Ex-Google Engineer Arrested For Trading AI Secrets With China-based Firms

One of the Google’s ex-software engineer has been arrested for stealing secret information from the company and helping two Chinese companies.

38-year-old Linwei Ding was arrested in his home in Newark, California, and is linked with four charges of theft of trade secrets. Each of these four counts carries a possible imprisonment for up to ten years and a $250,000 fine.

Allegedly, Ding shared confidential details from Google’s network to his account and exploited them while aiding two Beijing-based companies in the AI sector. Further, Ding has been accused of stealing more than 500 restricted files.

The Justice Department will not tolerate the theft of artificial intelligence and other advanced technologies that could put our national security at risk,

said US Attorney General Merrick Garland.

He added,

We will fiercely protect sensitive technologies developed in America from falling into the hands of those who should not have them.

According to the charges, Ding joined Google in 2019 and participated in a project related to software development for the ones used in Google’s supercomputing data centers. Ding has been accused of transferring classified information to a self-owned cloud account between May 2022 and 2023.

The theft includes files having information on Google’s hardware and the software program that Google uses to train Artificial intelligence models through machine learning.

The charge mentions that Ding was contacted by the CEO of a Chinese tech startup, where he was offered the position of chief technology officer. Not only this, Ding also founded his own China-based company and declared himself as its CEO.

The US Justice Department’s law enforcement leaders have expressed concern about Chinese agencies’ and companies’ espionage that could harm the nation’s security. Moreover, the utilization of AI technologies to negatively impact the United States can also not be neglected.