bit-tech.net

Ex-Intel engineer pleads guilty to IP theft

Ex-Intel engineer pleads guilty to IP theft

Ex-Intel engineer Biswamohan Pani has admitted to stealing trade secrets following his defection to AMD.

A former Intel engineer has admitted stealing trade secrets valued at around $1 billion before joining AMD, and is facing the possibility of decades in prison for his crimes.

Biswamohan Pani announced his intention to leave Intel's employ on the 29th of May 2008, asking for his official last day to be the 11th of June. Pani's next job would be at Intel rival AMD, where he started on the 2nd of June.

The eagle-eyed among you may have noticed something of an overlap in those dates - an overlap which allowed Pani to retain access to Intel's internal network despite working for one of its biggest competitors.

According to a statement from the US Justice Department, Pani used this access to obtain trade secrets and other sensitive documents in order to further his career at AMD. Given that Pani was an engineer at Intel's plant in Massachusetts, those documents were undoubtedly a treasure-trove of information.

Unfortunately for Pani, Intel noticed the theft and reported the matter to the FBI. 'The FBI was able to recover these documents quickly, before Pani could use them to Intel’s disadvantage, largely because Intel reported the theft quickly and assisted the investigation,' the Justice Department explained in a statement following Pani's guilty plea.

According to the Justice Department's statement, Pani was apprehended before he was able to make use of the documents - thanks in no small part to the cooperation of AMD, which is believed to have been unaware of Pani's plans before being contacted by the FBI.

Between the documents' original value of between $200 to $400 million and the associated costs the company has faced since the deception was discovered, Pani is on the hook for $1 billion in damages. As a result, he's facing the possibility of multiple decades in prison.

While his guilty verdict may help drop his sentence down a notch, the gap between his arrest and his guilty verdict may mean Pani find it difficult to get the judge on-side.

38 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
longweight 10th April 2012, 16:32 Quote
Good.
PingCrosby 10th April 2012, 17:22 Quote
Judge: Mr Pani, have you been up before me before?
Pani: I don't know your honour, what time do you get up?
Thedarkrage 10th April 2012, 17:54 Quote
and a rapist only gets 3years but ****ed up if you ask me not that anyone did.
Thedarkrage 10th April 2012, 17:55 Quote
that was meant to be bit not but
b1candy 10th April 2012, 18:49 Quote
Bankers can shaft the economy for trillions and still get bonuses
What this guy did was wrong sure, but decades in prison? Two things could happen here:
Intel lose profit. Everyone benefits from better processors.
schmidtbag 10th April 2012, 19:11 Quote
How disappointing. If this guy were successful he could've brought AMD the secrets to better performance that they needed. However, I'm sure AMD threw him under the bus when they discovered he was in trouble, and I wouldn't blame them either.

I'm sure intel's endless line of lawyers are what got this guy to be imprisoned for so long.
longweight 10th April 2012, 19:16 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by b1candy
Bankers can shaft the economy for trillions and still get bonuses
What this guy did was wrong sure, but decades in prison? Two things could happen here:
Intel lose profit. Everyone benefits from better processors.

This is theft and would deprive Intel of millions of dollars whilst boosting AMD no end, big punishment for a big crime.

Sent from my HTC Desire using Tapatalk 2
Star*Dagger 10th April 2012, 19:27 Quote
This is a rare bubbling to the surface of a massive corporate espionage war that has been waged in the tech sector since the RIFing of CIA and KGB agents in the 90s.

Most of the important history of the last 50 years is not in the public's consciousness, be skeptical.
fluxtatic 11th April 2012, 05:26 Quote
$200-$400 mil is the value of the docs? How was that determined? FBI: "And what is your estimate of the value of the documents stolen?" Intel: "All the money, sir." FBI: "What do you mean, all the money?" Intel: "Just that, all of it. They were worth all the money in the world, past, present, and future." FBI: "Ooookaaaay. Well, how about I put down $400 million, and we'll call it good." Intel: "Fair enough."

