CABLE WORLD STAFF The Federal Bureau of Investigation arrested a Russian college student last week for allegedly sending stolen information about DirecTV access cards to administrators of at least three websites that specialize in hacking. Igor Serebryany, 19, an undergraduate at the University of Chicago, is accused of stealing confidential documents describing the smart card and encryption technology used in DirecTV’s latest system. Serebryany told FBI agents that he had stolen the documents in question from a copying service used by DirecTV’s attorneys. If convicted on charges of theft of trade secrets, he could face up to ten years in prison and fines up to $500,000. Authorities charged Serebryany under the Economic Espionage Act of 1996. Section 1832 of the Act makes it a federal criminal act for any person to convert a trade secret to his own benefit or the benefit of others intending or knowing that the offense will injure any owner of the trade secret. Only about 35 criminal cases have been filed under the law. DirecTV began distributing its latest smart card system in August 2002. Serebryany allegedly did not seek payment for the stolen information.

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