Former NASA Contractor Ordered Back to Jail

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Bo Jiang, the former NASA contractor arrested last month while boarding a one-way flight to his native China, was ordered back to jail April 12 by U.S. District Judge Rebecca Beach Smith, court papers show.

The judge’s order overturns a March 29 decision that released Jiang under supervision and electronic tracking. Jiang must now remain in custody until his trial, which is set to begin May 29 in Newport News, Va.

The 31-year-old Jiang was arrested March 16 by the FBI after U.S. Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.) publicly alleged that Jiang had unauthorized access to sensitive NASA technology and data at the agency’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va. He was charged with lying to federal law enforcement authorities about computer hardware in his possession.

Jiang was fired by the Hampton-based National Aerospace Institute earlier this year for violating security procedures by taking his NASA-issued laptop on a trip home to China in December.

Jiang’s work for NASA concerned imagery enhancement algorithms, the source code for which Jiang wrote himself, according to one source familiar with the matter.