Even worse, they probably violated copyright restrictions and deprived some poor artist of their deserved royalties

China reportedly received ship data hidden in music files

Chi Mak, a former senior electrical engineer at Paragon Power, an Anaheim, California-based subsidiary of defense contractor L-3 Communications, was arrested, as was his wife, brother, and sister-in-law. He is accused of bringing sensitive defense documents to his brother, who would then encrypt them within music CD files and deliver them to China.

Tai Mak and his wife were arrested Oct. 28, with an encrypted disc in their luggage. Chi Mak and his wife were arrested later in the day. The brothers are still being held, and have not been permitted to leave the United States. The filings say Chi Mak has admitted passing at least some of that information on to the Chinese military, which had previously sent him a “task list” of the kind of information they wanted.

Power Paragon has 200 contracts with the U.S. military, including the project that Chi Mak helped to lead: Quiet Electric Drive for Navy propulsion systems. The Navy is hoping to use electric drive on its next class of Navy destroyers, the DD(X).

The documents Chi allegedly took from his employer were not considered classified. That is, they were not top secret, secret, or confidential. Still, they were considered “NOFORN,” meaning no foreign nationals were allowed to look at them.

This being the case, maybe we should consider immediately scrapping the DD(X) program. (Rats! Oh, well. It was worth a shot…)

In Chi Mak’s apartment were documents related to a number of other programs, many of which neither he nor Paragon Power were directly involved with.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Mak acknowledges passing information about:
  • the electrical distribution system for Virginia-class subs
  • circuit breaker systems for Virginia-class subs
  • electromagnetic launch systems for aircraft carriers
  • the Aegis radar system used on Navy destroyers
  • reports on Navy battleship survivability.

I’d say door #4, the AEGIS radar system information, is probably the most worrisome. Especially if you’re Taiwanese. Assuming this is legit, let’s hope they’ve got a solid case and really nail these guys.

And to DD(X) fans who might ask why I had no snarky remarks about not re-activating battleships now that information about their survivability has been leaked to the Chinese: I haven’t seen the document, but I imagine it says “Real damn survivable. I mean, really, really survivable. When planes with bombs crashed into them, they cleaned up the mess with a broom and a can of gray paint. Use the missiles on other ships.”


  1. I was under the impression tat the last two ships built by China had a copy of the Aegis system, so that must have been transferred a long time ago, right? How long has this guy been busy?

  2. I am more worried about the electromagnetic launch systems for aircraft carrier, as China attempts to have plans to build one. According to Chinese military official, China has admited to have a plan to build their own. In the long run, this could increase the capabilities of the Navy with CV aircrafts to reach out to the seas, and threat US, directly and indirectly.

  3. Personally I believe, as I have for a long time, that due to the mentality that the Chinese State has instilled into its people they are unable to think freely and invent. (this btw, as I have mentioned in prior comments in other posts, is down to the fact I heard it from a guy I know who is an inventor and lectures on it, who went to China to help kids – with his wife who is a nurse) This is obvious as they are buying up all the old soviet equipment, even their Aircraft Carrier, with rumours that they need it to understand the structure, so they can build their own. We just need to be very vigilant as to who works on our programs. Other than that I think if they keep up their ‘we dont ask any questions’ mentality, we should be safe.

  4. The Chinese do not need to steal eltromagnetic launch system technology, all they need to do is to buy a electronmagnetic roller coaster.

  5. Sorry for the late response. If there is one bright lining in all of this it is that, like the late Al Capone (who could not be convicted of mob activities, but was convicted of tax evasion), it might be easier to get the lessor conviction regarding copyright violations and go after the spying stuff later.

  6. Original charges against Chi Mak et al have been dropped. Government’s petition to hold without bail has been denied. It seems the prosecution have lied on so many things, it’s beginning to smell like another Wen Ho Lee. – no classified document; not about weapons at all – files were not encripted in music; It’s zipped for size – no such list from China asking for data – map of Knolls Atomic Lab turned out to be a hotel map from an old visit – wiretap showed Chi Mak had no interested in the broken down Mak ancestrial home in Hong Kong With no charge to nail the sister in-law, prosecution have trumped up a ‘fake marriage’ charge, insinuating she whored herself out. Shame on us America: http://www.smdailyjournal.com/article_preview.php?id=51289 http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-chi19jan19,0,6387915.story