boeing HQ & logo

From The Washington Post:

The Boeing Co. has agreed to pay $15 million to settle federal allegations that it broke the law by selling commercial airplanes equipped with a small chip that has military applications.

It is among the largest fines a company has ever faced for violations of the Arms Control Export Act, which regulates the sale of defense products to overseas interests. The Chicago-based company also agreed to oversight requirements because settlements over previous violations did not result in full compliance.

Our tech is leaking out of us like a sieve. It doesn’t matter how, be it building bleeding-edge fabs in countries that are poor enforcers of IP protection, or incorporating defense-level technology on the open market, giving away the only thing of real value you have (advanced IP) is pretty dumb. To add insult to injury, they had been warned in the past about doing this very thing.

According to the State Department charges, Boeing shipped 94 commercial jets overseas between 2000 and 2003 that carried the QRS-11 gyrochip embedded in the flight boxes. At the time, the chip, used in the guidance system of the Maverick missile, was on a list of products that required a license for foreign sales.

This is an advanced MEMS device, a three-dimensional position sensor on a tiny wafer of silicon. In this matter, I actually find myself agreeing with the Government. (It’s a wierd feeling.)

  1. James says:

    ’cause them other countries are to ignirint to create their own? You know, the ones like taiwan, commie china, japan, etc? This logic is what drove the us to make encryption exports illegal too. That sure kept the rest of the world from having encryption…

    Do we want Boeing to be successful or not?

  2. Mark T. says:

    Technology cannot be contained. It will always leak out. The only way to prevent it from leaking out is to never release it to the public and have it completely classified inside the secret labs of black projects. Of course, this makes your technology useless in real world terms.

    It may be unfortunate, but I think Boeing’s use of military chips in a commercial product is an understandable lack of foresight. Boeing didn’t think anyone would buy a $60 million jet just to disable it and remove one chip.

    I am not condoning Boeing’s actions. I just think that these things happen and Boeing is being punished (albeit, a paltry sum considering they sold 94 jets at $60 mil each, i.e. $5.6 billion in sales).

    Conversely, the use of these chips would likely make Boeing jets safer than before. If this one chip prevents one airliner crash, it’s sale is in some way justified.

    I don’t like “the end justifies the means” line that is so often overused. However, this military hardware is likely already in the hands of our enemies. The Maverick missile is a high volume missile and it is used and sold to allies around the world.

    I feel I can predict that one of these countries has already sold a Maverick to either Russia and/or China. As evidence of this type of behavior, you need only look at how the Israelis have sold U.S. Patriot missile technology to the Chinese. This is the same Patriot missile we gave to Israel to protect them from Saddam’s Scuds.

    And Israel is our ally! Imagine what lengths our enemies will go to in order to get their hands on our military technology.

  3. david says:

    “And Israel is our ally! Imagine what lengths our enemies will go to in order to get their hands on our military technology.”

    Mark T., Israel has nukes thanks to The United States of Israel. Our “enemies” are going to get nukes too. Iran, one of Bush’s axis of evil, will get them– no doubt– from one that views *Bush* as the enemy: The whole World, except for Israel and The U.S. (and America is fortunately starting to see President George W. Lies for what he really is: a liar for Truth).

    Truth stands alone.

  4. Mark T. says:


    How did a discussion of leaked technology jump to “Bush is a liar”? Your political bias is showing. Give it a rest and keep it on topic.

  5. Mr. Fusion says:


    It is Bush’s Administration going after Boeing. Bush has declared it is OK for him to leak Classified information when he can use it against his political enemies.

    That is the connection, in case you missed it. david hit it right on.

  6. Mr. Fusion says:

    Yet, the government has done little to stop or get back stolen hard drives in Afghanistan. These Hds contain very sensitive information.,0,7789909.story?page=1&coll=la-home-headlines

  7. Mark T. says:

    So much hate for Bush. I am sorry I said anything. No one seems to want to have a civil discussion of current events anymore without it coming down to Bush bashing.



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