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THE BIZNOB – Global Business & Financial News – A Business Journal – Focus On Business Leaders, Technology – Enterpeneurship – Finance – Economy – Politics & LifestyleTHE BIZNOB – Global Business & Financial News – A Business Journal – Focus On Business Leaders, Technology – Enterpeneurship – Finance – Economy – Politics & Lifestyle

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Ex-Google engineer charged with stealing AI secrets

Ex-Google engineer charged with stealing AI secrets
Linwei Ding is accused of stealing information used in Google's supercomputing data centres Linwei Ding is accused of stealing information used in Google's supercomputing data centres
Ex-Google engineer charged with stealing AI secrets
Linwei Ding is accused of stealing information used in Google's supercomputing data centres Linwei Ding is accused of stealing information used in Google's supercomputing data centres

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Ex-Google engineer charged with stealing AI secrets

A former Google software engineer, Linwei Ding, also known as Leon Ding, has been charged in the US with stealing trade secrets related to artificial intelligence (AI). The Chinese national is accused of secretly working for two Chinese companies while employed by Google. According to the indictment in California, Ding allegedly stole over 500 confidential files, primarily focusing on Google’s supercomputing data centers’ infrastructure for hosting and training large AI models.

Ding joined Google in 2019 and was responsible for developing software related to the company’s supercomputing infrastructure. The indictment claims that he began uploading information from Google’s network to his personal Google account in May 2022 and continued periodically for a year. Concurrently, Ding spent several months in China, working for Beijing Rongshu Lianzhi Technology, and started his tech firm, Shanghai Zhisuan Technology, specializing in AI and machine learning.

Prosecutors allege that Ding failed to disclose his work for these companies to Google. He reportedly applied to a China-based organization, presented his business at an investor conference in China in November 2023, and later booked a one-way ticket from San Francisco to Beijing without Google’s knowledge. Suspicion arose at Google when Ding attempted to upload more files to his personal computer while in China, claiming it was to provide proof of his employment with the tech giant.

Upon discovering Ding’s unauthorized uploads and actions, Google promptly suspended his access. The company then alerted the authorities, leading to Ding’s arrest. Ding could face up to 10 years in prison and $250,000 in fines for each count if convicted.

The case underscores concerns about the theft of advanced technology and trade secrets, particularly in AI. US Attorney General Merrick Garland emphasized that such actions pose risks to national security, stating that the Justice Department will not tolerate the theft of AI and other advanced technologies. FBI Director Christopher Wray highlighted Ding’s alleged actions as an illustration of the lengths Chinese companies may go to steal American innovation. The case adds to the tensions between the US and China in the ongoing trade battle, where both nations seek a competitive edge in technology and innovation.

 


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