Chi Mak

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Chi Mak (Chinese: 麥大志, pinyin: Mài Dàzhì) is a naturalized American citizen who worked as an engineer for California-based defense contractor Power Paragon, a part of L-3 Communications.[1] In 2007, Mak was found guilty of conspiring to export sensitive defense technology to China.[2]

Mak's defense was that he thought there was nothing improper about allowing the paper to leave the U.S. He had presented it at a 2004 international engineering conference.[2] He had been briefed every year on regulations regarding documents designated "For Official Use Only" (FOUO)[3] and items restricted by export controls. His defense argued that making the data accessible to scrutiny by the general public negated its military value and made it acceptable to transport outside the United States. The defense also argued that the data was in the public domain.[4][5][6]

The prosecution indicated that the data was nevertheless export-controlled and that it should not have been shared with foreign nationals without authorization.[2] The IEEE presentations cited by prosecution in the trial [7] are currently available on a worldwide basis.[8][9]

The trial of Dongfan Chung for economic espionage started in June, 2009, presided over by the same judge who handled the Chi Mak case.

Mak's brother and sister-in-law were apprehended by the FBI after boarding a flight to Hong Kong carrying three encrypted CDs which contained defense-related documents.[10] They, along with their son as well as Mak's wife, all pled guilty to related charges.

On March 24, 2008 he was sentenced to 24½ years in federal prison.[11]

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