise," said Bradford Bailey, Pani's attorney.  "We knew it was coming.  We will enter a plea of not guilty when an arraignment date is set, and he will vigorously contest the charges because he is innocent."

Pani submitted his resignation at Intel in May 2008, and planned on working until June 11, but began working for Advanced Micro Devices on June 2.  When he started his job at AMD, he still had an Intel laptop and access to the internal Intel network.

During a search of his home in early July, the FBI found eight different documents that were classified as "secret," "top secret" and "confidential."  AMD did not request he steal the information or knew anything about his actions, the federal government believes.

"AMD has not been accused of wrongdoing, and the FBI has stated that there is no evidence that AMD had any involvement in or awareness of Mr. Pani's alleged actions," AMD said in a statement published by the Associated Press.

According to Pani, he took the files to help his wife work on a project, who is currently employed by Intel.  Intel quickly pointed out the files would have served no use for his wife.

Pani now faces four counts of wire fraud and one count of theft of trade secrets.  He faces up to 10 years on the single count of theft of trade secrets and up to 20 years for each count of wire fraud.

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Back-asswards, much?
By HaZaRd2K6 on 11/6/2008 8:26:02 PM , Rating: 5
So they can, if they want, put this poor sap away for ninety years on wire fraud and theft of trade secrets charges, but someone who goes on a killing rampage gets 25?

Yeah, that makes sense.

RE: Back-asswards, much?
By DanoruX on 11/6/08, Rating: -1
RE: Back-asswards, much?
By quickk on 11/6/2008 9:40:57 PM , Rating: 5
So what you are saying is: a billion dollars > life?

RE: Back-asswards, much?
By Ratwar on 11/6/2008 9:57:25 PM , Rating: 5
Basically, yes. I mean, for example, the EPA values the life of American Citizens at $6.9 million dollars (source: ). If you believe the value of life is infinite, you haven't studied much risk management.

RE: Back-asswards, much?
By ShaolinSoccer on 11/7/08, Rating: -1
RE: Back-asswards, much?
By Ratwar on 11/7/2008 1:18:11 AM , Rating: 5
So, are you going to hand me a pamphlet now, or what?

RE: Back-asswards, much?
By afkrotch on 11/7/2008 5:32:30 AM , Rating: 5
6.7 billion ppl in the world. A few ppl dying, no big deal in my book. Even if I died tomorrow, it won't have much affect on the world.

Now a single life might be worth more than any amount of money in the universe, but be worth completely nothing to someone else. Like if you have a child. Worth a lot more to you than to me.

Man puts a money value on everything. From a paper clip, to a human's life. Even their mental well being has a value placed upon it.

RE: Back-asswards, much?
By Cerberus90 on 11/7/2008 7:54:38 AM , Rating: 5
I wouldn't mind if the stupid paper clip died!

Keep popping up asking me if I want help writing a letter.

RE: Back-asswards, much?
By paydirt on 11/7/2008 9:49:34 AM , Rating: 5
China regularly executes politicians and CEOs for much smaller thefts/damages. I think if it was done in the U.S., it certainly would set a tone. While perhaps not appropriate for this case... I do think that the Enron execs should have been executed. They caused billions of dollars worth of damages to people's life savings. I think that big players in mortgage fraud should hang and we could start at the ratings agencies who KNEW they were doing the wrong thing but did it anyway to make a buck. (they've admitted as much)

RE: Back-asswards, much?
By afkrotch on 11/7/2008 10:33:07 AM , Rating: 4
How about the lawyers that get thousands of dollars for thieves who hurt themselves on other's property, while breaking in. Sure wouldn't mind seeing them get hanged.

RE: Back-asswards, much?
By dever on 11/7/2008 12:11:10 PM , Rating: 2
Enron is child's play compared to the politicians who have received large donations from Fannie & Freddie while protecting it from regulation and allowing them to disrupt the mortgage market. Why aren't they brought to prosecuted?

RE: Back-asswards, much?
By elgueroloco on 11/9/2008 11:56:24 AM , Rating: 3
I totally agree. All the guys, including the Congressman and Senators, who are responsible for this Fannie Mae collapse and economic crisis should be arrested and charged with terrorism. They have done more damage to our nation than Al Qaeda did on 9/11, excluding the loss of life.

RE: Back-asswards, much?
By CommodoreVic20 on 11/9/2008 6:22:27 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed. These guys make 9/11 seem like childs play.

RE: Back-asswards, much?
By Mclendo06 on 11/7/2008 12:54:24 AM , Rating: 1
If you believe the value of life is infinite, you haven't studied much risk management.

Okay. Allow me to pose a hypothetical question to you to attempt to place a value on your life.

***Disclaimer*** This question is completely hypothetical and in no way should be interpreted as a threat or genuine offer. It is merely intended to make a point regarding placing a monetary value on human life. (I really don't want the FBI busting down my door)

Start Hypothetical Question

How much money would I have to give you (you only, it could not go to anyone else) for you to allow me to end your life?

End Hypothetical Question

The point of the question is that to you, from the ethical standpoint of personal rights, the value of your life surpasses any possible monetary value.

However, if utilitarianism is the ethical basis you reason from, then yes, monetary value can be placed on a life based on the cost of preserving that life imposed on others (the reason that we don't build trillion dollar airbag-encased highways with cars that drive themselves perfectly). But an individual's life is priceless to that individual in relation to any value of money or material things. Generally other items of intangible value (other life, country, etc.) are the only things that an individual will willing give up their life for.

