Ex-Google engineer charged with stealing AI trade secrets while working with Chinese companies

Ex-Google engineer charged with stealing AI trade secrets while working with Chinese companies
Items are displayed in the Google Store at the Google Visitor Experience in Mountain View, California, Oct. 11, 2023. (AP/File)
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Updated 07 March 2024
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Ex-Google engineer charged with stealing AI trade secrets while working with Chinese companies

Ex-Google engineer charged with stealing AI trade secrets while working with Chinese companies
  • Linwei Ding, a Chinese national, was arrested in Newark, California, on four counts of federal trade secret theft
  • Google said it had determined that the employee had stolen “numerous documents” and referred the matter to law enforcement

WASHINGTON: A former software engineer at Google has been charged with stealing artificial intelligence trade secrets from the company while secretly working with two companies based in China, the Justice Department said Wednesday.

Linwei Ding, a Chinese national, was arrested in Newark, California, on four counts of federal trade secret theft, each punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
The case against Ding, 38, was announced at an American Bar Association conference in San Francisco by Attorney General Merrick Garland, who along with other law enforcement leaders has repeatedly warned about the threat of Chinese economic espionage and about the national security concerns posed by advancements in artificial intelligence and other developing technologies.
“Today’s charges are the latest illustration of the lengths affiliates of companies based in the People’s Republic of China are willing to go to steal American innovation,” FBI Director Christopher Wray said in a statement. “The theft of innovative technology and trade secrets from American companies can cost jobs and have devastating economic and national security consequences.”
Google said it had determined that the employee had stolen “numerous documents” and referred the matter to law enforcement.
“We have strict safeguards to prevent the theft of our confidential commercial information and trade secrets,” Google spokesman Jose Castaneda said in a statement. “After an investigation, we found that this employee stole numerous documents, and we quickly referred the case to law enforcement. We are grateful to the FBI for helping protect our information and will continue cooperating with them closely.”
A lawyer listed as Ding’s defense attorney did not immediately return a call seeking comment Wednesday evening.
Artificial intelligence is the main battleground for competitors in the field of high technology, and the question of who dominates can have major commercial and security implications. Justice Department leaders in recent weeks have been sounding alarms about how foreign adversaries could harness AI technologies to negatively affect the United States.
Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco said in a speech last month that the administration’s multi-agency Disruptive Technology Strike Force would place AI at the top of its enforcement priority list, and Wray told a conference last week that AI and other emerging technologies had made it easier for adversaries to try to interfere with the American political process.
Garland echoed those concerns at the San Francisco event, saying Wednesday that, “As with all evolving technologies, (AI) has pluses and minuses, advantages and disadvantages, great promise and the risk of great harm.”
The indictment unsealed Wednesday in the Northern District of California alleges that Ding, who was hired by Google in 2019 and had access to confidential information about the company’s supercomputing data centers, began uploading hundreds of files into a personal Google Cloud account two years ago.
Within weeks of the theft starting, prosecutors say, Ding was offered the position of chief technology officer at an early-stage technology company in China that touted its use of AI technology and that offered him a monthly salary of about $14,800, plus an annual bonus and company stock. The indictment says Ding traveled to China and participated in investor meetings at the company and sought to raise capital for it.
He also separately founded and served as chief executive of a China-based startup company that aspired to train “large AI models powered by supercomputing chips,” the indictment said.
Prosecutors say Ding did not disclose either affiliation to Google, which described him Wednesday as a junior employee.
He resigned from Google last Dec. 26.
Three days later, Google officials learned that he had presented as CEO of one of the Chinese companies at an investor conference in Beijing. Officials also reviewed surveillance footage showing that another employee had scanned Ding’s access badge at the Google building in the US where he worked to make it look like Ding was there during times when he was actually in China, the indictment says.
Google suspended Ding’s network access and locked his laptop, and discovered his unauthorized uploads while searching his network activity history.
The FBI in January served a search warrant at Ding’s home and seized his electronic devices, and later executed an additional warrant for the contents of his personal accounts containing more than 500 unique files of confidential information that authorities say he stole from Google.


India makes 196 and beats Bangladesh by 50 at Twenty20 World Cup

India makes 196 and beats Bangladesh by 50 at Twenty20 World Cup
Updated 2 min 49 sec ago
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India makes 196 and beats Bangladesh by 50 at Twenty20 World Cup

India makes 196 and beats Bangladesh by 50 at Twenty20 World Cup
  • Put into bat, India started quick as captain Rohit Sharma scored 23 off 11 balls
  • Virat Kohli added 37 off 28, hitting three sixes

