Author Topic: NASA Contractor Arrested for Espionage. NTRS taken Offline  (Read 49126 times)

Online Blackstar

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Has the NTRS server been shut down because of this?

http://wolf.house.gov/press-releases/wolf-chinese-national-potentially-involved-in-nasa-langley-security-violations/

"Second: NASA should immediately take down all publicly available technical data sources until all documents that have not been subjected to export control review have received such a review and all controlled documents are removed from the system."

Online Galactic Penguin SST

Well NTRS has not been the most stable server in the world for a long time - it used to be hit or miss. Although this request can explain it as well.  ::)
Chinese spaceflight is a cosmic riddle wrapped in a galactic mystery inside an orbital enigma... - (not) Winston Churchill

Offline shuttlelegs

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i hope not. This site is a gold mine for that little bit more information on any subject regarding space. i check it every day to see if anything new has been added.

Offline spectre9

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The problems might've been related to cyber attacks?

I didn't think there was anything ITAR on there anyway? What's with the sudden paranoia?

Offline iamlucky13

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* EDIT - merged with Blackstar's thread. *

http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/lawmaker-calls-for-nasa-data-review-after-scientist-arrested-383640/

Quote
NASA appears to have blocked public access to a server containing thousands of technical documents amidst charges by one US lawmaker over lapses of security involving a Chinese national

NTRS does indeed appear to be offline. All of the other NASA sites I've tried still work, including PDS.

The details in the article don't appear to support Representative Wolf's apparent demand to take down NASA's public technical information.

Obviously, the suspicion is that Bo Jiang had non-public information. The Chinese could have gotten anything they want from NTRS at their leisure, just like the rest of us can.

Although possibility of lax hiring criteria sounds credible, unless the evidence leading up to or found due to Bo Jiang's arrest indicates there is improperly released information on NTRS, taking down NTRS strikes me as an over-reaction.

There's more details here:
http://news.discovery.com/human/was-chinese-scientist-a-spy-at-nasa-130318.htm
« Last Edit: 03/20/2013 01:10 AM by iamlucky13 »

Online Galactic Penguin SST

Won't comment too much on this, except to note that Wolf is again playing the typical Chinese over-drama card....  >:( (even when I have almost no sympathy for the Chinese government, I must say!)

Did Wolf oppose the measures to relax the ITAR regulations a few months earlier?
« Last Edit: 03/20/2013 01:11 AM by Galactic Penguin SST »
Chinese spaceflight is a cosmic riddle wrapped in a galactic mystery inside an orbital enigma... - (not) Winston Churchill

Offline Robotbeat

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Cutting off your nose to spite your face.
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To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline jkumpire

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Is he?

http://washingtonexaminer.com/doj-defense-contractor-shared-nuclear-defense-secrets-with-young-chinese-lover/article/2524768

Justice Department officials say that a former Army officer and current defense contractor spent the better part of the last two years sharing top secret information about U.S. missile defense and nuclear weapons with a young woman from China.

The 59-year-old Benjamin Pierce Bishop, who works out of Hawaii, also violated policy by hiding his “romantic relationship” with the 27-year-old woman, DOJ says.

“According to the affidavit, the national defense information that Bishop passed to [the woman] included information relating to nuclear weapons; information on planned deployment of U.S. strategic nuclear systems; information on the ability of the United States to detect low- and medium-range ballistic missiles of foreign governments; and information on the deployment of U.S. early warning radar systems in the Pacific Rim,” the Justice Department announced yesterday.


The alleged leaks took place between May of 2011 and December 2012, according to DOJ, while the “romantic relationship” supposedly began in June 2011.

The charge comes just days after President Obama decided to deploy 14 additional missile interceptors on the Pacific Rim in response to North Korea’s threat that it will attack the United States of sanctions levied against its nuclear weapons program.

China criticized the defense move. “All measures seeking to increase military capacities will only intensify antagonism and will not help to solve the problem,” Chinese Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said, per The Washington Times.

Bishop faces 20 years in prison for the charges “one count of willfully communicating national defense information to a person not entitled to receive such information and one count of unlawfully retaining documents related to the national defense.”
« Last Edit: 03/20/2013 02:14 AM by jkumpire »

Offline jkumpire

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Maybe they shouldn't take the site down, but doggone it once in a while there's a problem, and it's not just some Congressional Republican crying wolf (no pun intended of course :) ).

Offline iamlucky13

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Is he?

http://washingtonexaminer.com/doj-defense-contractor-shared-nuclear-defense-secrets-with-young-chinese-lover/article/2524768

Is he what?

Is he getting classified information from NTRS?

So far no evidence has been produced to that effect. In fact, apparently no one has even claimed as much, including Rep. Wolf as far as I've seen.

Is he abusing his position to compromise classified information obtained elsewhere? Nobody here seems to be challenging that accusation.

It doesn't look like a congressman crying wolf. It looks like a congressman who, when the farmhand caught a wolf, decided to punish the sheep.

