If it went ahead the plan could see more than 50 observation satellites in orbit within two years, The South China Morning Post reported. This would put the country’s satellite surveillance capabilities on a par, or greater than, the US.
A Chinese national was indicted this week for conspiring to violate U.S. export law, following a nearly three-year investigation into his alleged efforts to acquire sensitive military and NSA-encryption gear from eBay and other internet sources.
Chi Tong Kuok, of Macau, told Defense Department and Customs investigators that he had been “acting at the direction of officials for the People’s Republic of China,” according to a government affidavit in the case.
“Kuok indicated he and PRC officials sought the items to figure out ways to listen to or monitor U.S. government and military communications.”
Kuok was arrested at the Atlanta International Airport last month en route from Paris to Panama, where he allegedly planned to meet an undercover federal agent he believed was going to provide him with military radios.
He was transferred to California, where he was indicted (.pdf) Tuesday for money laundering, conspiracy, smuggling and one count of attempting to export a defense article without a license.
The U.S. began investigating Kuok in December 2006, when, using the first of many aliases, the man allegedly e-mailed a contact in the defense industry in search of software for a VDC-300 airborne data controller, used for secure satellite communications from American military aircraft...More from WIRED