back to article FBI electronics nerd confesses: I fed spy tech blueprints to China

A veteran FBI geek funneled sensitive information about the Feds to the Chinese government – and now faces years behind bars. Kun Shan "Joey" Chun, 46, sent organizational charts and photographs of spying technology to a handler in the Middle Kingdom, while working as an electronics technician in a New York FBI office. Chun …

  1. toughluck


    I just love this part. I do understand that it's his attorney speaking, but seriously, this statement is an insult to all Americans:

    The truth is that Mr Chun loves the United States and never intended to cause it any harm. He hopes to put this matter behind him and move forward with his life.

    If it were barely 50 years ago, he'd be executed for treason (either officially, or would be found dead after committing suicide with a rifle to the back, firing three series of shots).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Riiiight

      >He hopes to put this matter behind him and move forward with his life.

      In his 40s and committing treason to sleep with hookers. Dude if you don't have it figured out by now not sure how you think the less than 2nd half (especially after a possible decade in prison) is going to be much better. 45 is not the new 25 (even then there are laws i broke when I was younger but treason yeah not so much).

      1. 2460 Something

        Re: Riiiight

        possible decade in prison

        Decade? I would be surprised if it wasn't effectively the rest of his life. If he gets less than 30 I will be surprised.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Riiiight

          As harsh as the US justice system can be (especially if you are not Caucasian) the give away was this line from article.

          > He will be sentenced in December and faces up to 10 years in prison.

      2. wayward4now
        Paris Hilton

        Re: Riiiight

        As citizens of the US, we should have access to photos of the hookers. Jus' saying it's our right!!

      3. IT GNU

        Re: Riiiight

        Well at least he'll still be able to get as much sex as he wants, from Baby face George or Juan or Jayz and his crew.

    2. Baldy50

      Re: Riiiight

      Copy and pasted the same thing from the article but you beat me to it, as it is treason and you are quite correct.

      Only three! LOL

    3. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: Riiiight

      Move on with his life? There isn't much mobility in prison, let alone a life.

    4. LDS Silver badge

      Re: Riiiight

      The attorney meant "he loves money how easily you can make them in the US, especially selling data to a foreign country. He never intended to cause any harm to himself.".

    5. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Riiiight

      <quote>I just love this part. I do understand that it's his attorney speaking, but seriously, this statement is an insult to all Americans:

      The truth is that Mr Chun loves the United States and never intended to cause it any harm. He hopes to put this matter behind him and move forward with his life.</quote>

      Just to play devils advocate for a moment, I can see how some people would see it that way if they really believe the country they love is going in the wrong direction and are otherwise powerless to do anything about it. Not sure how or if passing secrets from what he might see as police state in the making to another state that is already a police state though. It;s more understandable if the host nation is an aggressor and some citizens are strongly against war. That way, it's only treason of the ruling government win their war and are still in power afterwards. One mans treasonist might be another mans hero.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Riiiight

        >One mans treasonist might be another mans hero.

        Hard to take the moral high ground when you are getting paid very lucratively to do it and buying hookers with the ill gotten proceeds though.

  2. Dadmin
    Thumb Up

    It's okay because...

    This guy never smoked any marijuana, so he MUST be okay for an FBI security clearance! My guy in Shenzhen says he's a good dude and this is a big mixup.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Veteran technician...

    ...With high security clearance uses Skype and email for espionage? Either something doesn't add up here or the FBI might want to seriously review their hiring protocols. Even allowing for dual loyalties and extreme greed, neither makes someone a complete idiot and I can't believe Chinese Intel haven't got slightly better resources than a yahoo email account.

    1. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: Veteran technician...

      His handler may have insisted on them to act as sort of a cut out.

      Don't ask me how, I'm just speculating at this point.

    2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: Veteran technician...

      Veteran tech and he uses absolutely every single electronically under-surveillance tool known to Man ?

      And working with inside knowledge of the NSA ?

      He should go to jail just for that.

  4. tekHedd

    Treason? Naaah...

    It's people like Snowden that are the *real* traitors because releasing the information to the public makes the agencies look bad. Giving information to another country's government is ordinary everyday espionage and they should definitely go easy on him.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Treason? Naaah...

      Even Snowden didn't leak ordinary people's credit card numbers. Assange is the biggest douche nozzle of the bunch (even if he has arguably done less damage).