And word, to Thedarkrage. How about we swap those - decades for rapey, murdery assholes, 5-10 for this white collar **** that only hurts corporations. Take his money, leave him bankrupt, but make room in prison for real criminals. Or hey, homie should argue that he was raping Intel, not stealing from them. Then he'll be out in 3-5.
fluxtatic 11th April 2012, 05:29 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by longweight
Quote:
Originally Posted by b1candy
Bankers can shaft the economy for trillions and still get bonuses
What this guy did was wrong sure, but decades in prison? Two things could happen here:
Intel lose profit. Everyone benefits from better processors.

This is theft and would deprive Intel of millions of dollars whilst boosting AMD no end, big punishment for a big crime.

Sent from my HTC Desire using Tapatalk 2

Intel can cry me a river, too. Why are you defending a gigantic, faceless corporation? You think they wouldn't screw you over if it made them a dollar? THAT'S WHAT THEY DO, THEY'RE CORPORATIONS.
longweight 11th April 2012, 07:55 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by fluxtatic
Intel can cry me a river, too. Why are you defending a gigantic, faceless corporation? You think they wouldn't screw you over if it made them a dollar? THAT'S WHAT THEY DO, THEY'RE CORPORATIONS.

Yes I know.
west 11th April 2012, 08:24 Quote
@fluxtatic
Intel makes 54,000,000,000 a year, 400,000,000 (0.7%) seems reasonable - considering these technology 'secrets' pretty much determines their CPU market success.
penryn 2 hertz 11th April 2012, 08:37 Quote
This is crazy a man can go out and kill a person then get about 20 to 25 years in jail but a man steals a few files and could face 40 to 50 years... there's something terribly wrong here
west 11th April 2012, 09:08 Quote
@penryn 2 hertz, fluxtatic, Thedarkrage
You wouldn't think that multi-decade imprisonment for robbing a bank of $400 mill to be inapropriate would you?
Sure it's only a corporation - not a person, but it's money pays many people. This guy 'stole' potential money from a lot of people (not just a corporation).
fdbh96 11th April 2012, 09:13 Quote
Since intel spends millions (maybe billions) of dollars a year in r&d, it doesn't seem fair that someone can just go take it to a rival company, serves him right really.
Digi 11th April 2012, 09:52 Quote
I know it might not be PC but I think it's a shame he got caught. Intel got away with bribes that have led to their market dominance, might be nice to see a little Karma..
mclean007 11th April 2012, 11:45 Quote
Everyone seems to be missing a major point made in the article, which is that "The FBI was able to recover these documents quickly, before Pani could use them to Intel’s disadvantage, largely because Intel reported the theft quickly and assisted the investigation" - so there was no loss to Intel. Sure, the guy should go to prison for this, but decades does seem a little harsh, and a billion dollars of damages is absurd if (as the article suggests) Pani wasn't able to use the secrets or communicate them to anyone else at AMD.
jb0 11th April 2012, 12:34 Quote
I feel obliged to point out he MAY go to prison for decades(an even century, in fact, is the upper limit in this case, according to the US Department of Justice). He MOST LIKELY won't. Maximum sentences are just that: the maximum allowed.
Also, as he pled guilty to five counts, each with a maximum prison term of twenty years, it could also be five twenty-year sentences... served concurrently. So even IF he gets the maximum sentence on all five counts, he could still be out in twenty.

Though... given his career prospects look pretty dim now, he may want to push for as much of that free room and board as he can get.


And if I were AMD, I wouldn't have touched those documents with a hundred-foot pole. If I knew someone had documents like that, I would fire them so fast they'd get whiplash. Hell, I'd even ask the police to come pick him up on Intel's behalf.
If they'd wound up using that information in their own products, they would've been in a ridiculous amount of trouble. Damaging Intel? He could have destroyed AMD with his "help."
digitaldunc 11th April 2012, 13:46 Quote
Interesting... what would have happened if he'd defected to AMD after being privy to Intel knowledge without stealing documents? I know he'd presumably be under several NDAs, but there would be nothing to stop him from being "influenced" by the work at Intel akin to white room development?

