NASA Image Processing Engineer Found Innocent of Spying, But Guilty of Downloading Porn
May 6, 2013 3:52 PM
Employee broke the law by downloading smut on his work laptop
Bo Jiang, a Chinese citizen, was one of 281 nationals from countries designated as security threats employed at the
U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration
. But following increased scrutiny by Congress and a month-long trip to China in December that raised red flags, Mr. Bo was fired from his Visual Information Processing lab position at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia -- on assignment from the
National Institute of Aerospace
(NIA). Mr. Bo was fired for violating agency security regulations by taking a NASA laptop and an NIA external hard drive with him on his trip.
Then in March, when Mr. Bo tried to leave the country for China, he was arrested at Dulles International Airport outside of Washington, D.C., suspected of violating the Arms Export Control Act (
22 USC § 39
Mr. Bo, who graduated with a doctorate from
Virginia’s Old Dominion University
in 2010 had been involved in retinex, a low clearance project working to development image improvement algorithms for space telescopes and other NASA cameras.
some past cases
where investigations confirmed suspicions of spying, a search of Mr. Bo's laptop showed that he was likely not passing NASA secrets to China, but that he
a different kind of image on his NASA laptop during his downtime. Investigators found unlawfully downloaded copyrighted movies and sexually explicit films on the work machine.
Mr. Bo faces up to five years in U.S. prison on the porn/copyright infringement charges. And when he does get out he likely won't be enjoying much adult entertainment;
nationwide firewall blockade on pornographic content
"We are going to continue to work with them to make sure they understand the reality of the Internet. A lot of these people don't have Ph.Ds, and they don't have a degree in computer science." -- RIM co-CEO Michael Lazaridis
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