Chinese “spy” caught with NASA laptop full of porn, not secrets

On March 16, in what appeared to be another case of Chinese espionage, FBI agents boarded a plane at Dulles International Airport to arrest Bo Jiang, a Chinese national with a doctorate in electrical engineering from Old Dominion University. Jiang, a former contractor at NASA's Langely Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, had recently been let go by his employer because of pressure from Republican congressman Frank Wolf of Virginia. Wolf had claimed Jiang and other Chinese engineers employed by NASA contractors were a security risk. And that day, it seemed so—Jiang had a NASA-owned laptop in his possession, and was on a plane back to China.

But it quickly became apparent that Jiang was at worst guilty of violating NASA policies. There was no evidence of any sensitive material on the laptop, and Jiang had not had clearance to such projects at Langley as an employee of the National Institute of Aerospace. Instead, investigators found, the laptop was loaded with pornography and pirated movies. Since he had lost his job and his work visa was expiring, Jiang simply was going home—with a little entertainment.
A press release issued by Wolf after the arrest and copy of Jiang's arrest warrant have since disappeared off the the congressman's website. In the release (cached by Google here), Wolf had said, "I am particularly concerned that (the) information (on Jiang's laptop) may pertain to the source code for high-tech imaging technology that Jiang has been working on with NASA. This information could have significant military applications for the Chinese Peoples Liberation Army."
According to a court filing today, Jiang will plead guilty to a misdemeanor for violating agency computer security rules. A charge of lying to the FBI about the laptop has been "resolved," according to the filings. There is no mention of charges regarding theft of government property.

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