SOFTWARE: What's the Big Secret?

What's the Big Secret?

The U.S. is keen on boosting exports to Japan, but Ronald Hoffman may have gone too far. Federal agents arrested the Beverly Hills executive on June 14 for illegally exporting software designed for the Strategic Defense Initiative, or Star Wars. Five Japanese companies, including Nissan Motor and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, have acknowledged buying the software, called Contam. Estimated prices: $150,000 to $450,000. Hoffman, 51, allegedly obtained the technology, designed for identifying missiles by their exhaust plumes, while working as an engineer on a Star Wars project in Los Angeles. If convicted, he faces a $1 million fine and ten years in...

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