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A Drone on a US Nuclear Submarine: This Is How the Investigation of Suspicious 007 Begins

A Drone on a US Nuclear Submarine: This Is How the Investigation of Suspicious 007 Begins



Over the past few years, the Espionage cases — actual or alleged — includes Chinese and American citizens. Washington and Beijing, moreover, have entered the global competition unhindered, and both superpowers have reclaimed the role of their respective 007s. America However, there is a sensational story to say the least: a case – the first of its kind – in which the US Department of Justice has charged. Chinese citizen Since a used drone A to take photos Shipyard Virginia. Not just any construction site, as the US Navy assembled within that structure Nuclear submarines classified.

Drones, spying and nuclear submarines

The entire story was reconstructed by the press Wired. On the 5th of January last, such Fengyun Shi He flew to Virginia during a vacation from the University of Minnesota. Shi’s academic research department uses artificial intelligence to detect symptoms of crop diseases in photographs. In those days, however, the subject matter photographed by Shea was associated with something new: local shipyards. The achievement is the same as the production of the latest generation of aircraft carriers Marina Usa Even nuclear powered submarines.

This, at least, is according to the reconstructionFBI. Indeed, a security officer at the shipyard apparently noticed Xi’s singularity and alerted the Naval Criminal Investigative Service. According to prosecutors, on January 6, the educator flew the drone, which, due to bad weather, got stuck in a tree of a private house located near the building.

When Xi approached the homeowner for help and retrieved the drone, he was questioned about his citizenship and his purpose in being in the area. The resident, whose details have not been released, later called Shi, who photographed his license plate and his identification document. It appears that the Chinese national left the flight.

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Suspicious photos

When the FBI recovered the drone and extracted the photos from its memory card, they discovered images taken at a naval shipyard. Newport News Shipyard e BAE Systems. As if that weren’t enough, on the day Shi took the photos, the Newport News Navy Yard was working on Virginia-class aircraft carriers and nuclear submarines. “Naval aircraft carriers are equipped with classified and sensitive systems. Even existing nuclear submarines at that date carry highly classified and sensitive information about the Navy’s nuclear propulsion, and these submarines are sensitive and classified even during the design and construction phase.“The affidavit says.

The Justice Department charged Xi with six misdemeanors under the Espionage Act under two laws: one that prohibits photographing a strategic military installation and another that prohibits the use of aircraft to do so. Each offense carries a jail term of up to one year upon conviction. While awaiting trial, Shi must live on probation in Virginia. According to court documents, he was forced to surrender his passport and apparently needed an interpreter.

The most curious aspect of the whole story is that Shi is absent

Charged under any law relating to the collection of intelligence for a foreign government. And, best of all, he wasn’t accused of being a spy. The only crime he committed was drone photography.