The US Department of Justice (DOJ) has accused a former Apple engineer of stealing self-driving car secrets from the Californian tech giant before fleeing to China. The case is one of five brought by a new DOJ taskforce working to prevent foreign governments from accessing critical US tech.
The accused worked secretly for a rival China-based firm while still at Apple. They downloaded reams of sensitive data in his final days at Apple, and got a ticket to China just hours after telling the feds he had no such plans.
The accused has remained in China since then (2018), but could face decades in prison if (and that’s a yuuuge if) he’s ever extradited back to the US.
And this isn’t exactly a one-off. According to a recent report by the Center for Strategic and International Studies:
· It’s the third time an ex-Apple employee has faced similar charges
· US firms have sued Chinese rivals for IP theft 1,200 times since 2000, and
· There’ve been at least 120 reported instances of China itself conducting espionage against the US to acquire commercial tech.
From The Shadows Emerges Knowledge