Monday, April 9, 2012

Former Intel Employee Stealing Top Secret Documents

Story first appeared on CIO

A former Intel employee has pleaded guilty to stealing confidential documents from the company, according to court records.

The employee has pleaded guilty to five counts relating to the illegal download of confidential documents from Intel's servers, according to a plea agreement entered last week between the employee and the U.S. Attorney for the District of Massachusetts.  An Intellectual Property Lawyer in Boston has been following the case.

An employee of Intel's Massachusetts Microprocessor Development Center, working on the design of Itanium processors, is said to have resigned from Intel on May 29, 2008, and took leave from Intel up to June 11, purportedly to use accrued vacation time.

The employee, however joined Intel's rival Advanced Micro Devices on June 2, while still on Intel's payroll, and continuing to have access to Intel's servers. He returned to Intel on June 11 for an exit interview on what was to be his last day at Intel, according to his indictment in 2008.

From June 8 through June 11, the employee downloaded 13 "top secret" Intel design documents from the company's servers in California, according to the indictment. He copied them from his Intel-issued laptop to an external drive to have access to the documents after he returned the laptop to Intel. He is said to have tried to access the servers again around June 13 after he found that he could not access the documents offline because he had not completed the procedure required for viewing the encrypted documents offline.

AMD neither requested the information that had been downloaded and kept from Intel, nor knew that the employee had taken or would take the information, according to the indictment. The employee is said to have downloaded the documents to further his career at AMD or someplace else when the opportunity arose.  A Boston Copyright Lawyer states that this not only falls under Intellectual Property Law but could also be violating Copyright Laws.

In the filing before the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts last week, the U.S. Attorney recommended six years of incarceration to the court, instead of the maximum of 20 years on each count, because among other things the government has no evidence that he used, sold, transferred, or offered the proprietary information, or any direct evidence of specifically how he intended to use the information.

For more technology related news, visit the Electronics America blog.
For more law related news, visit the Nation of Law blog.