Feeds

US software firm sentenced for 'trading with the enemy'

Cuban heels

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

A US software company has been sentenced by a federal judge for "trading with the enemy."

Platte River Associates, a geologic modeling firm in Colorado, was fined $14,500 for selling software used to make a model for potential exploration and development of oil and gas within the territorial waters of Cuba, the US Department of Justice said.

The United States has imposed a commercial, economic, and financial embargo on Cuba since the 1960s in response to the country's alignment with the Soviet Union during the Cold War. Platte River's case was investigated by the Department of Homeland Security's investigative arm, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE.

"Preventing sensitive technologies and information from being exported to prohibited countries is a primary mission area for ICE," stated Jeffery Copp, the special agent helming the investigation. "ICE uses its unique customs law enforcement authorities and investigation skills to ensure that these sensitive technologies don't fall into the wrong hands."

According to the DoJ, the Spanish oil company Repsol purchased Platte River software in August, 2000. A Repsol employee was then spirited to Platte's headquarters in Boulder, Colorado for software training, bringing with him project data involving Cuban waters.

The DoJ claims Platte's president, Jay Leonard, knew the data was for a Cuban project but made no attempt to stop the training. As the Repsol employee was leaving the United States, Customs agents seized his laptop and discovered materials related to the potential Cuban venture.

Platte pleaded guilty to the trading with the enemy charge in 2008 and was sentenced September 9, 2009.

"Trading with the enemy is a serious crime, and in this case, a Colorado company has been rightfully held accountable for committing that crime," stated United States Attorney David Gaouette.

(It should be noted, however, that while trading with the enemy is essentially light treason in the eyes of the United States government — Platte's fine is 0.75% of the damages had the company illegally downloaded 24 songs.)

The DoJ noted Platte's president Leonard was also sentenced to serve 12 months of supervised probation in an unrelated charge of illegally accessing a rival oil and gas exploration software company and downloading password protected files. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
SMASH the Bash bug! Apple and Red Hat scramble for patch batches
'Applying multiple security updates is extremely difficult'
Apple's new iPhone 6 vulnerable to last year's TouchID fingerprint hack
But unsophisticated thieves need not attempt this trick
Oracle SHELLSHOCKER - data titan lists unpatchables
Database kingpin lists 32 products that can't be patched (yet) as GNU fixes second vuln
Who.is does the Harlem Shake
Blame it on LOLing XSS terroristas
Researchers tell black hats: 'YOU'RE SOOO PREDICTABLE'
Want to register that domain? We're way ahead of you.
Stunned by Shellshock Bash bug? Patch all you can – or be punished
UK data watchdog rolls up its sleeves, polishes truncheon
Ello? ello? ello?: Facebook challenger in DDoS KNOCKOUT
Gets back up again after half an hour though
SHELLSHOCKED: Fortune 1000 outfits Bash out batches of patches
CloudPassage points to 'pervasive' threat of Bash bug
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.