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Judicial Watch • Public Univ. Prof. Gives China Military Secrets

Public Univ. Prof. Gives China Military Secrets

Public Univ. Prof. Gives China Military Secrets

MAY 21, 2008

A professor emeritus at a public university in Tennessee has been indicted by a federal grand jury for passing sensitive U.S. military secrets to the communist government of China through graduate research assistants and wire transmissions.

The electrical and computer engineering professor (J. Reece Roth) at the University of Tennessee violated the Arms Export Control Act by disclosing restricted military data about Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, also known as drones, to foreign nationals without required government license or approval.

According to an 18-count indictment, between 2004 and 2006 Professor Roth transmitted technical data on a restricted U.S. military contract with a university research spin off company he helped found. The information involved an Air Force project to develop plasma actuators for munitions-type drones. Roth gave the information to a Chinese national who was a graduate research assistant at the university.

The professor also took a trip to China in May 2006 to supposedly deliver an academic lecture. Federal investigators say Roth also delivered more delicate technical data about the military project that was clearly controlled by the International Trafficking in Arms Regulations. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Cornell University graduate put America’s security at risk, according to federal prosecutors. He faces more than two decades in prison.


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