China spying on deCODE?

Wikileaks: US Says Chinese Spies Operate in Iceland
Chinese authorities are believed to be spying on companies involved in genealogy and medical research in Iceland, as stated in documents sent by the US Embassy in Reykjavík to the US Foreign Service in Washington, leaked by Wikileaks.

This is stated in a report from February 26, 2009, which is marked as “confidential”. Copies of it were sent to the CIA, FBI and DIA, Fréttabladid reports.

In another report from December 24, 2009, also marked as “confidential”, an annual meeting of the US Embassy’s counter-spying group directed by the ambassador’s substitute Sam Watson is covered.

The report states that US authorities believe that their Chinese counterparts have continued with their intellectual spying in Iceland, by means of human intelligence and with technical equipment, such as bugging telephone lines and breaking into databases on the internet.
deCODE employs a Chinese national as "Vice President of Statistics", but Kari Steffanson is unconcerned on that front since the employee "has lived here for 14 years and considers Iceland his home".


TGGP said...

RKU at Mangan's describes Old Stock Yankees as having been ethnically cleansed by Irish immigrants. I figured you'd know more about that history.

n/a said...


Your basic industrial espionage is what I've seen generally assumed. Presumably they were interested in stealing methods and/or data. China is attempting to position itself as a force in genomics but as James Watson has pointed out, creating their own technology so far eludes them. I do wish them success with the intelligence research.

n/a said...


Runz's assertion doesn't accord with my understanding. Americans were without question displaced, but not through violent ethnic cleansing on the part of the Irish. More through the immigrants' overwhelming numbers and willingness to live in squalor.

That's not to say there was no violence; but I don't know that what violence occurred was especially targeted at the "non elite" native Americans. Henry Cabot Lodge and Henry Adams talked about snowball fights that regularly occurred between children from Beacon Hill and North End Irish, with the Irish definition of snowballs apparently including ice and rocks. Carleton Coon, who grew up later in a smaller New England city, also fought with Irish kids; he recalls in his autobiography taking out the eye of one with an icy projectile.

Anonymous said...

Chinese spy gets more than 15 years in prison

A Chinese-born engineer convicted in the United States' first economic espionage trial was sentenced Monday to more than 15 years in prison for stealing sensitive information on the U.S. space program with the intent of passing it to China.

Dongfan "Greg" Chung, a Boeing stress analyst with high-level security clearance, was convicted in July of six counts of economic espionage and other federal charges for storing 300,000 pages of sensitive papers in his Southern California home. Prosecutors alleged the papers included information about the U.S. space shuttle, a booster rocket and military troop transports.


During brief remarks, Chung, 74, begged for a lenient sentence, saying he had taken the information to write a book. "Your honor, I am not a spy, I am only an ordinary man," said Chung, who wore a tan prison jumpsuit with his hands cuffed to a belly chain as his wife and son watched from the audience. "Your honor, I love this country. ... Your honor, I beg your pardon and let me live with my family peacefully."


The government believes Chung began spying for the Chinese in the late 1970s, a few years after he became a naturalized U.S. citizen and was hired by Rockwell. Chung worked for Rockwell until it was bought by Boeing in 1996. He stayed with the company until he was laid off in 2002, then was brought back a year later as a consultant. He was fired when the FBI began its investigation in 2006.


Prosecutors discovered Chung's activities while investigating Chi Mak, another suspected Chinese spy living and working in Southern California. Mak was convicted in 2007 of conspiracy to export U.S. defense technology to China and sentenced to 24 years in prison.


Svigor said...

I guess that's a good explanation of why China would spy on Icelandic gene studies, but it raises more questions. Like, so why is China so interested in eugenics, er, I mean, genetics? And, why are we careful enough about our eugenic, er, I mean, genetic tech to notice when the Chinese are after it?