Feeds

US: BAE 'could have' pirated our secret Stealth 3.0 tech sauce

Arms globocorp enters grey zone?

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

The Reg asked BAE whether Taranis incorporated any US technology, whether obtained as part of JSF or not: and how it could be that the UK is able to develop Stealth 3.0 so much more quickly and cheaply than America.

A BAE spokesman said "certain elements of the Taranis programme are classified, and therefore we are unable to respond to your specific questions".

Asked about the heavy hints dropped in the IG's report, the spokesman told us that "the JSF programme is one of the most heavily audited in the world," and passed on a statement:

The DoD IG explicitly found no instances of unauthorized access to classified or export control information on the JSF program. We strongly disagree with the IG's suggestion that nonetheless, such information may have been compromised in some unidentified way by unauthorized access at BAE Systems. There is no basis whatsoever for that conclusion.

BAE Systems takes very seriously its obligation to protect classified and export controlled information and has a compliance program that reflects the highest of standards. BAE Systems has a long and proven track record of safeguarding sensitive information entrusted to it.

BAE Systems also strongly disagrees with the suggestion that we did not perform required audits and fully comply with our Special Security Agreement. That suggestion is simply false.

BAE Systems previously has requested a meeting with the IG to resolve what appears to us to be a misunderstanding of the underlying facts.

And you do have to say, reading the IG's report, that nothing was actually found to back up the quite explicit speculation regarding BAE. The only concrete criticism offered in the report - other than censure for the Defense Security Service oversight officials - is that BAE was occasionally a bit high-handed in its dealings with the inspectors. One can see why a security-minded American would view BAE's Lancashire plant with concern, but it lies outside the US Defense Security Service's (and Defense IG's) jurisdiction, and was pretty much beyond the scope of the investigation.

The conclusion to be drawn, perhaps, is that someone in the Defense IG's office is very concerned about BAE, but has no proof of any wrongdoing and no real means of getting any. The Defense IG's office haven't as yet responded to requests for comment.

It seems, then, that BAE's support in Washington may occasionally be a bit patchy - but you can't say the same of London. The company has a lot of very important friends in the British government, and this is a thing which is becoming increasingly hard to understand. The prospect of job losses in Lancashire is no doubt a worrying one for Labour politicians, but we get the job losses anyway. BAE, for instance, has lately sold off its interest in Airbus and with it the wing factories in Wales and Bristol. Sackings can be expected at these plants in the near future, as Airbus struggles to deal with its current problems - many workers have already been shifted onto subcontractor status as a preliminary step. In fact, the UK workforce of BAE has dwindled by 15 per cent since 2003, to just over 30,000 at the last count. The company has cut jobs in the UK for almost its entire history, in fact - firing more than three out of every four Brits it employed in 1990.

But why does the American government put up with BAE, allowing the company to dictate terms to its oversight officials and - perhaps, the IG seems to speculate - slip billion-dollar US tech secrets overseas at will? (The company has seemed to resell US knowhow via its UK factories before this.)

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

More from The Register

next story
'Stop dissing Google or quit': OK, I quit, says Code Club co-founder
And now a message from our sponsors: 'STFU or else'
Ex US cybersecurity czar guilty in child sex abuse website case
Health and Human Services IT security chief headed online to share vile images
Uber, Lyft and cutting corners: The true face of the Sharing Economy
Casual labour and tired ideas = not really web-tastic
Don't even THINK about copyright violation, says Indian state
Pre-emptive arrest for pirates in Karnataka
The police are WRONG: Watching YouTube videos is NOT illegal
And our man Corfield is pretty bloody cross about it
Felony charges? Harsh! Alleged Anon hackers plead guilty to misdemeanours
US judge questions harsh sentence sought by prosecutors
Oz biz regulator discovers shared servers in EPIC FACEPALM
'Not aware' that one IP can hold more than one Website
Apple tried to get a ban on Galaxy, judge said: NO, NO, NO
Judge Koh refuses Samsung ban for the third time
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.