      1. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

        Re: Treason? Naaah...

        I am very concerned about credit card and banking information being leaked because it could a more dramatic, personal impact. That is not to ignore or minimize the probably criminal antics spookhauses use against their own citizens which is a more gradual form of damage. Less trust in the government and the elites with the erosion of civil liberties and possible semi-bogus criminal charges to shut up the noisiest.

    2. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

      Re: Treason? Naaah...

      At the risk of down votes, do not forget Hildafelon and insecure email server handling all her email from Foggy Bottom. Snowden actually raised awareness the ferals were spying on anyone and everyone they could by less than legal means though I doubt they were the only ones.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    My question is how does a foreign national with parents that have ties to foreign government get a security clearance? this is a huge failure on the FBI's part. the article says he immigrated here in 1980 and became a US citizen in 1985. if you want to prevent this type of spying, then don't hire people that were not born and raised in the US. even then they should be at least second generation born in the US before they should be able to get a security clearance. to me it looks like china's playing the long game. plant a sleeper agent as a computer tech in the early 80. have him develop a good work history and declare that "I love America" and become a citizen, then he gets a job with a agency they want him to spy on. who knows how long he was spying for and what other companies he was working for were compromised. china doesn't just steal government info, it steal private company info and data as well. not that other countries don't do this too. but I am sure this go back farther than just his work for the Federal Bureau of Incompetence. anyway my point is that this is treason, as he was a us citizen working for the US government and he did provide a foreign power with information. I hope the hookers he had were worth the 10 year he will get in club fed. its also a good thing he is familiar with prostitution, because the other inmates are going to pass him around for cigarettes.

    1. ecofeco Silver badge

      All alphabet agencies are looking for good IT help these days, but the problem is that most of the talent have very spotty and slightly checkered backgrounds.

      So they get what they can.

      It mostly works, but I've been inside a few gov and quasi gov IT shops and they are downright scary in their sloppiness. From outdated hardware to outdated practices to low budgets, it's amazing they get anything done at all.

      1. kain preacher

        Don;t forget the FBI wont hire any one that smoked weed in the last three years.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      This is the outcome of overclassification

      Because just about everything is classified, several million people hold Secret or Top Secret clearances at any one time (and a lot more when you consider contractors who had them at one time, like me) When they need so many, it is difficult to make any decisions to limit the pool of potentials.

      If they only classified things that needed to be classified it wouldn't be such a problem, because far fewer people would need clearance. In the project I was on, hostnames and IP addresses were classified "Secret". So you can imagine that pretty much everyone who does any sort of IT related work whatsoever for the US government needs clearance.

    3. Tom -1

      "..... don't hire people that were not born and raised in the US. even then they should be at least second generation born in the US before they should be able to get a security clearance"

      What a load of coblers! Clearly you must think it was a terrible mistake letting people like Benjamin Franklin (whose parents were born in England) or Patrick Henry (parents born in Scotland) take on positons of trust. They were 1st generation American, not 2nd, unlike those other evidently (according to you) even less trustworthy founding fathers, Thomas Paine (born in England) and Alexander Hamilton (born in Nevis) who weren't even 1st generation American, Presumably you also reckon Washington was an insecure idiot for appointing Hamilton, a French-Scottish cross from Nevis, as his principal military aide during the war. Clearly you haven't a clue.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So? Canada Spied on Brasilia and Funneled Secrets to Oil Companies

    "Canadian spying on Brazil’s Ministry of Mines and Energy appears to be aimed at giving Canadian companies an advantage over competitors in the bidding for drilling rights..."

  7. J 3


    So, this FBI employee was traveling around the world, exchanging sensitive data over unsecured channels, and all that, and HE had to disclose the info to his spook employers? Uh... I thought I heard these fed guys now know our every move and conversation and blah blah blah... But they did not catch a careless spy in their own midst? Hm, weird. Either they are not as skilled and powerful as we are led to believe, or there is more to this story than meets the eye.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: So...

      "But they did not catch a careless spy in their own midst? Hm, weird. Either they are not as skilled and powerful as we are led to believe, or there is more to this story than meets the eye."

      They don't spy on their own. It's just not done, dear boy. The NSA and CIA knew all about it of course, but they don't talk to each other and neither talks to the FBI.