Offline Lar

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Re: NASA Contractor Arrested for Espionage. NTRS taken Offline
« Reply #10 on: 03/20/2013 03:00 AM »
Let's hope he stole the SLS plans... should set the chinese back DECADES. :)

But ya, taking NTRS down seems overreactive. Representative Wolf's press release makes it sound like he singlehandedly stopped the espionage. Please.
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Offline Robotbeat

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Re: NASA Contractor Arrested for Espionage. NTRS taken Offline
« Reply #11 on: 03/20/2013 03:01 AM »
Yeah, this is stupid. Leaks of classified information happen through the usual ways, like leaking details to a love interest. Rep. Wolf MUST understand that shooting an unrelated bystander (NTRS) is not going to increase national security but will probably hurt it by reducing the ability of Americans to learn about aerospace.

And it's simply wrong to do this sort of thing. Rep. Wolf is incredibly irresponsible here.
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Online Galactic Penguin SST

Let's hope he stole the SLS plans... should set the chinese back DECADES. :)

But ya, taking NTRS down seems overreactive. Representative Wolf's press release makes it sound like he singlehandedly stopped the espionage. Please.

<OT> Sorry, too late!  ;D It's called the CZ-9. Mind you, it should stay in the .pptx / .pdf stage for at least several years, but even if the Chinese get it fly in the 2030's, that isn't too far behind the SLS.... </OT>
« Last Edit: 03/20/2013 03:16 AM by Galactic Penguin SST »
Chinese spaceflight is a cosmic riddle wrapped in a galactic mystery inside an orbital enigma... - (not) Winston Churchill

Online Orbiter

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Re: NASA Contractor Arrested for Espionage. NTRS taken Offline
« Reply #13 on: 03/20/2013 03:32 AM »
This is ludicrous. Wolf acts like he's trying to stop China from landing on Mars next summer by starting a witch-hunt at NASA and it's hardly the first time he's done something like this. He passed a clause in 2011 to prohibit any further NASA/Chinese collaboration that ended up banning journalists from China to the STS-134 launch.
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Offline QuantumG

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Re: NASA Contractor Arrested for Espionage. NTRS taken Offline
« Reply #14 on: 03/20/2013 03:47 AM »
Which many at NASA have willfully ignored..

He's not just making this stuff up. China *is* engaged in a widespread industry espionage program.
I hear those things are awfully loud. It glides as softly as a cloud. What's it called? Monowhale!

Online Galactic Penguin SST

Which many at NASA have willfully ignored..

He's not just making this stuff up. China *is* engaged in a widespread industry espionage program.


True, but you'd thought that someone would have checked the documents for ITAR before putting them up on NTRS. And I doubt that the Chinese can filtrate someone on this position....
Chinese spaceflight is a cosmic riddle wrapped in a galactic mystery inside an orbital enigma... - (not) Winston Churchill

Offline QuantumG

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Re: NASA Contractor Arrested for Espionage. NTRS taken Offline
« Reply #16 on: 03/20/2013 03:55 AM »
True, but you'd thought that someone would have checked the documents for ITAR before putting them up on NTRS. And I doubt that the Chinese can filtrate someone on this position....

IIRC there's no requirement to do so. That's the problem.

I agree that it's completely unrelated to this case. Wolf is just striking when the iron is hot.
« Last Edit: 03/20/2013 03:55 AM by QuantumG »
I hear those things are awfully loud. It glides as softly as a cloud. What's it called? Monowhale!

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: NASA Contractor Arrested for Espionage. NTRS taken Offline
« Reply #17 on: 03/20/2013 04:05 AM »
You know, I read Wolf's statement, and it doesn't appear there's anything really damning about the contractor's story so far. Federal agents caught him up by asking him questions (moral of the story is to not answer questions without a lawyer except with "I'm not sure..." If you answer incorrectly, you can get arrested, even if all you did was forget... If it's "consensual," they don't have to read you your rights.). And no, NASA doesn't just willy-nilly put sensitive stuff on NTRS.

Wolf acts like every single Chinese person is obviously going to be a spy. In academia, there are countless Chinese students with access to University Libraries and journal articles, oh the horror!
« Last Edit: 03/20/2013 04:16 AM by Robotbeat »
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline QuantumG

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Re: NASA Contractor Arrested for Espionage. NTRS taken Offline
« Reply #18 on: 03/20/2013 04:11 AM »
moral of the story is to not answer questions without a lawyer

Agreed. Don't talk to the police!

Quote
And no, NASA doesn't just willy-nilly put sensitive stuff on NTRS.

Never said they did.
I hear those things are awfully loud. It glides as softly as a cloud. What's it called? Monowhale!

Offline joek

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Re: NASA Contractor Arrested for Espionage. NTRS taken Offline
« Reply #19 on: 03/20/2013 04:18 AM »
True, but you'd thought that someone would have checked the documents for ITAR before putting them up on NTRS. And I doubt that the Chinese can filtrate someone on this position....

For new documents I might see additional vetting.  For anything that was out there publicly accessible on any site of interest to China they undoubtedly have a copy, and taking it out of circulation now is closing the gates after the horse left.

IIRC there's no requirement to do so. That's the problem.

Actually there is ... <rant>This sounds like typical ITAR clasified containment rules crap.  I, as a U.S. citizen, could be thrown in jail if I provide you (a foreigner) something that is ITAR controlled (information, parts, whatever), regardless of provider--even if it came from a non-ITAR controlled source yet which is available to you from other (foreign providers) who are not under ITAR control.</rant>  With which I'll cease, as that discussion belongs in the policy section.

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