RE: Back-asswards, much?
By Solandri on 11/7/2008 7:05:15 AM , Rating: 3
Start Hypothetical Question

How much money would I have to give you (you only, it could not go to anyone else) for you to allow me to end your life?

End Hypothetical Question

The point of the question is that to you, from the ethical standpoint of personal rights, the value of your life surpasses any possible monetary value.

That's not what it shows. Your question is structured so that it devalues money to where it is worthless. If you die, you can't use the money you receive, and so it becomes worthless. It doesn't show that life is priceless. It shows that after you die, money is worthless to you.

If you were to instead ask, "How much money would I have to give you for you to allow me to end your life in a year (or 10 years, or 50 years)?" you would get a better answer. Although it'd still be skewed because people by nature really suck at risk assessment (i.e. can't properly assess a certainty of dying in a year against the probability of dying within a year due to random chance).

RE: Back-asswards, much?
By Pavelyoung on 11/7/2008 10:09:10 AM , Rating: 2
Well lets see, I estimate about $20 million transfered to my swiss bank account before you're allowed to touch me :)

RE: Back-asswards, much?
By amanojaku on 11/6/2008 10:19:09 PM , Rating: 2
So what you are saying is: a billion dollars > life?

ANY amount of money is ALWAYS worth more than someone else's life! Alan Fishman shouldn't feel guilty that he made more money in three weeks at Washington Mutual than a bunch of laid off employees could hope to make in three years. And that AIG junket for the executives after the bailout? Hey, they deserved it! It's not THEIR fault the company is teetering on the brink of disaster.</sarcasm>

RE: Back-asswards, much?
By Calin on 11/7/2008 2:22:41 AM , Rating: 2
100 pages worth a billion dollars.
How much is Intel worth? I'd say, based on what I imagine (and pull out of my behind), less than a stack of paper 6 feet tall.

RE: Back-asswards, much?
By afkrotch on 11/7/2008 5:37:11 AM , Rating: 3
If AMD were to take those 100 pages and create processors that can easily topple even their latest offerings and Intel's marketshare, stocks, etcs start going down the drain, they can easily lose more than 1 bil. It would take a short while to recoup their loses.

RE: Back-asswards, much?
By eyebeeemmpawn on 11/7/2008 7:38:47 AM , Rating: 2
A Billion dollars according to Intel. I can't really understand why intel still allowed him access to their network after he had left the company. I have read that he was still on the intel payroll and was using his remaining vacation time. If the information was that valuable, it seems to me that intel IT may have dropped the ball, allowing access to sensitive data to a defecting employee.

Something makes me suspect that this is being hyped to smokescreen the unfair trade practice cases. <flame shields on>

RE: Back-asswards, much?
By radializer on 11/7/2008 9:47:12 PM , Rating: 2
A Billion dollars according to Intel. I can't really understand why intel still allowed him access to their network after he had left the company.

If you read the article, it states that he was scheduled to quit Intel on June 11 (and was probably not physically at work for the last 1~2 weeks using up his remaining vacation time - as you mentioned).

However, he started working for AMD on June 2 - at which point he was still an Intel employee, and this is the main issue. Traditionally, one wouldn't expect a company to yank your network access every time you go on vacation - you will have network privileges as long as you are an employee.

However, I agree that most companies in the tech sector seem to be more paranoid about such stuff (especially considering he had given notice of intent to leave) and I am surprised his access wasn't yanked anyway.

After all, it was Andy Grove who said that any company needs to have a healthy dose of paranoia.

RE: Back-asswards, much?
By amandahugnkiss on 11/6/2008 9:03:09 PM , Rating: 1
Sentences are not designed to be 'fair' or compared to one another, they are a punishment intended to be severe enough to prevent subsequent similar behavior. The effects of his actions could affect the entire industry and the livelihood of everyone working in the field, stock holders, etc... so his sentence is most likely going to be pretty heavy.

BTW, where the fuck did everyone get the idea that life is or should be fair? It seems like everytime there's a cyber/tech criminal case everyone jumps up and down comparing it to unrelated crimes and bitching about how it isn't fair, it didn't hurt this or that, nobody was killed...

RE: Back-asswards, much?
By B on 11/6/2008 9:25:31 PM , Rating: 4
Actually, there is supposed to be a sense of fairness in crime and punishment, it is one of the basic tenets of our judicial system. The concept is called retributive justice. While this concept has waxed and waned over the years, it has always had a presence in our judicial system.

Here is a brief excerpt from Wikipedia to illustrate, "In ethics and law "Let the punishment fit the crime" is the principle that the severity of penalty for a misdeed or wrongdoing should be reasonable and proportional to the severity of the infraction. The concept is common to most cultures throughout the world."."

RE: Back-asswards, much?
By joeindian1551 on 11/6/2008 10:48:50 PM , Rating: 3
You need to consider where they will be spending their time.

Minimum security Federal white collar prison
Federal Pound me in the ass prison.

RE: Back-asswards, much?
By Rodney McNaggerton on 11/7/2008 12:34:54 AM , Rating: 2
+1 for your ulta "pound me in the ass" combo

RE: Back-asswards, much?
By archermoo on 11/7/2008 1:57:23 PM , Rating: 2
Except that you aren't comparing apples to apples. He could conceivably get 90 years based on the charges. Someone going on a killing spree could conceivably get consecutive life sentences for each count. Neither is particularly likely to happen though.

"The Space Elevator will be built about 50 years after everyone stops laughing" -- Sir Arthur C. Clarke

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