I presume both big companies have measures in place that mitigate the likelihood of this happening since it's obviously not the first time an employee has left for another company.
John_T 11th April 2012, 14:25 Quote
I don't really understand all the people talking about paedophiles, rapists, murderers and the like. Is your point that because one crime doesn't get punished properly, all other crimes should therefore be treated too leniently as well? That's not really logical is it.

I'd like some of those people 'cured' with a twenty foot length of rope too, but just because they aren't doesn't mean I want everyone else given a light slap on the wrist either. They're two separate issues.

mclean007, I think you're actually missing the point. He may not have got away with it, but the intention was there. If I were to walk up to you and stab you in the chest with a carving knife, but by your good fortune I didn't manage to harm you because the knife caught on, say, a mobile phone in your jacket pocket - would you be happy for me to get away without severe punishment, just because I had tried to harm you but failed? The intention is everything.

People saying this is 'only money' and 'only corporate theft', well, tens of thousands of peoples jobs are at stake with things like this, that's tens of thousands of lives and families being supported. Yes Intel has some very rich staff and owners, but most staff will be on ordinary wages - and most of the company will be owned by pension funds, who are owned by millions of ordinary pensioners needing it to pay their pensions.

He didn't copy a few songs that get played freely on the radio anyway, or download a few TV programmes that get aired anyway - this was hard-core industrial espionage. Also, let's be honest about why he did it: He didn't do it to 'help' AMD, he did it thinking it would further his own career and personal income.

A long sentence won't be so much for him, more as to try and act as a deterrent to stop other people attempting the same thing....
Drekz 11th April 2012, 17:59 Quote
This article just goes to show you, amongst many of the other things, that AMD just aren't in any position anymore.
SexyHyde 12th April 2012, 01:04 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by John_T
snip

its more to do with pointing out that the justice system is not just or fair. by pointing this out at every opportunity people become aware of it and it doesn't get worse.

maybe intel should go to prison for a few decades. after all they did prevent amd from gaining market share, growing their business, employing more people & creating products to boost economy - oh and having the money to put into r&d so as to remain competitive.

and stop bashing amd! the fact that they are still here making products that are competitive with intel despite everything that has happened is amazing. yes amd are not competitive in the gaming sector anymore but guess what, if they had gone all out to keep you chimps happy they would no doubt be bust by now.
fluxtatic 12th April 2012, 11:17 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by John_T
People saying this is 'only money' and 'only corporate theft', well, tens of thousands of peoples jobs are at stake with things like this, that's tens of thousands of lives and families being supported. Yes Intel has some very rich staff and owners, but most staff will be on ordinary wages - and most of the company will be owned by pension funds, who are owned by millions of ordinary pensioners needing it to pay their pensions.

True, but if this had damaged Intel to that degree, you think their first thought would be "We have to take care of our people"? No, it'd be "Oh, shi- this is going to hurt this quarter's numbers. Let the layoffs begin!"

I'm not saying he should get leniency because the scumbag that raped and murdered Mia Zapata in the street only got 36 years, of which he'll likely serve 20 or less. I'm saying decades (even two) isn't right when there were no fruits of the crime.

You know how mobs work? The more people you add, the faster the collective IQ drops? This is a corporation. You've now legally incorporated a "person", whose sole goal in life is not family, helping the community, all those things that make a person a person. Rather, that goal is profit. The brain of this "person" is a board, of wealthy A-types who got to those positions by stepping on other people. Given their role as the brain of this money golem, nothing else matters. Not the people actually putting the work in, not the customers as long as they keep them satisfied enough to keep spending their money, not the shareholders to the extent that they stay satisfied enough to not boot the board and replace them.