NORTH SOUND, Antigua: Hardik Pandya blasted Bangladesh with a 27-ball half-century and Kuldeep Yadav’s three wickets finished off India’s win at the Twenty20 World Cup on Saturday.
Pandya struck four boundaries and three sixes in an unbeaten 50 to lead India to 196-5.
Yadav then took 3-19 in four overs to limit Bangladesh to 146-8.
India moved to the top of Group 1 in the Super Eight with two wins from two matches. Bangladesh was winless.
Put into bat, India started quick as captain Rohit Sharma scored 23 off 11 balls. Virat Kohli added 37 off 28, hitting three sixes. The duo put on 39 off 22 balls for India’s best opening stand in the tournament.
Sharma was caught in the fourth over off Shakib al Hasan, while Kohli put on another 32 off 27 balls with Rishabh Pant for the second wicket.
Tanzim Hasan Sakib struck twice in the ninth over, getting Kohli and Suryakumar Yadav for 6 as India slumped to 77-3.
But Rishabh Pant anchored one end with 36 off 24, including four fours and two sixes, putting on 31 off 19 balls with Shivam Dube.
Despite Pant’s dismissal in the 12th over, Dube’s prowess against spin came in handy — he hit three sixes, scoring 34 off 24 balls.
But it was Pandya who took charge in the death overs. India scored 62 runs in the last five overs.
Pandya was named player of the match.
“We have played some really good cricket (to win five straight games),” he said. “We have executed our plans well, but as a group we can still improve. We sometimes lose wickets in a bunch, but apart from that things are looking good.”
Bangladesh’s reply made a steady start. Openers Litton Das (13) and Tanzid Hasan (29) added 35 off 27 until Pandya got the breakthrough in the fifth over.
The Tigers were at 66-2 in the 10th over and scoring slower. The chase unraveled when Yadav came on to bowl. He trapped Hasan lbw, and dismissed Towhid Hridoy for 4 and claimed the big wicket of Shakib for 11.
Bangladesh lost three wickets for 32 runs across 24 balls and didn’t recover.
Pace bowlers Jasprit Bumrah (2-13) and Arshdeep Singh (2-30) helped to seal India’s fifth win over Bangladesh in the T20 World Cup.


Afghanistan stun Australia with 21-run T20 World Cup win

Afghanistan stun Australia with 21-run T20 World Cup win
Updated 9 min 55 sec ago
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Afghanistan stun Australia with 21-run T20 World Cup win

Afghanistan stun Australia with 21-run T20 World Cup win
  • Gulbadin Naib was Afghanistan’s man with the golden arm, bowling his team to tense 21-run victory over unbeaten Australia 
  • Both teams are on two points after two games, with Australia facing Group One leaders India in their final match

Arnos Vale, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines: Gulbadin Naib was Afghanistan’s man with the golden arm, bowling his team to a tense 21-run victory over previously unbeaten Australia in a Group One Super Eight encounter of the T20 World Cup at the Arnos Vale Stadium in St. Vincent on Saturday.
Set a target of 149, Glenn Maxwell (59 off 41 balls, six fours, three sixes) kept the Test and One-Day champions on course until he became Gulbadin’s third wicket in the 15th over, opening the door to a result which keeps the duel for semifinal spots alive going into the final two fixtures in the group on Monday.
Gulbadin finished with four for 20 from his four overs of medium pace to turn the match as Australia suffered their first-ever defeat to the Afghans in a senior international encounter, being dismissed for 127 with four balls left in the match.
Earlier, Pat Cummins claimed his second hat-trick in as many matches as Afghanistan lost momentum after another century opening stand from Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Ibrahim Zadran, settling for a total of 148 for six after being put in.
Both teams are on two points after two games — with Australia facing Group One leaders India in their final match while Afghanistan play Bangladesh, who have lost both their Super Eights games.


Review: Jessica Alba-starring ‘Trigger Warning’ lacks punch, poise or purpose

Review: Jessica Alba-starring ‘Trigger Warning’ lacks punch, poise or purpose
Updated 14 min 15 sec ago
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Review: Jessica Alba-starring ‘Trigger Warning’ lacks punch, poise or purpose

Review: Jessica Alba-starring ‘Trigger Warning’ lacks punch, poise or purpose

LONDON: It’s hard to take “Trigger Warning” — Netflix’s latest attempt to create a pseudo “John Wick” franchise of its own — too seriously. After all, the movie’s outlandish premise sees special forces operator Parker (Jessica Alba) returning to her sleepy hometown after the mysterious death of her father. Once there, she winds up in the middle of a violent gang’s machinations and has to dispense justice in her own unique, knife-wielding way. Director Mouly Surya lets us know this by opening the film with a decidedly lackluster high-speed (but very clearly not) car chase, ostensibly set in Syria (but very clearly not), during which Parker, confronted by a violent gang, dispenses justice in her own unique, knife-wielding way. She also smacks down a corrupt fellow soldier when he executes a prisoner. Because she really hates injustice, you see? High-concept filmmaking this is not.

And, as becomes even more apparent over the next 106 minutes, many of the creators of “Trigger Warning” aren’t taking the movie very seriously either. The script is littered with rote plot cliches, eye-wateringly clunky dialog, one-dimensional characters and abandoned storylines. By the climatic third act, “Trigger Warning” doesn’t even have the good grace to try and hide its gaping plot holes anymore. It just stumbles towards the finish like a bad guy who’s been beaten up by a knife-wielding hero who really hates injustice.

