Nasa steps up security after arrest of former contractor
CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida (REUTERS) - Nasa has shut down access to an online database and banned new requests from Chinese and some other foreign nationals seeking access to its facilities amid mounting concerns about espionage and export control violations, the United States space agency's administrator said on Wednesday.
The security measures include a complete ban on remote computer access by Chinese and some other non-US contractors already working at Nasa centres, agency chief Charles Bolden said at a congressional oversight hearing in Washington.
The tightening of security follows the arrest on Saturday of Chinese national Bo Jiang, a former Nasa contractor. He was attempting to return to China with "a large amount of information technology that he may not have been entitled to possess", said Representative Frank Wolf, a Republican whose Virginia district includes the Nasa Langley Research Centre, where Jiang worked.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation arrested Jiang at Dulles International Airport outside Washington, where he had boarded a flight to Beijing, court papers provided by Mr Wolf's office show.