UCLA researcher charged with destroying hard drive amid FBI probe


Level 6
Oct 1, 2019
Guan Lei who is on a J-1 nonimmigrant visa works for the UCLA and is accused of sharing sensitive data and technology with the Chinese military.

A Chinese researcher employed at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) has been detained by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for allegedly destroying and obstructing critical evidence.

This couldn’t have come at a worse time when Trump’s administration and Beijing based Byte Dance is already at par over short video creating platform TikTok. The application is under fire for collecting data and giving it to the Chinese government that can target individuals or the state for blackmail and espionage

Nevertheless, the perpetrator in question, Guan Lei currently on a J-1 non-immigrant visa has been arrested on ‘one count of criminal complaint’ as stated by the Department of Justice (DoJ). The 29-year-old researcher allegedly threw a hard drive into a dumpster located near his residence on 25th July.

Upon retrieving the hard drive, the complaint registered mentions that it was damaged beyond repair. Also, indicating that the data content had been removed ‘deliberately and by force.’ But suspicions grew when Guan blatantly refused the FBI from examining his computer and tried to board a plane back to China.