The Taoyuan District Court was sentenced to eight months in prison for the crime of deleting the electromagnetic records of the computer of a public office without cause.

(file photo)

[Reporter Zheng Shuting / Taoyuan Report] A technician surnamed Peng from the System Development Center of the National Zhongshan Academy of Sciences. In 2018 and 2019, he downloaded confidential files including unmanned lunar landers, vertical launch anti-submarine rockets, and Xiongsan missiles to his personal folder. After the suspension, he deleted all the files in the folder that had been inspected and preserved before others logged out. Recently, he was sentenced to 8 months in prison by the Taoyuan District Court for the crime of deleting the electromagnetic records of the computer of the public office for no reason.

Peng Nan worked as a regular contract officer at the Department Development Center of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in 2013. After 2016, he was transferred to a technician, responsible for network management, web page development and internal information security audit. He has the authority of the server administrator. It was found that in 2018 and 2019, Peng Nan used to go to the computer room before or after get off work many times to download and collect information belonging to the Chinese Academy of Sciences to the personal folder of the server without authorization, including classified information as trade secrets and confidential information such as drone registration. Moon, vertical launch anti-submarine rockets, Xiongsan missiles, land-based projects, Xiongfeng, Tianjian, Tiangong and other related materials, as well as the Air Force Tianjian-2 missile shooting videos, ship-attacking missile systems, etc., which are classified as general official secrets.

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The Chinese Academy of Sciences immediately suspended Peng Nan's management authority and adjusted his position. The investigator also intervened in the investigation and preserved the folder. On April 7, 2020, Peng Nan assisted the supervisor to install a monitor in the computer room, while the engineer had not logged out of the administrator's account. And when I left temporarily due to official business, I first closed the system connection transmission record, and then quietly deleted all the files in the folder. When the inspectors searched a few days later, they found that there was nothing in the folder, and they inspected the server system. Connection transmission records and surveillance cameras confirmed that it was Peng Nan.

Peng Nan admitted that he deleted the files in the folder, but denied that it was for no reason or any purpose. He tweeted that it was because members of the group requested to delete all personal data in the server. Peng Nan's defender said that there is more than one server administrator, and there are doubts about whether the files in Peng Nan's personal folder were downloaded and stored by Peng Nan.

The judge reviewed the evidence and called relevant witnesses. He believed that Peng Nan had admitted to downloading the files to his personal data folder during the interrogation by the investigators, and said, "It is necessary for the execution of business, and the non-business data is to help colleagues back up or replace them. It is temporarily stored on the computer to prevent the data from disappearing after the computer is reloaded.” He believes that the defense’s defense is not enough to be believed; while Peng Nan was investigated for suspected violation of the State Secrets Protection Law, knowing that he had been suspended, and other administrators also testified. There is no requirement for colleagues to delete personal data on the server. Instead, Peng Nan uses other people's account to log in, and closes the system connection transmission record first. This is a practice of "trying to cover up". The argument is not credible. It has nothing to do with state secrets, and obviously goes against the facts.

The trial judged that Peng Nan downloaded and collected the files of the Chinese Academy of Sciences into his personal folder knowing that he was unauthorized, and after being suspended, he used others to delete the files in the folder without logging out. With no remorse and a bad attitude after the crime, he was sentenced to 8 months in prison for the crime of deleting the electromagnetic records of the computer of the government agency without any reason, and he can appeal.