Look at the Ford Pinto back in the '70s. Ford knew it was dangerous and would likely result in some number of deaths. The lawyers and accountants got together and crunched the numbers and worked it out where the likely number of deaths and the resulting settlements and lawsuits would cost less than a recall. So a lot of people died because Ford's #1 priority was (and still is) PROFIT!!! Is this the sort of "person" you would want living next door to you? That you would marry? That you want teaching your children in school?

Intel is sitting on how many billions of dollars? What have they done for the communities where they operate? Sure, given a lot of people jobs, but is that enough? Are we back to serfdom, where the feudal lord allows us to work his land and erect a shack on that land, and in exchange he holds off the barbarians (aka poverty)?

And pension? Yes, they have one, but it isn't like pensions used to be. It looks like the bulk of retirement benefits are tied up in a 401(k), aka free-market investments. Investments which lead to monsters like Intel. How much of that 401(k) is plowed right back into Intel shares, leading to trickery where it would appear Intel has X cash, when in fact, a lot of that money needs to be divided by 2 or three - if I move a dollar from my left pocket to my right, I don't have two dollars. If I have slick corporate accountants, though, I could show I have, in fact, four dollars. And for a reasonable fee I'd let you buy a little piece of the magic money machine in my pants (wait, uh...)

/screed
John_T 12th April 2012, 12:41 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by SexyHyde

maybe intel should go to prison for a few decades. after all they did prevent amd from gaining market share, growing their business, employing more people & creating products to boost economy - oh and having the money to put into r&d so as to remain competitive.

If it were up to me someone would have gone to prison for that. Unfortunately, it's not up to me.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SexyHyde

and stop bashing amd! the fact that they are still here making products that are competitive with intel despite everything that has happened is amazing. yes amd are not competitive in the gaming sector anymore but guess what, if they had gone all out to keep you chimps happy they would no doubt be bust by now.

I assume you'd stopped talking to me at this point and were now talking to someone else? Absolutely nothing that I said was negative to AMD in any way, shape or form.
John_T 12th April 2012, 13:10 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by fluxtatic

True, but if this had damaged Intel to that degree, you think their first thought would be "We have to take care of our people"? No, it'd be "Oh, shi- this is going to hurt this quarter's numbers. Let the layoffs begin!"

That's precisely the point: One man trying to further his own career could have led to very large numbers of people losing their jobs. In this current economy, there's no guarantee even highly skilled and experienced people like those working for Intel will find new jobs any time soon.

How many of those would then lose their homes? How many of their kids would then get taken out of good schools and end up in rubbish ones, blighting their entire futures? Would some families end up breaking up under the stress?

I'm just pointing out that it's not a small crime and that it does have consequences that stretch beyond pounds and pence, (or dollars).

Quote:
Originally Posted by fluxtatic

I'm not saying he should get leniency because the scumbag that raped and murdered Mia Zapata in the street only got 36 years, of which he'll likely serve 20 or less. I'm saying decades (even two) isn't right when there were no fruits of the crime.

I'm not saying I necessarily agree with 20 years, but I just don't think some people appreciate the seriousness of what he tried to do - or the potential ramifications had he succeeded. It was an attempt at a major crime that could have affected a very large number of people - I think it does deserve a major punishment. The fact he wasn't able to get away with it seems rather beside the point...

As for the rest of what you said, it's probably a little off-topic to discuss here - though I would say that each case (person/company) should be judged on its own merits, not judged upon what someone else did thirty years earlier. The sins of the father & all that...
MjFrosty 12th April 2012, 14:53 Quote
What an ignorant muppet.
longweight 12th April 2012, 15:17 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by MjFrosty
What an ignorant muppet.

