US scientist jailed for sharing sensitive data

From Nature News (Nature 460, 163; 8 July 2009):

A former University of Tennessee professor has been sentenced to four years in prison for sharing sensitive technologies with his Chinese and Iranian graduate students.

J. Reece Roth, an emeritus professor of electrical engineering, was sentenced on 1 July by a Tennessee district court for violating the Arms Export Control Act. He had been developing ways to reduce the drag on unmanned planes, and employed two research assistants without obtaining the required licence (see Nature 442, 232–233; 2006). Roth plans to appeal the verdict.

In a separate case, a Chinese-born scientist who has lived in the United States for 23 years is suing the US government for rights violations for expelling him last year from the NASA Ames Research Center, California.

Haiping Su, a US citizen who received his doctorate in 1991 from Kansas State University in Manhattan, alleged in a case filed on 24 June in a San Jose federal court that a 2007 security badge-issuing process led to his illegal ousting.

Su was working on airborne systems for imaging forests. His attorneys say he had no involvement with classified material.


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