Top 7 US technologies China, other nations want to steal

Between late 2008 and early 2009, David Yen Lee, a chemist with Valspar Corp., used his company's computer network to download 160 secret formulas for coatings and paints onto portable storage devices, according to a new report by the US Office of the National Counter Intelligence Director. Mr. Lee had planned to join a Chinese paint company in Shanghai and take the formulas (worth $20 million) with him. Instead, he was caught and is now serving 15 months in prison for theft of trade secrets. China, Russia and other nations are anxious to get – or steal – many proprietary US technologies. Here are seven at the top of their wish lists, the report says:

1. Information and communications technology

Robert Galbraith/Reuters
Paul Santeler, vice president and general manager of Hewlett-Packard's hyperscale business, looks over the Project Moonshot prototype server in Palo Alto, Calif., earlier this month. The device allows the sharing of storage, networking, management, power, and cooling across thousands of servers, a technology that many foreign nations would like to possess.

ICT is "likely to remain one of the highest priorities of foreign collectors," says the new Counter Intelligence Director's report. This includes computerization of manufacturing and other tools for maintaining "connectedness." ICT forms the "backbone of nearly every other technology used in both civilian and military applications," the report says. China's Project 863, for example, is a clandestine program of gathering up data on “key technologies for the construction of China’s information infrastructure.”

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