Who are you calling an ignorant muppet?
west 12th April 2012, 18:23 Quote
@John_T
+1
SexyHyde 13th April 2012, 00:52 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by John_T
Quote:
Originally Posted by SexyHyde

and stop bashing amd! the fact that they are still here making products that are competitive with intel despite everything that has happened is amazing. yes amd are not competitive in the gaming sector anymore but guess what, if they had gone all out to keep you chimps happy they would no doubt be bust by now.

I assume you'd stopped talking to me at this point and were now talking to someone else? Absolutely nothing that I said was negative to AMD in any way, shape or form.

you assume correctly dear watson. it was me being lazy/tired to input the other quote.

i think the thing with your argument about jobs is, if he had got away with it then amd would have likely had to hire more staff creating just as many jobs as he would have destroyed. in many ways i think he would have created more jobs, as with the revenue intel take, they would have more than likely just threw more money at r&d. not justifying his actions, just saying they MIGHT not be as bad as you deduce.
Fizzban 13th April 2012, 01:55 Quote
Maybe if he hadn't balls'ed it up AMD would be able to give Intel a run for their money. Would be a better situation for the consumer, no?

And don't give me no dewy eyed Justicar waffle either. I'm not saying he was right. Frankly I don't care. All this 'a crime is a crime no matter what' is only a weak argument. So what if people lost their jobs? So what if it is theft? Corporations do this everyday and we accept it because supposedly it is lawful..bollocks. The law is what the government want it to be, not what it should be.

I say argue that rape and murder should carry the highest punishment. Everything else is secondary, no matter how you pretty it up. Theft is minor compared to those. Period. The scale of the theft is nothing compared to a life or the ruination of a life. If you think otherwise you need to seriously take a look at yourself.
SexyHyde 13th April 2012, 03:13 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fizzban
The law is what the government want it to be, not what it should be.

the law is what the people who donate the most want it to be. and the people with most more are exempt from much of the law. its mainly a way of controlling the lower classes by the upper classes.
MjFrosty 13th April 2012, 11:14 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by longweight
Quote:
Originally Posted by MjFrosty
What an ignorant muppet.

Who are you calling an ignorant muppet?


Oh I don't know, maybe the ex employee in the report I was commenting on?

Jeez self obsessed much.
longweight 13th April 2012, 11:46 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by MjFrosty
Oh I don't know, maybe the ex employee in the report I was commenting on?

Jeez self obsessed much.

And that is obvious because? I didn't take it to mean me I was trying to decipher your one sentence comment.
3lusive 13th April 2012, 11:57 Quote
He basically copy and pasted a few powerpoints and spreadsheets, and is now facing years in jail. Got to love justice in America.
MjFrosty 13th April 2012, 12:09 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by longweight
And that is obvious because? I didn't take it to mean me I was trying to decipher your one sentence comment.



Not sure if serious? Who else singularly would I be talking about? Unless you're insinuating someone else's comment was ignorant?

;>
jb0 13th April 2012, 13:12 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3lusive
He basically copy and pasted a few powerpoints and spreadsheets, and is now facing years in jail. Got to love justice in America.
Or drove off with the equivalent of an entire truckload of processor designs and technical documents. Same difference.
E_Spaghetti 16th April 2012, 04:09 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by fluxtatic
Quote:
Originally Posted by John_T
People saying this is 'only money' and 'only corporate theft', well, tens of thousands of peoples jobs are at stake with things like this, that's tens of thousands of lives and families being supported. Yes Intel has some very rich staff and owners, but most staff will be on ordinary wages - and most of the company will be owned by pension funds, who are owned by millions of ordinary pensioners needing it to pay their pensions.

True, but if this had damaged Intel to that degree, you think their first thought would be "We have to take care of our people"? No, it'd be "Oh, shi- this is going to hurt this quarter's numbers. Let the layoffs begin!"

I'm not saying he should get leniency because the scumbag that raped and murdered Mia Zapata in the street only got 36 years, of which he'll likely serve 20 or less. I'm saying decades (even two) isn't right when there were no fruits of the crime.

