DoJ costs former Apple engineer with stealing autonomous automobile secrets and techniques

A former Apple engineer has been charged by the US Division of Justice (DoJ) for stealing commerce secrets and techniques regarding autonomous vehicles.

The indictment was unsealed by a federal court docket in California, revealing the case as a part of a broader crackdown on efforts by hostile nation-states to illicitly purchase delicate US expertise for their very own functions.

The accused particular person, Weibao Wang, was employed by Apple in 2016 as a software program engineer for his or her autonomous driving undertaking often called Venture Titan.

After working for 18 months on the undertaking, Wang accepted a job provide from a Chinese language firm concerned in autonomous driving. The indictment alleges that Wang failed to tell Apple of his departure till 4 months later.

In keeping with the DOJ, it was found that Wang had accessed important quantities of delicate proprietary and confidential info throughout the days main as much as his departure from Apple in 2018.

A subsequent search of Wang’s residence in Mountain View, California, revealed a considerable cache of Apple’s information. On the identical day, Wang flew from San Francisco to Guangzhou on a one-way ticket.

Weibao Wang now faces six costs associated to stealing or trying to steal commerce secrets and techniques. Every rely carries a possible jail sentence of as much as 10 years and fines of as much as $250,000.

This case is a part of a collaborative effort by authorities businesses, together with the ‘Disruptive Expertise Strike Power’ led by the DoJ and Division of Commerce to fight the unauthorised acquisition of US expertise by hostile nation-states.

“Defending delicate American expertise—like supply code for ‘good’ automotive manufacturing tools or gadgets used to develop quantum cryptography—from being illegally acquired by our adversaries is why we stood up the Disruptive Expertise Strike Power,” mentioned Matthew Axelrod, assistant secretary for export enforcement on the Division of Commerce.

“The Strike Power actions introduced right now mirror the core mission of our Export Enforcement workforce—retaining our nation’s most delicate applied sciences out of the world’s most harmful fingers.”

Along with Wang’s case, the collaboration has additionally resulted in costs towards alleged procurement networks aiding:

  • The Russian army and intelligence providers
  • A software program engineer accused of stealing commerce secrets and techniques for a Chinese language competitor
  • A Chinese language community trying to offer supplies for Iran’s nuclear weapons program

The crackdown on commerce secret theft is a vital step in defending delicate US expertise from being exploited by overseas entities for their very own achieve.

By prosecuting people concerned in such actions, the US authorities goals to discourage others and safeguard nationwide safety and financial pursuits.

This huge-scale collaborative effort between authorities businesses underscores the seriousness of the difficulty and the dedication to guard beneficial US expertise from unauthorised acquisition by overseas entities.

(Photograph by De an Solar on Unsplash)

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  • Ryan Daws

    Ryan is a senior editor at TechForge Media with over a decade of expertise masking the newest expertise and interviewing main business figures. He can usually be sighted at tech conferences with a powerful espresso in a single hand and a laptop computer within the different. If it is geeky, he’s most likely into it. Discover him on Twitter (@Gadget_Ry) or Mastodon (

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