Alba, at least, tries to take the film seriously while Gabriel Basso (star of the recent, surprisingly enjoyable Netflix series “The Night Agent”) makes for an amiable sidekick.

Some movies can offer glorious bouts of escapism, others, like this one, are simply thrown together without any seeming sense of cohesion or care, relying on a charismatic lead to drag the whole mess toward some kind of satisfying conclusion. “Trigger Warning” is a film that should come with one.

 


Philippines not in business of instigating wars, says President Marcos

Philippines not in business of instigating wars, says President Marcos
Updated 28 min 17 sec ago
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Philippines not in business of instigating wars, says President Marcos

Philippines not in business of instigating wars, says President Marcos
  • Philippine navy personnel and the Chinese coast guard had their latest clash last week in the disputed waterway
  • China claims almost the entire South China Sea, a conduit for more than $3 trillion of annual shipborne commerce

MANILA: Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said on Sunday his country is not in the business of instigating wars and will always aim to settle disputes peacefully, amid escalating maritime confrontations with China.
“In defending the nation, we stay true to our Filipino nature that we would like to settle all these issues peacefully,” Marcos said in a speech to troops of the Western Command unit in charge of overseeing the South China Sea.
Philippine navy personnel and the Chinese coast guard had their latest clash last week in the disputed waterway, where the Philippine military said a Filipino sailor was severely injured and its vessels damaged.
“In the performance of our duties, we will not resort to the use of force or intimidation, or deliberately inflict injury or harm to anyone,” Marcos said.
He did not name China in his speech.
Beijing’s actions during a routine Philippine resupply mission have been condemned by the United States, Britain and Canada.
China’s foreign ministry disputed the Philippine account, with a spokesperson saying on Thursday that the necessary measures taken were lawful, professional and beyond reproach.
China claims almost the entire South China Sea, a conduit for more than $3 trillion of annual shipborne commerce, including parts claimed by the Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei.
In 2016, the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague said China’s claims had no legal basis, a decision Beijing has rejected.


Afghanistan stun Australia with 21-run T20 World Cup win

Afghanistan stun Australia with 21-run T20 World Cup win
Updated 11 min 10 sec ago
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Afghanistan stun Australia with 21-run T20 World Cup win

Afghanistan stun Australia with 21-run T20 World Cup win
  • Afghanistan made 148-6 and then bowled out their opponents for 127 in 19.2 overs for their first ever victory over the Australians

ARNOS VALE, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines: Gulbadin Naib was Afghanistan’s man with the golden arm, bowling his team to a surprise 21-run victory over previously unbeaten Australia in their Group One Super Eight encounter in the T20 World Cup at the Arnos Vale Stadium on Saturday.

Set a target of 149, Glenn Maxwell (59 off 41 balls, six fours, three sixes) had the Test and One-Day champions on course until he became Gulbadin’s third wicket in the 15th over, opening the door to a result which keeps the duel for semifinal spots alive going into the final two fixtures in the group on Monday.

Gulbadin finished with four for 20 from his four overs of medium pace to turn the match as Australia suffered their first-ever defeat to the Afghans in a senior international encounter, being dismissed for 127 with four balls left in the match.

“It is a great moment for me, my nation, my people,” said an exultant Gulbadin on receiving the Man of the Match award. “I learned a lot about the pitch from when we batted and I am glad that (captain) Rashid (Khan) had faith in me.”

Earlier, Pat Cummins claimed his second hat-trick in as many matches as Afghanistan lost momentum after another century opening stand from Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Ibrahim Zadran, settling for a total of 148 for six having been put in.

A top score of 60 off 49 balls (four fours, four sixes) by Gurbaz and 51 off 48 balls (six fours) from Zadran gave the Afghans an excellent platform of 118 — their third century partnership of the tournament — by the 16th over.

But having ridden their luck via half-chances and misfields in gaining the ascendancy, four wickets for eight runs put the innings back in the balance. Marcus Stoinis made the breakthrough and leg-spinner Adam Zampa applied the brakes with two wickets.

Yet it was Cummins, who claimed a hat-trick against Bangladesh against in Antigua on Thursday, who essentially switched off the Afghanistan innings with the wicket of Rashid Khan at the end of the 18th over before adding Karim Janat and eventual hero Gulbadin at the start of the 20th over.

“It was an off night for us in the field and we own that,” conceded Australian captain Mitchell Marsh. “We knew it was a difficult wicket but both teams bowled on it, both teams batted on it and we were simply outplayed by a better team on the night.”

In reflecting on a historic night for his team, Rashid acknowledged the reward of returning to the opening pair of Gurbaz and Zadran.

“It was important to return to the previous playing eleven after we tried a few different things in the last match against India,” he explained. “We had in our minds that 140 was a good total on this wicket. The belief was there and as a captain, having so many bowling options like Gulbadin makes the job easier.”

With two teams from the group advancing to the semifinals, Australia will now have to win their final match against unbeaten leaders India in St. Lucia on Monday to be assured of a place in the last four.

Afghanistan, also on two points like Australia, will stay in St. Vincent where they face Bangladesh later on Monday by which time they will know what is required to qualify for the semifinals for the first time.