You know how mobs work? The more people you add, the faster the collective IQ drops? This is a corporation. You've now legally incorporated a "person", whose sole goal in life is not family, helping the community, all those things that make a person a person. Rather, that goal is profit. The brain of this "person" is a board, of wealthy A-types who got to those positions by stepping on other people. Given their role as the brain of this money golem, nothing else matters. Not the people actually putting the work in, not the customers as long as they keep them satisfied enough to keep spending their money, not the shareholders to the extent that they stay satisfied enough to not boot the board and replace them.

Look at the Ford Pinto back in the '70s. Ford knew it was dangerous and would likely result in some number of deaths. The lawyers and accountants got together and crunched the numbers and worked it out where the likely number of deaths and the resulting settlements and lawsuits would cost less than a recall. So a lot of people died because Ford's #1 priority was (and still is) PROFIT!!! Is this the sort of "person" you would want living next door to you? That you would marry? That you want teaching your children in school?

Intel is sitting on how many billions of dollars? What have they done for the communities where they operate? Sure, given a lot of people jobs, but is that enough? Are we back to serfdom, where the feudal lord allows us to work his land and erect a shack on that land, and in exchange he holds off the barbarians (aka poverty)?

And pension? Yes, they have one, but it isn't like pensions used to be. It looks like the bulk of retirement benefits are tied up in a 401(k), aka free-market investments. Investments which lead to monsters like Intel. How much of that 401(k) is plowed right back into Intel shares, leading to trickery where it would appear Intel has X cash, when in fact, a lot of that money needs to be divided by 2 or three - if I move a dollar from my left pocket to my right, I don't have two dollars. If I have slick corporate accountants, though, I could show I have, in fact, four dollars. And for a reasonable fee I'd let you buy a little piece of the magic money machine in my pants (wait, uh...)

/screed

What is wrong with you Marxist pitchfork wielding anti capitalists? You sound like some old hippie that needs a shower. Get a life and quit bitching about "corporations" Without them you would be able get your fricking government handout....aka..healthcare, welfare, food program, education, wipe your ass and whatever else you loser piece of **** beggars think you deserve...You brain washed communist ****ing leaches..go **** yourselves...as always..have nice day.

And this folks, is the perfect way to earn yourself a free holiday from Bit-tech, where for several days we send you to other parts of the internet. - spec
SexyHyde 16th April 2012, 10:50 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by E_Spaghetti
What is wrong with you Marxist pitchfork wielding anti capitalists? You sound like some old hippie that needs a shower. Get a life and quit bitching about "corporations" Without them you wouldn't be able get your fricking government handout....aka..healthcare, welfare, food program, education, wipe your ass and whatever else you loser piece of **** beggars think you deserve...You brain washed communist ****ing leaches..go **** yourselves...as always..have nice day.

the bit i like the most is this "Without them you wouldn't be able get your fricking government handout" well the thing is these big corporations do every tax dodge there is to pay as little tax as possible. take one of the ftse 100 i just found
pre tax profit : £1,469m
notional tax at 30% : £441m
tax cash paid : £23m
reported tax charge : £26m
tax paid as % of pretax profit : 1% [YES 1%]

now i'm getting back on my horse, to rant about these corporations because i pay my taxes and im guessing nearly half of it is collected by the tax man. there is a reason governments are going after tax dodging corporations..................... why is it again................. oh yeah its because they can't afford to pay for "healthcare, welfare, food program, education, wipe your ass and whatever else you loser piece of **** beggars think you deserve" because the corporations ain't paying there FAIR share of taxes.
now i dont know whether your a troll or just stupid but if you are going to have strong opinions about something it would help if you had an idea and did some research. "have a nice day"
Log in

You are not logged in, please login with your forum account below. If you don't already have an account please register to start contributing.



Discuss in the forums