  8. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Slush Funding is a Prime Source of Remote Encouragement with Bonuses in Heavenly Light Relief Forms?

    Chun was, we're told, given paid-for vacations and nights with prostitutes, while his parents were bunged bags of cash, in exchange for his "research."

    KISS works remarkably well, virtually every time and practically anywhere, and with slush funding does IT capture all manner of mammoth moth hopelessly addicted to the bright flame that ends the infamous fame and fortune game :-)

    1. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: Slush Funding is a Prime Source

      of additional income.

      It underscores that talented IT guys are underpaid and underfunded.

  9. Dr Patrick J R Harkin

    I'm surprised the structure of the FBI is secret.

    If you took a photo of our organisational map it'd be out of date before you got to the door.

    1. James Wilson

      Re: I'm surprised the structure of the FBI is secret.

      I think it was a bluff, make it secret so the Chinese think it's important. Then back at HQ...

      "Why on earth are *they* reporting to *him*?"

      "What does this department do? And this one?"

      "What's the meaning for having 4 separate teams doing almost entirely the same thing?"

      "This must be hugely important, let's get our best brains working out what the cunning Americans are doing with something that appears so completely illogical."

      Or possibly

      "But I thought Dilbert was fictional."

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Must be the reason the developed world is trying to keep younger people scratching for a living.

    Its much easier to buy a person out if they're struggling.

    Can't speak for the US but here in Blighty the money you get for working in jobs that require clearance is relatively dismal.

    I havent worked in a role that requires clearance for over 10 years though so I may be out of touch. Back then the hours and stress certainly werent worth it.

    1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      Re: Espionage and Cunning Stunts

      Hi, Anonymous Coward,

      Regarding a reverse espionage, it is very simple for a flush with flash cash system to buy a person of interest and novel ability in, whenever it itself is struggling and failing to stop its vulnerabilities being widely exposed and exploited. Such is surely the present multinational international dilemma and magic circle which needs to be currently squared. Continuing mounting failures are not a viable option if systems and systems heads are to survive, for there comes a tipping point, after which too much sensitive compartmented information which be better kept top secret because of the horrendous damage it unleashes, is generally shared and common knowledge and old style simple command and control levers are rendered utterly useless. Please consider the following reply to a JohnnyZ, which expands upon the live situation .......

      Being mindful of all that you have shared, and recognising the growing increasingly dangerous and ultimately violent problems for established fiat dependent systems and leaders/spokespersons intransigently wedded to the present course, with there being no evidence of their providing a viable solution/resolution for their retention and exercise of future command and control, is one easily led to believe that they lack the necessary intelligence, which is surely simply absolutely fabulous advice/mentoring with delivery of a running series of narrative for media supply of ...... well, virtual realities to be accepted and believed as natural, and that makes them vulnerable to all manner of exploit by that and those more than just able in the noble and quite secretive art.

      Such vulnerability though would be/could be transformed into a almightily advantageous strength to aid their resurrection with their buying in of required services and personnel. After all, it is not as if billions of dollars is anything valuable and difficult to find and deposit where necessary. Nowadays can such things be done practically, virtually instantaneously with nothing more than just a few numbers being needed to direct funds to program and project suppliers.

      And that is a virtually everything solution for practically nothing payment resolution.

      And an added danger and highly probable eventuality in the case where such a solution and radical opportunity is ignored, whenever it be offered to even one and a handful of key instrumental players imagined to be a remote command and control of established systems of governance, .... for the course of least resistance and maximum assistance would perversely dictate that such collapsing systems admins in dire peril be warned and advised of available fates and more intelligently designed outcomes ....... is that they be justifiably classified as an ignorant and callous enemy to be ruthlessly eliminated and outlawed with attractive bounties placed upon their ugly heads.

      SMARTR Hearts and NEUKlearer HyperRadioProActive Minds at AI and IT Work, REST and Great Games Play are not immune nor totally reluctant to engage with Anonymous Autonomous Action and Radical Fundamental Reaction when called upon to remove a Future Blockade. …… JohnnyZ reply

      Whom and or what would you offer such magical assistance to when it be readily available, to immediately effect a wholesome wholesale change of circumstances .... What names spring to mind, or is the Great Game rigged to present no one in charge of anything and the field of play a virtual battlefield for random rogues and wretched renegades alike and all freely available to the highest bidder?

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