US jails Chinese crypto smuggler

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US jails Chinese crypto smuggler

Defence goodies in bag.

A Chinese citizen was on Monday sentenced to eight years imprisonment by a US court for attempting to smuggle encryption and global position system technologies out of the country.

The court heard that Chi Tong Kuok, who was arrested in 2009, had sought data controller components used by US and NATO forces to route communications data.

The device was made by Californian US defence contractor, Viasat.

Kuok's attempt had been thwarted after he had contacted a UK contractor to Viasat to buy the components.

The contractor contacted the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), which began an under cover investigation into Kuok's activities.

Kuok had attempted to acquire a data transfer device used by US and NATO militaries to load encryption software in communications devices, such as tactical radios, according to a statement by the Californian States Attorney Office.

"The encryption software, in turn, allows the radios to communicate securely," it said.

Undercover ICE agents and the Defense Criminal Investigative Service had conducted a two year investigation [PDF] on Kuok.

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